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Master Photographers of the 1920s, 1930s & 1940s

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Presentation on theme: "Master Photographers of the 1920s, 1930s & 1940s"— Presentation transcript:

1 Master Photographers of the 1920s, 1930s & 1940s
Edward Weston Dorothea Lange Gordon Parks

2 Edward Weston (1886 – 1958) Has been called “one of the most innovative and influential American photographers” Weston photographed a wide variety of subjects, including still lifes, landscapes, nudes, and portraits Focused on the people and places of the American West

3 Born in Chicago and moved to California at age 21
Knew he wanted to be a photographer from an early age Attended the Illinois School of Photography Opened his own studio in 1911, taking portraits of children and friends Gained recognition for his work and won prizes in national competitions Weston in 1915

4 His early work was part of a photography movement called “pictoralism”
Pictoralists manipulated their images to make them look more artistic Images often lacked sharp focus, were printed in colours other than black & white, and had visible brushstrokes or other surface textures Karl and Ethel, 1923

5 Other examples of Weston’s early Pictoralist work

6 He moved to Mexico from 1923 to 1927 and the different culture and scenery forced him to look at things in new ways He moved away from pictoralism and embraced realism “The camera should be used for a recording of life, for rendering the very substance and quintessence of the thing itself…I feel definite in the belief that the approach to photography is through realism”

7 Janitzio, Patzcuaro, 1926 Charrito, 1926

8 Weston is well known for many of the nude portraits he took throughout the 1920s and 1930s
His photos often isolated specific body parts and reduced the human figure down to its basic forms Nude, 1925

9 Nude, 1927 Nude, 1936

10 Weston developed a similar interest in the organic forms of fruits, vegetables, rocks, and seashells
Pepper No. 30, 1930

11 In 1937, Weston was the first photographer to receive a Guggenheim Fellowship
In 1947 he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and he stopped photographing soon thereafter He spent the remaining ten years of his life overseeing the printing of more than 1,000 of his most famous images Weston died at age 71 in Big Sur, California

12 Dorothea Lange (1895 – 1965) An influential American documentary photographer and photojournalist Best known for her Depression-era work for the US government Lange's photographs humanized the consequences of the Great Depression

13 Born in Hoboken, New Jersey
Educated in photography at Columbia University in New York City Moved to San Francisco in 1918 and opened a successful portrait studio the following year When the Great Depression began in 1929, Lange turned her camera lens from the studio to the street White Angel Bread Line, San Francisco, 1933

14 Lange’s photos of unemployed and homeless people led to her employment with the federal Farm Security Administration From 1935 to 1939, Lange documented sharecroppers, displaced farm families, and migrant workers Poor mother and children, Oklahoma, 1936

15 Mother & children, Tulelake, California, 1939
Mississippi Delta Children, 1936

16 Her best-known picture is titled "Migrant Mother“
Distributed free to newspapers across the country, Lange’s images became icons of the era Her best-known picture is titled "Migrant Mother“ “I saw and approached the hungry and desperate mother, as if drawn by a magnet. She had just sold the tires from her car to buy food.” Migrant Mother, 1936

17 In 1941, Lange was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for excellence in photography
Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, she covered the internment of Japanese Americans Her images were so obviously critical that the Army impounded most of them, and they were not seen publicly for more than 50 years

18 In 1945, Lange was invited to teach photography at the California School of Fine Arts
In 1952, she co-founded the photographic magazine Aperture Lange died of esophageal cancer on October 11, 1965 in San Francisco, California at age 70

19 Gordon Parks (1912 – 2006) An American photographer, musician, writer and film director Parks was the first African-American staff photographer for Life magazine and later the first African-American to direct a major motion picture He is known for his striking fashion photography

20 Parks was born in Fort Scott, Kansas and attended a segregated elementary school
At the age of 25, he was struck by photographs of migrant workers in a magazine and bought his first camera The photography clerks who developed Parks' first roll of film, applauded his work and prompted him to seek work as a fashion photographer

21 Parks moved to Chicago in 1940, where he began a portrait business and specialized in photographs of society women In 1944, he became a freelance fashion photographer for Vogue He developed a distinctive style, often photographing his models in motion, or casual poses

22 His photographs seemed like he caught his subjects off guard and mid-action, as if they were waiting for a bus, in the middle of shopping, or expecting a lunch date

23 Parks composed his images dramatically and made them seem as if they were part of a narrative




27 Muhammad Ali, Miami, Florida, 1966
In 1948, Parks began a staff job as a photographer and writer with Life magazine For 20 years, he covered subjects including fashion, sports, Broadway, poverty, racial segregation, and portraits of famous celebrities In 1971, Parks directed the major hit film Shaft He died of cancer at the age of 93 while living in Manhattan Muhammad Ali, Miami, Florida, 1966

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