Monroe Gallery of Photography
Monroe Gallery of Photography



MARGARET BOURKE-WHITE

Santa Fe--Monroe Gallery of Photography is pleased to announce the exhibition “MARGARET BOURKE-WHITE: Pioneering Photojournalist”. The exhibition opens with a public reception Friday, April 24, from 5 - 7 PM, and continues through June 28.

Fort Peck Dam, Fort Peck, MT, 1936 (Cover for first issue of LIFE magazine)
Fort Peck Dam, Fort Peck, MT, 1936
(Cover for first issue of LIFE magazine)

Margaret Bourke-White was a pioneering figure in 20th century documentary photography. As a founding mother of LIFE (she photographed the first cover), she became a world-famous symbol of globe-trotting photojournalism. And that she did it in a male world made her success even more spectacular. As an artist, Bourke-White continued to use photography as an instrument to examine social issues from a humanitarian perspective. She witnessed and documented some of the 20th century’s most notable moments, including the liberation of German concentration camps by General Patton in 1945, the release of Mahatma Gandhi from prison in 1946, and the effects of South African labor exploitation in the 1950s. Her career was cut short in 1966 due to Parkinson’s disease, and she died in 1971.

Margaret Bourke-White was born on June 14, 1904, in New York City, and graduated from Cornell University in 1927. Choosing photography as a profession, she immediately began her dramatic career by experimenting with industrial subjects. By 1929, Bourke-White’s reputation attracted the attention of the publisher Henry Luce, who engaged her as an associate editor for his FORTUNE magazine. Throughout the next several years, there was no location or type of photography too difficult or too mundane for Bourke-White. She covered assignments throughout the United States, and traveled around the world.

Bourke-White became the first woman accredited as a war correspondent in 1942, and became the first woman to accompany an Air Force bombing mission (1943). In 1944, Bourke-White covered World-War II from Italy, eventually joining Patton’s army as it traveled through Germany in 1945. Among Bourke-White’s most haunting and memorable work are the pictures taken at Buchenwald.

Margaret Bourke White was one of the most famous and most successful photographers of her time. Her combination of intelligence, talent, ambition, and flexibility made her an ideal contributor to the new journalism that developed during the thirties. She was a woman, doing a man's job, in a man's world, from the foundries of Cleveland to the battlefields in World War II. Bourke-White fought a heroic 20-year battle with Parkinson’s disease prior to her death in 1971.



Fort Peck Dam, Fort Peck, MT, 1936 (Cover for first issue of LIFE magazine)

Patterns made by steel liners for diversion tunnels, Ft. Peck Dam, Montana, 1936

Louisville Flood Red Cross Relief Station, Kentucky, 1936



Flood Victim Paddling a Boat Made of Washtubs, Louisville, KY (?Time Inc.)

You Have Seen Their Faces: Shackled Feet, 1936

You Have Seen Their Faces: Little boy and hound dog, 1936



You Have Seen Their Faces: Lucky Stop Garage, 1937

Industrial Rayon Corporation, Painsville, Ohio (Time Inc.)

Women working in defense industry, Gary, IN, 1943



Welding tire rims, International Harvester, Chicago, IL, 1933

Hydro-Generators, Niagara Falls Power Co, Niagara Falls, NY, 1928

A DC4 Flying Over New York City (?Time Inc.)



Hats in the Garment District, New York, 1930

Chrysler Building, New York City, 1931
(c. Time Inc.)

Statue of Liberty, New York City
(?Time Inc.)



Statue of Liberty, New York Harbor, 1952

Buchenwald Prisoners, 1945 (Time Inc.)

German civilians made to look at instruments of torture and execution at Buchenwald concentration camp, following the liberation by American forces, 1945



Gandhi, India, 1946

Gandhi walking with close advisors and family members, India, 1946

Gandhi with thread, India, 1946



Muslims gather in Delhi at Jami' Masjod, India's largest mosque, 1946

Gold Miners, Johannesburg, 1950

Approaching Storm, Hartman, Colorado, 1954



Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico, (for TWA), 1935

Plow blades, Oliver Child Plow Co, 1930
(c. Time, Inc)

The Vanitie in Practice Spin, 1934



Ford Motor Company foreman shields his eyes against fiery light of open hearth mill, Detroit, MI 1929

Ground crew of the "Bermuda Clipper" 1937

Ground Crew of the Bermuda Clipper, 1937



Parachute testing, Irving Air Chute Co. Buffalo, NY 1937

Terminal Tower with bridge, Cleveland, OH 1928

Terminal Tower with Bridge, Cleveland, Ohio, 1928



Moscow Bombing, July 1941

Nuremberg after Allied bombing, Germany, 1945

Gun crews, South of Mignana, Italy 1944



President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Washington, DC, 1935

Margaret Bourke-White working atop the Chrysler Building, NY 1934, Oscar Graubner



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