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Margaret Bourke-White 


Margaret Bourke-White was the first female war correspondent to work in combat areas, and the first woman to be employed as a photographer on Life magazine. Her best-known work was her documentary photography of Soviet industry in the 1930s, which was the first recording of that subject by any Western photographer. She was in Moscow as German forces arrived in 1941, and took refuge in the US Embassy, but continued to work through the battle.
> Margaret Bourke-White was born in the Bronx, New York, in 1904. Her father was a Jew from Poland, which must have made it even more poignant when she photographed Buchenwald concentration camp in April 1945, as the US Army invaded Germany. It had been her father who had introduced her to photography as a very young woman. Her parents were “free thinkers” and Margaret attended several universities; her father sadly died while she was taking her first degree. Margaret married and divorced two husbands, both marriages lasting only two or three years.
Margaret Bourke-White died of Parkinson’s disease in 1971, leaving behind a wide range of historic photographic work, some of it now in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Library of Congress, the Brooklyn Museum and in collections elsewhere. Her Russian pictures were published as “Eyes on Russia” (1931) and “Shooting the Russian War” (1942). During her career she photographed Stalin, Gandhi and Mohammed Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan, and travelled with General George Patton through Europe as the Second World War drew to a close. Bourke-White was torpedoed in the Mediterranean, bombarded in Moscow, strafed by the Luftwaffe and survived a helicopter crash, becoming known as “Maggie the Indestructible” at Life.
Above all Margaret Bourke-White was a photographer with a social conscience. Her book “You Have Seen Their Faces”, written with her second husband, Erskine Caldwell, portrayed the grinding poverty of the Dust Bowl in the Great Depression of the mid 1930s. One famous photograph in Life magazine showed black drought victims in front of a sign depicting a white American family and the words “World’s highest standard of living”. Nor did she shirk the full horror of violence: corpses in Buchenwald and in the streets of Pakistan during the partition from India were photographed as they were, with open eyes and emaciated bodies or violent injuries. She later described the camera as “a slight barrier between myself and the full horror in front of me”.

Not surprisingly, “Maggie the Indestructible” has been portrayed on TV and in movies: by Farrah Fawcett in “The Story of Margaret Bourke-White”, and by Candice Bergen in “Gandhi”. Her autobiography is simply and appropriately entitled, “Portrait of Myself”.

experiment photography aviation company winter
nature   light   old stuff   blue white
sky   suburbia   delivery   plant
love animals   ugly face   drink glass   sport image
breed   texture   handicap   yellow
plate advertising   traffic   ship sculpture   tree sky
Ulcinj, Montenegro   speed   restaurant advertising   pants
power shovel   car   chimney, sky   fruit
iron   lions   colours   art
plastic glove   holes iron plant decoration   shadow man   red water pipes
yellow flower growing   flowers   jar   living
pumpkin dinosaur   exposition   pipe   traffic sign
flower pond   pole   bucket   motorbike helmet
ad on a car   winter in swiss mountains   beverage   green leaves
Switzerland   green leaves   Foehn   snow texture
wooden horse   new wave   old building   fountain
garden decoration   tree   ship mountains   water dirt
background house   railway winter   old wall   experiment
shop sign   feet   water   grass
winter   electricity   children sign   art
road   swiss alps   tram   ugly statue
show   fountain   lake fog   yellow umbrellas
white car   no signal   music   house
trousers   red yellow blue   winter   blurr
ship   sculpture image   wall   monument Gandhi, Geneva


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