History of Photography



Introduction  

History of Photography

A World History of Photography

The Story Behind the Pictures 1827-1991

Photographers' Dictionary










 

 



Chapter 10

 

 

ARNOLD GENTHE (collection)
JIMMY HARE
AGUSTIN VICTOR CASASOLA
MARTIN MUNKACSI  (collection)
PAUL NADAR
ERICH SALOMON  
(collection)
ALFRED EISENSTAEDT (collection)
JOHN HEARTFIELD (collection)
ALEXANDER RODCHENKO (collection)
UMBO (OTTO UMBEHRS) (collection)
MAX ALPERT (collection)
YEVGENY KHALDEY
MIECZYSLAW SZCZUKA
KAZIMIERZ PODSADECKI

 

 



WORDS AND PICTURES:



PHOTOGRAPHS IN PRINT MEDIA



1920-1980


 

 

Every propagandist knows the value of a tendentious photograph: from advertising to political posters, a photograph if properly chosen, punches, boxes, whistles, grips the heart and conveys the one and only new truth.

Peter Panter (Kurt Tucholsky), 1926

 

 

"HERE COMES THE NEW PHOTOGRAPHER" was the rallying cry of European modernists in the 1920s. This characterization embraced more than just the fresh aesthetic and conceptual viewpoints discussed in the preceding chapter; it applied equally to photo reportage. As halftone printing techniques and materials improved, new outlets for camera images were opened in journalism and advertising. Fast and portable equipment (see A Short Technical History, Part III) introduced different ways of working, which in turn changed attitudes about taking, making, and displaying photographs. Even the documentary sensibility, discussed in Chapter 8, was affected by the spread of photojournalism as magazines became the prime vehicle for picture essays. The relationship of trenchant images to carefully organized texts created an interplay of information, attitudes, and effects that, along with the related enterprises of advertising and publicity, revolutionized the role of the photographer, the nature of the image, and the manner in which the public received news and ideas.


Turn of the Century Trends in Print Media

It is difficult to pinpoint any particular time or event as the start of the new forms of photojournalistic communication, because just before the turn of the century the illustrated magazines already had taken on a different complexion, becoming less oriented toward family reading and more concerned with the needs of the literate urbanized individual. Besides providing this readership with informative and entertaining articles on political matters, cultural and sporting events, and issues of social concern, the weeklies began to recognize "the importance of the camera as a means of illustration."5 It is true that engravings and lithographs based on photographs had enlivened magazines since the mid-1850s, but with the inauguration of halftone screen printing techniques in the 1890s (see A Short Technical History, Part II) the photograph no longer had to be redrawn or restructured by an artist to be usable in newspapers or magazines. General interest journals such as Illustrated American, Illustrated London News, Paris Moderne, and Berliner Illustrierte Zeitung, as well as other periodicals that were directed toward special issues such as social reform (including Worlds Work and Charities and the Commons), were among the first to recognize that the photograph was both more convincing and more efficient than the artist's sketch.

At first little imagination governed the way that pictures were incorporated into the text of articles, but soon after 1890 periodicals began to pay more attention to page layouts. The pictures were not simply spotted throughout the story; images of different sizes and shapes began to be deliberately arranged, sometimes in overlapping patterns and even occasionally crossing onto the adjacent page. Also, feature stories and articles consisting of just photographs and captions made an appearance. Along with the more arresting layouts, the work of such photographers as Roll and Vert for the French periodical press and of James H. Hare, J. C. Hemment, and Arthur Hewitt for the American weeklies helped inaugurate an interest in picture journalism; this development was a factor in the eventual success of Life, Look, Picture Post, and Paris Match in the 1930s.

