Memorable Life Photographs

Memorable Life Photographs

Memorable Life Photographs

Memorable Life Photographs

Excerpt

Photographers working in the field of journalism have collectively made a major contribution to the art of photography. While much of their work is routine picture reporting, the best of it shows an exciting and revealing penetration.

Photographic journalism is generally accepted as an authoritative source of visual information about our times. It now regularly reaches audiences all over the world on a scale unheard of a decade or two ago. It is becoming a new force in the molding of public opinion, and in explaining man to man.

The photographs in this exhibition are the products of photographic journalism as practiced by LIFE during the past fifteen years. They were selected to present a cross- section of the quality, range and scope of the work done by photographers on the staff or on special assignment for LIFE.

Since the first issue of the magazine, the lenses of these photographers have looked sharply at many subjects in all corners of the globe. Neither danger, discomfort nor privation has dampened the ardent search for facts. The ultimate product of each photographer's work appears in the pages of the magazine and his ability as a photographer is measured by the overall contribution his work makes to the publication.

I believe it is important for the growth and development of photography that the public--and particularly the vast and growing fraternity of amateur photographers-- has an opportunity to see a representative selection of outstanding pictures by these photographers. And it is useful to be able to study them apart from the magazine.

Many of the pictures have an intrinsic value beyond the immediate purpose they have fulfilled. They often manifest new achievements in photography. On occasion they create images that reach into the nebulous controversial realm of the fine arts.

The prints on the 58 panels of this exhibition represent an impressive range of technical skills and brilliant artistry. The overall focus is on the panorama of time and space, of an historical procession where wisdom and nonsense, the ornery and the holy, the poisons of hate and the selflessness of heroism are all written into the visual record of the world we live in.

EDWARD STEICHEN

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