Art is in the Details

Margaret_Bourke_White_Chrysler_Building

Margaret Bourke-White, one of the most well-known photographers of the 20th century, spent her life documenting not just the construction of America’s most fantastic structures, but also some of the most significant events that occurred during that century. Whether you believe that photography is “art” or not, you have to admire the composition and clarity of her photographs, ranging from destitute farmers during the depression to peasant workers in Russia after World War II. She was there to witness the liberation of the concentration camps in Germany, and her photographs of the survivors are stunning in the humanity they bring to that horror. Her photographs for Life magazine enabled Ms. Bourke-White to travel the globe, with access to places few Americans had gone before. This photo of the Chrysler Building in New York is less well known than the one taken of the photographer herself, perched on the back of an eagle-shaped gargoyle, getting ready to shoot pictures. It’s inspiring, and exciting, and the legacy of a very productive life.