The poor quality of newsprint prevented the news dailies from adopting photography as wholeheartedly as the weekly journals did, because newspaper publishers simply preferred a crisply reproduced handmade drawing to an indistinct camera image. However, even when improved paper and platemaking capabilities enabled these publications to shift to halftones soon after 1900, the daily exigencies of deadlines and layouts generally resulted in undistinguished camera images. One exception is the series by Arnold Genthe of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire (pi. no. 586), reproduced in the San Francisco Examiner; however, these pictures, taken by Genthe with a borrowed camera while his own studio and equipment burned, were not the result of an assignment but were made on his own to record the event and express the eerie beauty of the ruins.

Shortly before the new century began, increasing com-petition for readers among weekly periodicals prompted editors to feature stories of national concern, among which wars and insurrections figured prominendy. Reporters and photographers, armed with field- and hand cameras that were somewhat lighter than those used during the Crimean and American Civil wars were dispatched to battlefields around the world to capture, as the Illustrated American put it, "a picturesque chronicling of contemporaneous history." Continuing in the vein explored earlier in the century by Roger Fenton, Mathew Brady, Alexander Gardner, and George N. Barnard (see Chapter 4), Luigi Barzini photographed the Boxer Rebellion and the Russo-Japanese War (and the Peking to Paris Auto Race of 1907) for the Italian journal Corners delta. Sera, selections of these articles were later published in book form. Horace W. Nicholls covered the Boer War for the British press, intending to make "truthful images" that also would "appeal to the artistic sense of the most fastidious." However, verism not art was the primary aim of most news photographers, including Hare and Agustin Victor Casasola, both of whom photographed conflicts in the Americas around 1900. Hare, an English-born camera designer who emigrated to the United States in 1889, was sent in 1898 by Collier's Weekly to Cuba to cover the Spanish-American War. Using a hand camera, he regularly achieved the sense of real-life immediacy seen in Carrying Out the Wounded During the Fighting at San Juan (pi. no. 587); these and similar scenes by Hare of the later Russo-Japanese War enabled Collier's to increase both circulation and advertising, which in turn prompted other magazines to use photographs more generously. Images of the Mexican revolution by Casasola, probably the first photographer in his country consciously to think of himself as a photojournalist seem surprisingly modern in feeling even though made with a view camera and tripod. Unfortunately, no picture magazines, such as the later Spanish weekly Nosotros, were on hand to take advantage of this photographer's keen eye for dramatic expression and gesture (pi. no. 588); aside from a poorly reproduced selection published as Album Grafico Historico in 1920, they remained unseen by the public.

War images continued to be a staple of photo reportage, but during the first World War civilian photographers found it difficult to covet" the action owing to the strict censorship directed against all civilian cameramen, including the well-regarded Hare who, sent to England and France in 1914 by Collier's, complained that "to so much as make a snapshot without official permission in writing means arrest." Compelling visual embodiments of the tension, trauma, or courage associated with this four-year conflict with its nine million fatalities were not often published because military authorities had little conception of the public's appetite for dynamic images. Nevertheless, the setback was only temporary; new attitudes toward reportorial photography that resulted in part from advances in equipment during the mid-1920s and in part from growing prominence of picture journals affected combat photography as well as all other kinds of images.

A crucial factor in this development was the invention in Germany of small, lightweight equipment—the small-plate Ermanox camera, but especially the 35mm roll-film Leica that appeared on the market in 1925. Descended from the amusing detective playthings of earlier times, in that they could be used unobserved, these cameras helped to change the way the photographic image looked and the manner in which photojournalism (and eventually much self-expressive photography) was practiced. Easy to handle, with a fast lens and rapid film-advancement mechanism, the Leica called forth intuitive rather than considered responses and permitted its users to make split-second decisions about exposure and framing, which often imbued the image with a powerful sense of being a slice-of-life excised from a seamless actuality. Other 35mm cameras that appeared in quick succession, as well as the somewhat larger twin-lens Rolleiflex in 1930, promoted this kind of naturalism in photoreportage. Owing to the ease with which exposures were made, the small size of the negative, and the pressures of publication deadlines, 35mm film often was developed and printed in professional laboratories, with either the photographer or—more likely—the picture editor selecting and cropping images for reproduction. The freedom from processing, along with the possibility of representing movement, of capturing both evanescent expression and the sometimes surreal-looking juxtapositions of unlikely elements in the visual field, soon appealed to photographers interested in personal expression as well as those engaged in photojournalistic reportage. As a consequence, a new ideological stance concerning camerawork emerged during the 1930s and grew stronger in subsequent decades. With the increasing acceptance of blurred and sometimes enigmatic shapes and grainy enlargements either in silver print or in printer's ink, this new concept of the photograph differed substantially from the earlier notion of the camera image as a pre-visualized, uniformly sharp, and finely printed artifact.
 

586. ARNOLD GENTHE. The San Francisco Fire, 1906.
Gelatin silver print. Museum of Modern Art, New York; gift of the photographer.


ARNOLD GENTHE (see collection)
 

587. JIMMY HARE. Carrying Out the Wounded During the Vighting at San Juan, 1898.
Gelatin silver print. Humanities Research Center, University of Texas. Austin.

588. AGUSTIN VICTOR CASASOLA. Mexican Revolution, c. 1912.
Gelatin silver print. Private collection.


Photojournalism in Europe: the 1920s and '30s

With other aspects of photography taking on exceptional luster in Germany during the years of the Weimar Republic, it seems natural that photojournalism also should have flourished there. In addition to the well-established Berliner Illustrierte Zeitung (BIZ), which had introduced halftone reproduction of photographs in the 1890s, a host of new illustrated weeklies appeared after 1918, among them the dynamic Munchner Illustrierte Presse (MIP). The quest for interesting views and layouts (pi. no. 589) reflected the desire on the part of cosmopolitan readers for picture stories about social activities, movies, sports, and life in foreign lands. The photographer was expected to shoot sequences that might be cropped, edited, and arranged to form a narrative in pictures with only a minimum of text, making it almost possible to "forget reading" as some were to counsel. The idea for this kind of picture story actually had surfaced almost 40 years earlier when Nadar staged an interview between himself and the chemist/color theorist Eugene Chevreul, which his son Paul Nadar photographed using a camera with a roll-film attachment. The 27 images, eight of which appeared in Le Journal illustre in 1886 (pi. nbs. 590-593), reveal a degree of posturing; this stiffness would later be avoided with faster film, more sensitive lenses, and the easier handling of 35mm equipment.

As magazines began to use sequences of captioned images more extensively, the role of the picture editor became crucial. In Germany, the new vitality in selection, spacing, and arrangement was exemplified by Stefan Lorant, a former Hungarian film editor whose persuasive handling of pictorial material for MIP was guided by a keen awareness that readers wished to be entertained as well as informed. The appetite for dynamic picture images also led to a new role for the picture agency. These enterprises had evolved from companies that during the 1890s had stocked large selections of photographs, including stereographs, to meet the demands of middle-class viewers and burgeoning magazines. Agencies now concerned themselves with generating story ideas, making assignments, and collecting fees in addition to maintaining files of pictures from which editors might choose suitable illustrations. In mediating between publisher and photographer, agencies such as Photodienst, or Dephot as it was known, and Weltrundschau, the two main sources of images for German weeklies after 1928, became almost as important to the course of photojournalism as the photographer. Al-most, but not quite. The individual photographer was still the "backbone of the new journalism," as both amateurs and professionals, willing to wait hours "to catch the right moment," sought provocative and unusual points of view in order to avoid banal or merely descriptive images.

Such reportage using available light emerged in 1928 in the work of Erich Salomon, a German lawyer turned businessman turned photographer who, at age forty-two, began to photograph with the Ermanox (a plate camera of exceptional sensitivity). Well-educated and widely known in political and social circles in Berlin, Salomon, who was in a position to insinuate himself into privileged situations such as political meetings, courtrooms, and diplomatic functions, made his exposures under ordinary lighting conditions; his subjects usually were unaware of the exact instant of exposure even though a shutter speed of about 1/25th of a second and a tripod were required. Artless but full of surprises, these "candid" pictures, as they began to be called, were reproduced in pictorial weeklies in Germany, where their naturalness and psychological intensity contrasted sharply with the usual stiffly posed portraits of politicos and celebrities. Published in book form in 1931 as Beruhmte Zeitgenossen in Unbewachten Augenblicken (Famous Contemporaries in Unguarded Moments), Salomon's works convey a delicious sense of spying on the forbidden world of the rich and powerful (pi. no. 594).
 

589. MARTIN MUNKACSI. BerlinerIllustrierte Zeitung (BIZ), July 21, 1929. Magazine cover. Private collection.


MARTIN MUNKACSI  (see collection)

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Martin Munkácsi (born Kolozsvar, Austro-Hungary, May 18, 1896, died July 13, 1963 New York, NY) was an Hungarian photographer who worked in Germany (1928-34) and the United States.
Munkácsi was a newspaper writer and photographer in Hungary, specializing in sports. At the time, sports action photography could only be done in bright light outdoors. Munkácsi's innovation was to make sports photographs as meticulously composed action photographs, which required both artistic and technical skill.
Munkácsi's legendary big break was to happen upon a fatal brawl, which he photographed. Those photos affected the outcome of the trial of the accused killer, and gave Munkácsi considerable notoriety. That notoriety helped him get a job in Berlin in 1928, for the Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung, where his first published photo was a race car splashing its way through a puddle. He also worked for the fashion magazine Die Dame.
More than just sports and fashion, he photographed Berliners, rich and poor, in all their activities. He traveled to Turkey, Sicily, Egypt, London, New York, and famously Liberia, for photo spreads in the Berliner Illustrierte Zeitung.
The speed of the modern age and the excitement of new photographic viewpoints enthralled him, especially flying. There are aerial photographs; there are air-to-air photographs of a flying school for women; there are photographs from a Zeppelin, including the ones on his trip to Brazil, where he crosses over a boat whose passengers wave to the airship above.
On March 21, 1933, he photographed the fateful "Day of Potsdam", where the aged President Paul von Hindenburg handed Germany over to Adolf Hitler. On assignment for the Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung, he photographed Hitler's inner circle, ironically because he was a Jew and a foreigner.
In 1934, the Nazis nationalized the Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung, fired its Jewish editor-in-chief, Kurt Korff, and replaced its innovative photography with pictures of German troops.
Munkácsi left for New York, where he signed on, for a substantial $100,000, with Harper's Bazaar, a top fashion magazine. Innovatively, he often left the studio to shoot outdoors, on the beach, on farms and fields, at an airport. He produced one of the first articles ilustrated with nude photographs in a popular magazine.
His portraits include Katharine Hepburn, Leslie Howard, Jean Harlow, Joan Crawford, Jane Russell, Louis Armstrong, and the definitive dance photograph of Fred Astaire.
Munkácsi died in poverty and controversy. Several universities and museums declined to accept his archives, and they were scattered around the world.
Berlin's Ullstein Archives and Hamburg's F. C. Gundlach collection are home to two of the largest collections of Munkácsi's work.
In 1932, the young Henri Cartier-Bresson, at the time an undirected photographer who catalogued his travels and his friends, saw the Munkácsi photograph Three Boys at Lake Tanganyika, taken on a beach in Liberia. Cartier-Bresson later said, "For me this photograph was the spark that ignited my enthusiasm. I suddenly realized that, by capturing the moment, photography was able to achieve eternity. It is the only photograph to have influenced me. This picture has such intensity, such joie de vivre, such a sense of wonder that it continues to fascinate me to this day." He paraphrased this many times during his life, including the quotation, "I suddenly understood that photography can fix eternity in a moment. It is the only photo that influenced me. There is such intensity in this image, such spontaneity, such joie de vivre, such miraculousness, that even today it still bowls me over."
Richard Avedon said of Munkácsi, "He brought a taste for happiness and honesty and a love of women to what was, before him, a joyless, loveless, lying art. Today the world of what is called fashion is peopled with Munkácsi's babies, his heirs.... The art of Munkácsi lay in what he wanted life to be, and he wanted it to be splendid. And it was."


MARTIN MUNKACSI. Lovely autumn: the last warm rays of sunshine, circa 1929


 

590-93. PAUL NADAR. The Art of Living a Hundred Years; Three Interviews with Monsieur Chevreul 
on the Eve of his 101st Year. From Le Journal illustre, September 5, 1886.
Bibliorheque Nationale, Paris.

594. ERICH SALOMON. Presidential Palace in Berlin, Reception in Honor of King Fuad of Egypt, 1930.
Gelatin silver print. Kunstbibliothek, Staatliche Museen Preussischcr Kulturbesitz, Berlin.


ERICH SALOMON  (see collection)
 

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Erich Salomon (April 28, 1886 – July 7, 1944) was a German-born news photographer known for his pictures in the diplomatic and legal professions and the innovative methods he used to acquire them.
Born in Berlin, Salomon studied law, engineering, and zoology up to World War I. After the war, he worked in the promotion department of the Ullstein publishing empire designing their billboard ads. He first picked up a camera in 1927, when he was 41, to document some legal disputes and soon after hid an Ermanox camera usable in dim light in his bowler hat. By cutting a hole in the hat for the lens, Salomon snapped a photo of a police killer on trial in a Berlin criminal court.
With his multilingual ability and clever concealment, Salomon's reputation soared among the peoples of Europe. When the Kellogg-Briand Pact was signed in 1928, Salomon walked into the signing room and took the vacant seat of the Polish delegate as well as several photos. In time, diplomats were convinced that photojournalism was part of the historical record, and the photo opportunity was born.
After Adolf  Hitler came to power in Germany, Salomon fled to the Netherlands with his wife and continued his photographic career at the Hague. Salomon refused an invitation by Life Magazine to come to the United States, and he and his family were trapped in the Low Countries after Hitler invaded in 1940. Salomon and his family were betrayed to the Nazis and died in Auschwitz in July 1944.

 


ERICH SALOMON. Untitled

 

In looking back at this period, Tim Gidal, himself a participant, singled out, besides Salomon, Walter Bosshard, Alfred Eisenstacdt, Andre Kertesz, Martin Munkacsi, Felix H. Man (Hans Baumann), Willi Ruge, and Umbo (Otto Umbehrs) as among those who had imposed a distinctive style on their materials. For instance, Munkacsi, initially a painter and sportswriter in Hungary, was exceptionally sensitive to the expressive possibilities of design in split-second reportage, as is apparent in the silhouetted forms of Liberian Youths (pi. no. 595), made on assignment in Africa in 1931. Eisenstaedt, a photojournalist with the Associated Press in Germany until 1935, was more engrossed by gesture and suggestive detail (pi. no. 596) than by pictorial design, while Kertesz celebrated the poetic quality of ordinary life (pi. no. 508) in pictures made for German and French periodicals. The career of Umbo exemplifies the rich and varied background of many of the photojournalists in the early years in that he was trained at the Bauhaus in painting and design and worked in film in Berlin and with the still photographer and montagist Paul Citroen. These  experiences, coupled with his feeling for the brittle and offhand quality of contemporary life in Berlin, helped pro-duce photographs that are a kind of visual equivalent of "street slang" (pi. no. 599).

The journal Arbeiter Illustrierte Zeitung (AIZ), published between 1925 and 1932 in Germany and later in Czechoslovakia, was exceptional because, in addition to photoreportage, its cover pages featured montages by John Hcartfield (see Chapter 9), who combined Dadaist sensibility with left-wing ideology. Inspired by the example of Russian Constructivist artists who used photographic collage and montage for utilitarian ends, Heartfield (along with George Grosz) changed this form from one aimed at shocking elitist viewers out of their complacency into a tool for clarifying social and political issues for a working-class audience. In the designs for book and magazine covers, for posters and illustrations for the Communist press and the publishing company in which he and his brother were involved, Heartfield transformed object into symbol, constructing meaning from materials clipped from newspapers, magazines, and photographic prints made especially for his purposes (pi. no. 597).
 

