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LIFE Magazine’s Photojournalism and the American Century?

April 22, 2020 · 5:30 pm · via Zoom

David A Gardner '69 Magic Project; Princeton University Art Museum
LIFE magazine

At this  Humanities Council’s David A. Gardner ’69 Magic Project roundtable, Princeton faculty members Jeremy Adelman (History), Thomas Y. Levin (German), and Katherine Hill Reischl (Slavic) and the prize-winning documentary photographer Susan Meiselas discuss how Life used photographs in its weekly publication, from 1936 to 1972, as a way to establish its view of the world as a first draft of history.

Consider, for example, coverage of the liberation of Nazi concentration camps at the end of World War II: what did it mean for Life to publish six pages full of detailed, horrible photographs in the midst of a weekly issue dedicated to “The German People”? Another ready example is a story Life undertook at the behest of the Kennedy administration to try to curtail the global spread of Communism in the face of poverty.

Was Life merely playing the imperialist, or are such global exchanges the basis of something more lasting?

This roundtable is held in conjunction with the exhibition LIFE Magazine and the Power of Photography. Moderated by Katherine A. Bussard, the Peter C. Bunnell Curator of Photography.

For Zoom link, go to: https://artmuseum.princeton.edu/

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