W. Eugene Smith, ‘Charlie Chaplin looking in a mirror’, 1952, Heritage Auctions
W. Eugene Smith, ‘Charlie Chaplin looking in a mirror’, 1952, Heritage Auctions
W. Eugene Smith, ‘Charlie Chaplin looking in a mirror’, 1952, Heritage Auctions

Condition Report: Unmounted; not framed; cornered in to a window mat measuring 16 x 20 inches; silver mirroring; crease to the upper left corner; one spot of discoloration center left visible in raking light; approximately two one inch scratches visible in raking light.

Signature: The photographer's stamp on verso.

Image rights: Courtesy of Heritage Auctions

Life magazine, Charlie Chaplin, March 17, 1952.

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