595. MARTIN MUNKACSI. Liberian Youths. 1931.
Gelatin silver print. International Center of Photography, New York, and Joan Munkacsi, Woodstock, N.Y.


MARTIN MUNKACSI  (see collection)
 

596. ALFRED EISENSTAEDT. Feet of Ethiopian Soldier, 1935.
Gelatin silver print. Life Magazine.


ALFRED EISENSTAEDT (see collection)
 

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Alfred Eisenstaedt (December 6, 1898 – August 24, 1995) was a German American photographer and photojournalist. He is renowned for his candid photographs, frequently made using a 35mm Leica M3 rangefinder camera. He is best remembered for his photograph capturing the celebration of V-J Day.Eisenstaedt was born into a Jewish family in Dirschau (Tczew) in West Prussia, Imperial Germany. His family moved to Berlin in 1906. Eisenstaedt served in the German Army's artillery during World War I, being wounded on April 9, 1918. While working as a belt and button salesmen in 1920s Weimar Germany, Eisenstaedt began taking photographs as a freelancer for the Berliner Tageblatt.Eisenstaedt was successful enough to become a full-time photographer in 1929. Four years later he photographed a meeting between Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini in Italy. Other notable pictures taken by Eisenstaedt in his early career include a waiter ice skating in St. Moritz in 1932 and Joseph Goebbels at the League of Nations in Geneva in 1933. Although initially friendly, Goebbels scowled for the photograph when he learned that Eisenstaedt was Jewish.
Because of oppression in Hitler's Nazi Germany, Eisenstaedt emigrated to the United States in 1935, where he lived in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York, for the rest of his life. He worked as a photographer for Life magazine from 1936 to 1972. His photos of news events and celebrities, such as Sophia Loren and Ernest Hemingway, appeared on more than 86 Life covers.Eisenstaedt, known as "Eisie" to his close friends, enjoyed his annual August vacations on the island of Martha's Vineyard for 50 years. When on assignment in the Galapagos Islands,[vague] Eisenstaedt left the Galapagos prior to the assignment's completion so he could arrive on time for his Vineyard vacation in the Menemsha area of the town of Chilmark.[citation needed] During his Vineyard summers, he would conduct photographic "experiments," by working with various lenses, filters, and prisms, but always working with natural light. Eisenstaedt was fond of Martha's Vineyard's photogenic lighthouses, and was the focus of lighthouse fund raisers for the Vineyard Environmental Research Institute (VERI), the lease-holder of the lighthouses. One fund raiser was titled "Eisenstaedt Day" and was an international event. The last Eisenstaedt lighthouse fundraiser was held in August 1995, the month of his death on Martha's Vineyard.
Eisenstaedt's last photographs were of President Bill Clinton with wife, Hillary, and daughter, Chelsea, on August 1993, at the Granary Gallery in West Tisbury on Martha's Vineyard. This historic "private" photo-session took place in a fenced-in courtyard protected by the Secret Service for over one hour, and was fully documented by William E. Marks. Marks, who took hundreds of photographs of Eisenstaedt in every situation imaginable for over ten years,[citation needed] also photographed Eisenstaedt signing his famous V-J Day photograph on the morning of his passing.
Eisenstaedt died in his bed at midnight in his beloved Menemsha Inn cottage known as the "Pilot House".
His death was attended by his sister-in-law, Lucille (Lulu) Kaye, and his close friend, publisher/author William E. Marks.

 


ALFRED EISENSTAEDT. Children at Puppet Theatre


 

597. JOHN HEARTFIELD. Hitler's Dove of Peace,
cover from Arbeiter Illustrierte Zeitung (AJZ), January 31, 1935.
International Museum of Photography, Rochester, N.Y.


