TABLE OF CONTENTS
Margaret Bourke-White Photographs, circa 1939
Margaret Bourke-White (1904-1971) was a pioneering photojournalist, documenting industry and society around the world throughout her 30-year career. Born Margaret White, she and her two siblings were raised in New Jersey by a homeschooling mother and hobbyist photographer father. It wasn't until college that Bourke-White began photography. Following graduation, Bourke-White moved to Cleveland in 1927 and started photographing steel mills, eventually enabling her to open her own studio downtown. By 1930, she was traveling to Europe for Fortune magazine, documenting German and Soviet industrial growth.
Her time at Fortune led to her becoming the first female photographer for LIFE, shooting the cover photo for the magazine's inaugural issue. She was assigned to Czechoslovakia in 1938 to document Central Europe and the rise of Nazism and was the only Western photographer in Moscow during the German offensive in 1941. Soon after the United States entered World War II, Bourke-White became the first accredited female war correspondent and went to England to photograph American B-17s. Through this assignment, she covered the North African campaign and in 1943 reported on the Allied advance through Italy, accompanying the forces to Germany.
Following World War II, Bourke-White spent two years in India, documenting societal change throughout the country during the time of Gandhi. War soon called again as she was assigned to cover the Korean War, spending nine months with American and South Korean troops. Around this time, she began to notice the symptoms of Parkinson's, and the disease would force an end to her professional photography career in 1957. Her remaining years were spent writing an autobiography, lecturing, and fighting her condition. She died in Connecticut on August 27, 1971.
Brannan, Beverly W. (2015). "Margaret Bourke-White (1904-1971)". Library of Congress. Retrieved November 17, 2017. https://www.loc.gov/rr/print/coll/womphotoj/bourkewhiteessay.html
Editors. (May 16, 2017). "Margaret Bourke-White". EncyclopÃ¦dia Britannica. Retrieved November 17, 2017. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Margaret-Bourke-White
Oden, Lori. (n.d). "Margaret Bourke". International Photography Hall of Fame. Retrieved November 17, 2017. http://iphf.org/inductees/margaret-bourke/
The Margaret Bourke-White Photographs, circa 1939, includes 12 photographs, all dating from around the late 1930s. Six photographs focus on the 1939 New York World's Fair, including two of the Ford exhibit, and one each of the Soviet Pavilion, a crowd of Boy Scouts, the Life Savers amusement ride, and Constitution Mall towards the Court of Peace. Other photographs include Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt hosting Norwegian Crown Prince Olav and Crown Princess Martha at the President's Hyde Park residence in 1939, and undated photographs of the New York City skyline, the Statue of Liberty, the George Washington Bridge, and the interior of St. Peter's Basilica during a service. Although it is likely this collection is entirely Bourke-White's work, only some of the photographs are stamped with her name.
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
There are no use restrictions on this collection. Publisher is responsible for complying with copyright law.
Margaret Bourke-White Photographs, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
This collection processed by Christian Stephensen, November 2017.