Margaret-Bourke-White: Photography as Social Commentary

Topics: World War II, Moscow, Nazi concentration camps Pages: 3 (2027 words) Published: November 3, 2014

Margaret Bourke-White: Photography as Social Commentary
Born in the Bronx, New York in 1904, Margaret Bourke-White was one of the best-known photographers of the twentieth century who was known for her fearless and dramatic photographs. She graduated from Cornell University and started her career as an industrial photographer at a steel company in Cleveland, Ohio.  In 1929 she got hired by Fortune Magazine and traveled to the Soviet Union to photograph its industrial development.  Bourke-White then got hired at Life Magazine as the first female photojournalist.  She was also the first female accredited as a war correspondent by the US Air Force during World War II.  She traveled all over the world with US Armed Forces capturing the horrors of combat zones.  At the end of the war, Bourke-White was one of the first on scene with General George Patton at the freeing of the German concentration camp in Buchenwald.   Margaret Bourke-White had a reputation as being ruthless when it came to her photography.  While heading to North Africa, her transport ship was struck by a torpedo and sank.  After eight hours on a lifeboat, she and the other passengers were rescued by a British destroyer.  She even continued to photograph as she came under fire in Germany when traveling with the US Army.  Bourke-White sacrificed her life and traveled to places where most would never dream of going.  She doesn’t do it just for herself, but she does it to send a message to the public.  In Margaret Bourke-White’s photographs, she discovers the desolation this world can have by capturing moving moments to provide social commentary on World War ll. On April 11, 1945, American troops liberated one of the largest concentration camps during World War II called Buchenwald.  On that day, soldiers freed 21,000 prisoners.  Several days before the invasion, Germany evacuated 28,000 people from the camp.  About 250,000 people from Europe were imprisoned, and 56,000 were murdered.  Margaret...

Cited: White, Margaret, and Ronald Elroy Ostman. Margaret Bourke-White: The Early Work, 1922-1930. 1st ed. Boston: David R. Godine, 2005. Print.
Bourke-White, Margaret. Moments of History / Margaret Bourke-White. Madrid: La Fábrica, 2013. Print.
Phillips, Stephen. "Margaret Bourke-White: The Photography of Design, 1927-1936."   Woman 's Art Journal 24.2 (2003): 51-52. 1 Jan. 2003. Web. 16 Sept. 2014.
Brown, Theodore. "Margaret Bourke-White, Photojournalist." Technology and Culture 14.4: 669-70. Web.
White, Margaret. Portrait of Myself. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1963. Print.
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