JOHN HEARTFIELD (see collection)
 

Photography in the Soviet Union has been responsive to the ideological changes that have governed the role of all the visual arts, but the emphasis always has been on the camera image as a utilitarian rather than a private personal statement. From the early period around 1917, when portraits and views of Revolutionary leaders and activities bv Pyotr Otsup and Jakob Steinberg convinced Soviet authorities of the medium's potential in mass communication, to the present, the camera has been conceived as a tool for projecting the constructive aspects of national life in books, magazines, and posters. This socially oriented concept gave the formal Constructivist ideas of Alexander Rodchenko their specific tension and made them acceptable because the techniques he used—montage, the close-up, and the raking view from an unusual angle—were regarded as a means of creating a fresh vision of a society building itself.

The adaptability of montage in particular led Soviet artists to consider it "a direct and successful way of achieving the mammoth task of re-educating, informing, and persuading people." Rodchenko's handling of this technique in designs for book jackets, illustrations—including a series for Vladimir Mayakovsky's poem Pro Eto ("About This")—and especially for the magazine of the arts LEF (Left Front of the Arts and Novyi LEF (NewLeft) (pi. no. 598) with which he was associated during the mid-1920S, invigorated Soviet graphic art. A compatriot, the painter El Lissitzky, also contributed photographic montages for book covers and posters that were intended to construct a fresh vision of reality through rearranging reproductions of that very reality. Rodchenko's straight photography also had a significant influence on the photojournalism of the 1920s. For example, the marked tonal contrast and the diagonal forms in an image of a construction site (pi. no. 542) by Boris Ignatovich (who with his sister were pupils of Rodchenko) recreate visually the dynamism of the activity itself, while symbolizing its larger meaning for society.

An opposing trend in Russian photojournalism that also was visible at the time, which during the mid-1930s became predominant, favored less formalistic visual means and a more humanistic approach. This attitude is embodied in the work of Arkady Shaikhet, Max Alpert, and Georgy Zelma, to cite but three of the well-regarded photojournalists of the period. Alpert, a photoreporter first for Pravda and then for the influential journal The U.S.S.R. in Construction (published in four languages), concentrated on stories about major construction projects in the provinces, seeking through the close-up and long shot to project the vastness and communal activity required by such enterprises as the building of the Fergana Grand Canal in Uzbekistan (pi. no. 600). Dmitri Baltermants and Yevgeny Khaldey were Russia's best-known war photographers. In four years of combat during World War II, Khaldey produced almost 1,500 images (pi. no. 601), as well as innumerable other views of Russian life before and after that time, including important documentation of the Nuremberg trials.

 

598. ALEXANDER RODCHENKO. Novyi LEF, August 1928. Magazine cover. Ex Libris, New York.


ALEXANDER RODCHENKO  (see collection)
 

599. UMBO (OTTO UMBEHRS). Berlin Artists' Rehearsal Room, 1930.
Gelatin silver print. Light Gallery, New York.


UMBO (OTTO UMBEHRS) (see collection)
 

 

600. MAX ALPERT. Construction Site of the Fergana Grand Canal, 1939.
Gelatin silver print. Sovfoto Magazine and VAAP, Moscow


MAX ALPERT (see collection)
 

(Russian, 1899-1980)

Max Alpert moved to Moscow after three years in the Red Army and began a career working for state publications. In 1929, he photographed the construction of a steelworks plant in Magnitogaisk, resulting in "Giant and Builder," his series on the life of steelworker Viktor Kolmykow. Alpert helped produce "Twenty-Four Hours in the Life of the Filippov Family," a photography exhibition that toured Vienna, Prague, and Berlin in 1931. From 1941 to 1945, Alpert was a war correspondent and photographer at the Russian Front for the TASS news agency. His works show an intuitive eye for design and human events beyond their propagandistic purpose.
 


MAX ALPERT. Battalion commander Alexei Yeremenko who died in battle in 1942

 

601. YEVGENY KHALDEY. Raising of the Hammer and Sickle over the Reichstag, May 2, I945.
Gelatin silver print. Howard Schickler Fine Art, New York.

