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Margaret Bourke-White


Margaret Bourke-White was for much of her career the quintessential photojournalist. A major contributor to Life magazine, starting with its inaugural edition in 1936, Bourke-White was the first of dozens of female photojournalists who appeared, and then disappeared, during the golden age of news magazines in the mid-twentieth century. Her precision and strong sense of design were formed while working as an industrial photographer, glamorizing the steel industry and urban architecture.

In 1930 Bourke-White was the first Western photographer allowed to take pictures in the Soviet Union. This perfectly composed, beautifully lit photograph shows infants at mealtime in a Soviet orphanage. Light plays on the almost identical heads of the sexually indeterminate three-year-olds, solemnly sharing milk and bread at a child-size table with a spotless white tablecloth.
MEDIUM Gelatin silver print
DATES ca. 1930–1931
DIMENSIONS image/sheet: 9 3/8 x 13 1/4 in. (23.8 x 33.7 cm)  (show scale)
MARKINGS Stamped on verso: artist's stamp
SIGNATURE Signed in pencil on lower right of mount: "Bourke-White"
CREDIT LINE Gift of Samuel Goldberg in memory of his parents, Sophie and Jacob Goldberg, and his brother, Hyman Goldberg
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Six children at a table.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Margaret Bourke-White (American, 1904–1971). Untitled, ca. 1930–1931. Gelatin silver print, image/sheet: 9 3/8 x 13 1/4 in. (23.8 x 33.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Samuel Goldberg in memory of his parents, Sophie and Jacob Goldberg, and his brother, Hyman Goldberg, 79.299.1. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 79.299.1_SL1.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 79.299.1_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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RIGHTS STATEMENT © artist or artist's estate
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