History of Photography
History of Photography
A World History of Photography
The Story Behind the Pictures 1827-1991
WORDS AND PICTURES:
PHOTOGRAPHS IN PRINT MEDIA
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
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
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,
Gelatin silver print. Humanities Research Center, University of
588. AGUSTIN VICTOR CASASOLA. Mexican Revolution, c. 1912.
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.
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
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
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
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."
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.
(From Wikipedia, the free
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
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.
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,
596. ALFRED EISENSTAEDT. Feet of Ethiopian Soldier, 1935.
print. Life Magazine.
(From Wikipedia, the free
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. 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
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, 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.
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.
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 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
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,
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.
Photocollage. Museum of Fine Art, Lodz, Poland; International Center
of Photography, New York.
604. KAZIMIERZ PODSADECKI. City, Mill of Life, 1929.
of Fine Art. Lodz, Poland;
International Center of Photography, New York.
KAZIMIERZ PODSADECKI. Rece mowia.