“HIS WORK CHANGED, AS WELL AS DOCUMENTED, HISTORY”: LARGE W. EUGENE SMITH ORIGINAL PHOTOGRAPH OF TRUMAN CASTING HIS VOTE
SMITH, W. Eugene. Large Photograph of Harry Truman Casting His Vote. Independence, Missouri: Taken for the Life Magazine Essay, November 15, 1948. Original silver gelatin photograph, mounted on illustration board, image measures 10 by 13-1/2 inches. $1800.
Large vintage photograph by W. Eugene Smith of Harry Truman for Life’s “photo essay” on the President, dated and captioned on the verso in a contemporary hand.
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 original photograph of Harry Truman casting his vote in an Independence, Missouri, booth was taken on election day November 2, 1948, for the Life magazine photo essay appearing on November 15th. Truman went to bed that night thinking he had lost to Dewey.
A few small creases around corners, two very tiny surface abrasions near the center. A fine historic picture.