W. Eugene Smith, ‘Baby boy on railroad track from A Man of Mercy’, 1954, Heritage Auctions
W. Eugene Smith, ‘Baby boy on railroad track from A Man of Mercy’, 1954, Heritage Auctions
W. Eugene Smith, ‘Baby boy on railroad track from A Man of Mercy’, 1954, Heritage Auctions

Condition Report: Dry mounted to board measuring 20 x 16 inches; discoloration, tears, and bumps to the mount, with loss to the right corners, not affecting the image; silver mirroring; two areas with retouching to the right half; two pinpoint indentation marks to the lower left quadrant and one upper center.

Signature: With the photographer's Croton on Hudson and authenticity stamps on mount verso.

Image rights: Courtesy of Heritage Auctions

About W. Eugene Smith

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.

American, 1918-1976, Wichita, Kansas, based in Tucson, Arizona