11 Pioneering Women Photographers, from Julia Margaret Cameron to Helen Levitt
Signature: Signed and titled in pencil on the mount; credit stamp on the reverse of the mount; typed title on a label affixed to the reverse of the mount.
Sotheby's, New York, 5 October 1995, lot 188
Margaret Bourke-White is among the foremost photographers of the 20th century, who captured modern industry, the Great Depression, World War II and the concentration camps, and political and social movements from the 1920s to the 1950s in images both elegant and unflinching. “The camera is a remarkable instrument,” she claimed. “Saturate yourself with your subject and the camera will all but take you by the hand.” Bourke-White traveled the world immersing herself with her subjects, beginning in Ohio, in 1927, photographing the Otis Steel Company. Soon after, she was hired as the first staff photographer for Fortune, then the first female photojournalist for LIFE Magazine. In 1930, she was the first Western photographer allowed into the Soviet Union, where she documented industrialization under Communism. Bourke-White left behind a body of images as iconic as the history it conveys.