Combinations of words and images became a significant force in the graphic arts of other Eastern European nations. In Poland, Kemal Pasha (pi. no. 603), by foremost montagist Mieczyslaw Szezuka, who referred to the form as "visual poetry," and City, Mill of Life (pi. no. 604), by the avant-garde painter Kazimierz Podsadecki, are two examples of book covers produced under the active influence of Constructivism. Karel Teige was the most prominent of a number of Czech photographers whose montages appeared on publicity and book jackets (pi. no. 493). In these countries, montage, collage, and other modernist techniques continued to prove their vitality up to and beyond the second World War.

Soon after the start of the new small-camera journalism in Germany, Vu was introduced in Paris in 1928 by Lueien Vogel, a socially concerned individual who regarded the magazine as "at once a form of expression and a means of action." More stylish and more politically committed than BIZ, it departed from German magazine practice by including works by non-photojournalists, reproduced at times solely to introduce a decorative, poetic, or humorous element. In this regard, Vu and other French picture magazines of this era reflected the fairly long tradition of piquant photojournalistic images that had been appearing in such weekly journals as L'lllnstration and Paris moderne since the 1890s. Frequently, the reportage commissioned by Vu (as well as by others) was neither illustration nor strictly reportorial photojournalism but, as in the case of Kertesz (pi. no. 508), pictures whose visual content and formal elegance might be savored without captions or written text. Under the artistic direction of Alexander Liberman (later with Vogue), Vu also was distinguished by the inventive use of montage on its covers and in many of its feature articles.

Political events in Germany during the 1930s inadvertently aided the spread of the new journalism and popularized the 35mm camera as an expressive instrument. As illustrated magazines were converted into propaganda arms of the Nazi regime, many of the editors and photographers who had conceived of the idiom fled Germany, carrying their equipment, experiences, and outlook beyond France to England, and—when the second World War engulfed Europe—-to the United States. To cite only a few examples of this rich influx of talent, Lorant's stimulating editing enlivened the pages of Weekly Illustrated and Picture Post in London during the 1930s before he came to the United States where he turned his talent with words and images to book format. After 1933, Munkacsi, working as a fashion photographer for Harper's Bazaar, projected a new image of informality in that field, while Eisenstaedt became one of the mainstays of Life magazine, which featured over a thousand of his feature stories during the next 40 years. Salomon was one of the few well-known photojournalists to have been trapped by the Nazis; in the midst of an illustrious career in the Netherlands he was arrested for being Jewish and sent to his death in Auschwitz in 1944.

Picture journalism in England during the early 1930s reflected a variety of influences as photographers drew upon the styles associated with Russian Constructivism and the New Objectivity and on their own picturesque and genre traditions in photography. As was true generally of the picture weeklies everywhere, the competition with cinema newsreels for public attention prompted British journals such as The Listener and Weekly Illustrated to give greater consideration to lively formats and compelling images that might suggest the complexity of contemporary events. This direction continued and was reinforced with the publication in 1938 of Picture Post, a journal that transformed the German photojoumalistic experience into an acceptably British product through the efforts of its editor Lorant and the German exile photographers Kurt Hutton (Hubschmann) and Man. Britishers Humphrey Spender and Bill Brandt gave their photojournalistic images a socially oriented direction, while Bert Hardy, who began his career on Picture Post in the early 1940s and eventually became known as an "all-round cameraman," established what has been called a "populist idea of Britain."

6O3. MIECZYSLAW SZCZUKA. Kemal Pasha: Rental's Constructive Program, c. 1928.
Photocollage. Museum of Fine Art, Lodz, Poland; International Center of Photography, New York.


604. KAZIMIERZ PODSADECKI. City, Mill of Life, 1929.
Photomontage. Museum of Fine Art. Lodz, Poland;
International Center of Photography, New York.


KAZIMIERZ PODSADECKI. Rece mowia.

 

 

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