Dorothea Lange (1895-1965) was born in Hoboken, New Jersey. She moved to Berkeley, California when she was 23 and lived there until she died of esophageal cancer. Dorothea became the finest documentary photographer in America with her work during the Great Depression. The majority of her photos were taken in rural areas. She was well known for her moral courage—and sensitivity to the dignity of her subjects.
Edward Weston (1886-1958) was born in Chicago and by age 17 his photographs were exhibited at the Chicago Art Institute. When he was 20 he decided to move to California, where he lived until he died of Parkinson's Disease. Weston became the leader of the "pure" photography movement, creating wonderfully designed, and miraculously detailed, incredibly sharp images.
Robert Capa (1913-1954) was from Budapest, Hungary. He was to become world famous for his physical bravery as a combat photographer who was willing to fearlessly go right into battles to photograph close-ups. Capa covered five wars during his short (20 year) career, including the Normandy Invasion of World War Two. He was killed in Vietnam when he stepped on a landmine.
Alfred Eisenstaedt (1898-1995) was from Germany. He moved to Queens, New York, for the rest of his life, in 1935 because he feared oppression from the Nazis. From 1936-1972 he worked for Life magazine, where his photographs were to appear on 90 covers. The most famous photograph shot by Eisenstaedt was of an American sailor kissing a young woman in Times Square after WWII ended in 1945.
Gordon Parks (1912-2006) was not only a groundbreaking photographer; he was also a musician, poet, novelist, journalist and film maker—a Renaissance Man. Parks became a photographer for Vogue and Life magazines—the first African-American to do so; and he directed the movie Shaft. He was born in Kansas and died of cancer in New York City. The remarkable life and career of this man cannot be encapsulated in only a few words.
Ansel Adams (1902-1984) was from San Francisco and became the foremost nature photographer in America. He was a meticulous technician who produced black and white pictures with a full range of tonal nuances, and remarkable depth and clarity. Ansel Adams photographs are ubiquitous in America today. His most famous work is Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico.
Joe Rosenthal (1911-2006) was also from San Francisco. He was a photographer for the Associated Press and the San Francisco Chronicle. The photo we will view won the Pulitzer Prize for Rosenthal and appeared around the world in newspapers and magazines. It is also featured on a U.S. Postage Stamp and on many war memorials.
Wayne Miller was born in Chicago in 1918. He moved to Los Angeles in 1940 and later became a photographer for Life magazine. In 1954 Miller participated in the record-breaking Family of Man exhibition in New York at the Museum of Modern Art. The photograph we will view is from that exhibit—and the baby is his own son, David.
Richard Avedon (1923-2004) was a New Yorker who started out as a fashion photographer for magazines such Harper's Bazaar, Vogue and the New Yorker before becoming the world's greatest portraiture photographer. His images uncannily reveal the personalities of his subjects. Avedon used what is known as the minimalist style of portraiture. He is famous for his photos of the Beatles. He died of a brain hemorrhage.
W. EUGENE SMITH
W. Eugene Smith (1918-1978) was from Wichita, Kansas, and achieved fame for his brutally vivid photographs of World War II, where he was wounded in battle. Smith is known today as the originator and master of the photo-essay. He was a speed freak and alcoholic, which led to the massive stroke that killed him.
Eddie Adams (1933-2004) won the 1969 Pulitzer Prize for his photograph of the execution of a Vietcong prisoner by the Saigon Police Chief, while working for the Associated Press. He was a combat photojournalist in 13 wars, beginning with the Korean War for the United States Marine Corps. Adams is also noted for his portraits of politicians and celebrities.
Annie Leibovitz is a portrait photographer born in Connecticut (1949). From 1973 to 1982 she was a staff photographer for Rolling Stone magazine. She became famous for her pictures of the Rolling Stones; and John and Yoko Lennon. Leibovitz was influenced greatly by Richard Avedon. She later worked for the magazine Vanity Fair. She is the first woman to exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery.