Tag Archives: LIFE magazine photos

Archival photos from Life Magazine

 

 

 

Goblet with bacchanalia celebration relief of woman playing a drum

Bacchanalia celebration ceramic goblet

 

 

Journey of LIFE

 

Naturally my insatiable art curiosity was piqued when I noticed that the LIFE Magazine archives, pre. 1972, had been made available for viewing.  LIFE was a pioneer in publishing photographs of the documentary style and their collection is extensive. Life’s entire library consists of roughly 10 million photos, and was one of the premier platforms for photojournalists in the 20th century. Google began creating the online photo archive for Life magazine in 2008 and it had slowly gathered momentum. All of the photos of this era were taken with film cameras, most are monochrome and some of the images have been scanned directly off the proof sheet and have never been previously published.
The combination of art with good quality photography is always appealing and even though LIFE only occasionally did art pictorials, there was a trove of beautiful images in the vault. I came across some Picasso pieces I had never seen before and some interesting Roma Bacchanalia reliefs and pottery. There were also fascinating images from the 1939 World Fair and classic African tribal art and Peruvian artifacts. Photographers Henri Cartier-Bresson, Gjon Mili, Margaret Bourke-White, Andreas Feininger, Gordon Parks and Dimitri Kessel are some of the wonderful LIFE photographers that I’ve presented here.
Online curation is not dissimilar to collecting in the real world where exploring archives and searching through a thrift shop has an aligned objective, to discover an object to admire, appreciate and prepare for presentation, whether it be restoration or editing. This foray into the LIFE archives definitely delivered.

 

Search tip – Add “source:life” to any Google image search and this will take you to only the LIFE photo archive. For example: 1957 source:life

 

 

Drummer Gene Kruper playing , photo by Gjon Mili

Gene Krupa , photo Gjon Mili

 

 

Jean Arp smoothing a abstract sculpture, photo Gjon Mili

Jean Arp polisihing a sculpture in his garden in Paris

 

 

Ringling Brothers acrobat – photo by Nina Leen

1949

 

 

The Spy In Black movie poster in Ismalia in Egypt and a man with a dinkey and cart - photo - Margaret-Bourke-White

‘The Spy In Black’ movie poster in Ismalia, Egypt and a man with a donkey and cart –

 Margaret Bourke-White

 

 

Henri Cartier-Bresson photo at a museum, in Naples LIFE

‘Museum’ – Henri Cartier-Bresson, Naples

 

 

Fashion model Donyale Luna wearing long leather boots on the runway in Sydney

Fashion model Donyale Luna on the runway in Sydney

1967

 

 

Cynthia-the-mannequin 1937 by Alfred-Eisenstaedt-

Cynthia the mannequin

Photo Alfred Eisenstaedt

 

 

Aiye-African-song and dance-1950-Gjon-Mili

Aiye African dancer – Photo Gjon Mili

1950

 

Aiye African dancer and drummers – Photo Gjon Mili

1950

 

 

Alfred-Eisenstaed photo-of-fountain-sculpture 1939 World Fair

‘Jonas and the Whale’ – Carl Miles

 1939 World Fair

Photo –  Alfred Eisenstaed

 

henry-moore-with his sculpture - photo by Gjon Mili

Henry Moore – photo Gjon Mili

 

 

Pier-Angeli on a busy movie set photo by Allan Grant - 1954

Pier Angeli on a movie set

photo by Allan Grant – 1954

 

 

fountain wth a white sculpture of a naked woman on a horse - 1939 World Fair

Carl Miles?  1939 World Fair

Photo –  Alfred Eisenstaed

 

An ancient sculpture from the collection of primitive art at Pennsylvania University Museum. – Eliot Elisofon

1901

 

billboard-depicting-actress-Marlene-Dietrich in NY Photo by Andreas Feininger

Billboard depicting actress Marlene Dietrich in NY

Photo Andreas Feininger, 1944

 

 

 

‘Models of the sculpture Night’ by artist Paul Manship, created for the 1939-1940 World’s Fair.
Margaret Bourke-White

 

 

 

Andreas-Feininger-photography

Andreas Feininger, LIFE

‘A technically perfect photo can be the most boring image in the whole world’ – Andreas Feininger

 

 

Andreas-Feininger-1954-Peruvian-Art-At-Museum-Of-Modern-Art Metal face madk

Peruvian face mask – Andreas Feininger 1954

Museum Of Modern Art, NY

 

 

Primitive African sculpture- photo by Andreas Feininger

Pennsylvania. University Museum.

 

 

Carved staue-primitive-African-sculptures-at-Penn.-Univ.-Museum

Primitive African sculpture- photo by Andreas Feininger

Pennsylvania. Univ. Museum.

