Margaret Bourke-White, Diga di Fort Peck, Fort Peck, Montana, 1936 /Margaret Bourke-White/The LIFE Picture, Collection/Shutterstock
Margaret Bourke-White: Works 1930–1960
Jun 14 – Oct 6, 2024
Turin, Italy

CAMERA’s summer program focuses on another great photographer, American Margaret Bourke-White, following the success of monographs on Eve Arnold and Dorothea Lange. Throughout her career, Bourke-White’s achievements ranged from the cover of the first issue of the legendary LIFE magazine to her iconic portraits of Stalin and Ghandi. Her significance lies not only in being the “first” to break down barriers and gender boundaries, but above all in the very high quality of the images she produced, which could tell the complex human experience through popular publishing.

The transformation of the world is at the heart of Bourke-White’s enthusiastic and relentless research. Born in New York in 1904, she studied biology at Columbia University and took a photography course taught by Clarence H. White. When she transferred to Cornell University, she began selling the photographs she took on campus to support herself during her studies. She settled in Cleveland in 1926 and opened a small photography studio. By day, she immortalized architecture and gardens, earning enough to buy equipment and supplies that she used at night to photograph the city’s large steel mills. In 1929, she was invited to New York by the publisher Henry Luce to help launch the illustrated magazine Fortune. From this point on, Bourke-White’s career took off. She published famous reports on American industry and traveled to the Soviet Union to document the development of Stalin’s Five-Year Plan to transform the country into a major industrial power. During this time, she took up residence on one of the top floors of the Chrysler Building. In one of her most famous images, she perches on one of the building’s large gargoyles, unprotected, photographing the hustle and bustle of the city from above.

The first issue of LIFE was published on November 23, 1936, with a circulation of 380,000 copies. The cover was by Bourke-White and depicted the dam at Fort Peck, Montana. Its style fits perfectly with the magazine’s propagandistic intent, which was to proclaim to the world the success of the New Deal and the rebirth of the United States. Her images from this period fully embody the triumph of the “machine age,” while at the same time earning her a reputation as a heroic photographer willing to accept any condition and danger in order to take a good picture.In 1936, she also published a book of photographs, You Have Seen Their Faces, with texts by her husband, the writer Erskine Caldwell, denouncing poverty and segregation in the Southern United States.

During World War II, she reported from the Soviet Union, North Africa, Italy, and Germany, following the entry of U.S. troops into Berlin and documenting the horrors of concentration camps. After a career of unforgettable reportage, symptoms of Parkinson’s disease forced her to give up photography in 1957, and she devoted herself to writing her autobiography, Portrait of Myself, published in 1963. She died in 1971 from complications of the disease.

Margaret Bourke White: Works 1930-1960
Jun 14 – Oct 6, 2024
Camera / Italian Center For Photography
Turin Torino, Italy

  • i-D
    Featured Profile

    i-D has built its reputation on being a consistent source of inspiration in fashion culture. It began as a fanzine dedicated to the street style of punk-era London in 1980, and quickly earned its position at the vanguard of fashion and style, abiding by the premise of originate – don’t imitate. (more…)

  • Kiki Kogelnik: The Dance
    May 24 – Aug 2, 2024
    Pace Gallery
    London, UK

    Pace is pleased to announce Kiki Kogelnik: The Dance, the first solo presentation of the pioneering artist’s work in London, running from May 24 to August 2.

    This exhibition, whose title draws inspiration from the allegorical Danse Macabre, or the Dance with Death, will include works across various mediums that are emblematic of Kogelnik’s profound exploration of the future possibilities (more…)

  • Samuel James: Nightairs

    Twenty-six species of the insect family Lampyridae, commonly known as fireflies, have been identified in the foothills of Appalachian Ohio. For a brief moment at the very end of their lives, nineteen of these species communicate with silent, bioluminescent displays of wildly diverse flash patterns and colors – a kaleidoscopic procession of light varying in precise accordance to habitat, season and time of night. (more…)

  • Mikiko Hara: Small Myths
    Chose Commune

    Mikiko Hara has her own way of secretly capturing the strangers who cross her path: a young man on the train, a couple holding hands, a little girl playing in a park… Sometimes their eyes meet briefly as she presses the shutter, but Mikiko Hara does not exchange with her subjects. Yet, these portraits reveal something infinitely personal, as if the photographer and her subjects were bound by an invisible pact (more…)

  • Shuang Li: I’m Not
    May 1 – Aug 25, 2024
    Swiss Institute
    New York, USA

    Swiss Institute (SI) presents I’m Not, the first institutional solo exhibition by artist Shuang Li, featuring newly commissioned sculpture and video installations. Li’s work explores how language, relationships and identities are formed and mediated through screens and the internet. For I’m Not, Li delves into her own life as a fan to ruminate on how these technologies inform the social bonds and materiality of fandom (more…)

Visit our New Announcement Submission page > Announcement Submission page >