“HIS WORK CHANGED, AS WELL AS DOCUMENTED, HISTORY”: ORIGINAL COPY-PRINT OF SMITH’S CANDID PHOTOGRAPH OF THE PRESIDENT
(TRUMAN, Harry) SMITH, W. Eugene. Large copy-print of Harry Truman listening to the National Anthem. Taken for the Life Magazine essay, November 15, 1948. No place: 1948. Contemporary silver gelatin copy-print, measuring 14 by 9-3/4 inches. $485.
Contemporary copy-print by Life magazine staff photographer Thomas Styles of W. Eugene Smith’s photograph of Harry Truman for Life’s “photo essay” on the President, with stamps on verso identifying Smith as the photographer and the date.
Smith began his career in his teens, supplying photographs to his local newspaper in Wichita, Kansas. “Advancing to national magazines, he rapidly acquired an international reputation for his bold photographs of the Second World war in the Pacific. While on the staff of Life magazine, Smith produced the classic photographic essays, ‘Country Doctor,’ ‘Spanish Village,’ and ‘Nurse Midwife.’ With these three features he set a new standard for evocative picture stories” (Frizot, 633). Of his own work, Smith writes: “through the passion given into my photographs (no matter how quiet) I would call out for a spiritualization that would create strength and purpose.” “A heroic figure in American photography, Smith created photo essays so compelling in their power that it can be said his work changed, as well as documented, history” (McDarrah & McDarrah, 457). This copy-print of Harry Truman listening to the National Anthem at a Shriner’s Convention was taken for a Life magazine photo essay appearing on November 15, 1948.
A historic picture in fine condition.