W. Eugene Smith
American, 1918-1976
800 followers
Collected by a major museum
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Selected exhibitions
2018
From the Archive: Masters of 20th Century American Photography,
Etherton Gallery
2017
The 25th Anniversary Show,
Scott Nichols Gallery
2016
The Most Influential Images of All Time,
Time Magazine

Called a fanatic of his craft and, often, "troublesome" by his editors, photographer and photojournalist W. Eugene Smith demanded such perfection of his images that he destroyed most of his early work. He began taking pictures at age 14, initially of airplanes, exploring an interest in aeronautical engineering. Smith went on to study photography at Notre Dame, followed by a job at Newsweek in 1937 (which he was fired from upon refusing to use a medium-format camera.) Smith liked the freedom of smaller cameras, which was particularly important in his combat photography during WWII, where he worked as diligent war correspondent—once hitchhiking 1200 miles to rush deliver film. Smith later helped define photojournalism through his work at Life magazine, and went on to join Magnum Magazine in 1955; he is remembered as a master both technically and in the darkroom.