 

 

Art Objects By Paul Feeley 1951 Photographer Bob Gomel

Art Objects By Paul Feeley Photographer Bob Gomel

1951

 

 

Nude Descending by Gjon Mili, a photographic rendering of Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase No. 2

‘Nude Descending’ by Gjon Mili, a photographic rendering of Marcel Duchamp’s cubist painting – Nude Descending a Staircase No. 2

 

 

 

The Bacchanalia were Roman festivals of Bacchus, based on various ecstatic elements of the Greek Dionysia

 

 

 

Goddess Ioniun who reared Dionysus, under a grape vine

Goddess Ioniun and young Dionysus, , god of wine. rock-cut image is still (Azov 1948) shown near the ancient pinnacle town of Tantalus

 

 

 

alfred-eisenstaedt-photo sculpture-by-joseph-reiner-

Art Deco sculpture by Joseph Reiner – photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt

1939 World Fair NY

 

 

“American Girl in Italy” – front of Caffè Gilli, Florence, Italy by Ruth Orkin

1951

 

“American Girl in Italy” – Model Jinx Allen – ‘Staring at Statue’ by Ruth Orkin

In 1951, Life sent her on assignment to Israel. From where she went to Italy, and it was in Florence that she met Jinx Allen (now known as Ninalee Craig), a painter and fellow American.

 

 

Photo-by-Gordon-Parks Harlem 1943

A Woman and her Dogs in Harlem – Gordon Parks

1943

 

Venice-Biennale-Art-1949-Dmitri-Kessel a large mural of a rearing white stallion

XXV Venice Biennale  – Dimitri Kessel

 

 

Jean Patchett in art gallery photo by Nina Leen, 1949.

Jean Patchett photo by Nina Leen

1949.

 

 

XXV Venice Biennale  – photo Dimitri Kessel

 

 

XXV Venice Biennale exhibition – photo Dimitri Kessel

 

 

XXV Venice Biennale, 1950

 

 

Carved-Africal-tribal-figurine---Eliot-Elisofon

Carved African tribal figurine—photo by Eliot Elisofon

 

 

 

African-tribal-king---Eliot-Elisofon-1901

Carving of African tribal king—Eliot Elisofon

1901

 

 

Centaur-1948.-Bronze-sculpture-by-Pablo-Picasso

‘Centaur’ Bronze sculpture by Pablo Picasso

 Photo Gjon Mili, 1948.

 

Aiye African percussionists - Photo Gjon Mili

Aiye African percussionists – Photo Gjon Mili

1950

 

 

 

Cul Asia Mespot Sumerian Statue of seated man with stone carved script

Gudea, Prince of Lagash, statue dedicated to Ningizzada, Neo-Sumerian, from Telloh, ancient Girsu, c.2130 BC

Louvre

 

 

Minoan pottery with twin handles

Minoan pot with unusual motif

 

 

 

photo-Alfred-Eisenstaedt

Priest sculptor – photo Alfred Eisenstaedt

 

 

 

Dionysus-Satyr-Naples ceramic vessel

Dionysus and Satyr ceramic vessel, Naples

 

 

Dmitri-Kessel photo of outdoor gardens and statues

Photo by Dmitri-Kessel

 

 

Drawing-of-woman,-1949,-by-Pablo-Picasso

Pablo Picasso Photo by Gjon Mili

 

 

Egyptian street cafe 1940's

Guests on the terrace of Shepheard’s Hotel, Cairo, circa 1940. Photo by Hulton

 

 

Fashion model Donyale Luna arching back while modeling backless see-through crocheted floor-length dress

Fashion model Donyale Luna arching back while modeling backless see-through crocheted floor-length dress.

1967, Sydney, Australia

 She is remembered for portraying the witch Oenothea in the 1969  film Fellini Satyricon and being the world’s first black supermodel, and the first to grace a Vogue cover in the mid 60’s

 

 

Sculpture Figure, 1935. Picasso Gjon Mili MOMA NY

Figure,  Picasso Photo by Gjon Mili

1935, MOMA NY

 

 

Figure of woman holding round object & vase, undated. Bronze sculpture by Pablo Picasso. Gjon Mili 1967

Bronze sculpture – Figure of woman holding round object & vase  by Pablo Picasso. photo Gjon Mili

1967

 

 

George-Rodger-naked Sudanese-watering-crops-with-pots

Sudanese watering crops with spherical clay pots – photo George Rodger

 

 

 

Head of a Woman by Picasso - photo by Gjon Mili 1967 Mougins France

‘Head of a Woman’ by Picasso – photo by Gjon Mili

1967 Mougins, France

 

 

 

Henri Matisse sculpting nude female figure while sitting in bed in his apartment -Photographer-Dmitri Kessel

Henri Matisse sculpting nude female figure while sitting in bed in his apartment – Photographer-Dmitri Kessel

Nice, France 1951

 

 

Jacques Tati in New York by Joel Yale for LIFE, 1958

Jacques Tati in New York by Joel Yale for LIFE, 1958

 

 

 

Creating James Dean heads in Hollywood photo by Allan Grant

Creating James Dean heads in Hollywood – photo by Allan Grant

1956

 

 

Jazz-trumpeter-Louis-Armstrong with a group of woman panting - photo Gordon Parks

Jazz trumpeter Louis Armstrong posing for art students – photo Gordon Parks

1955

 

 

Louvre-Museum-1953-Paris- Dmitri Kessel Curators moving a Greek statue

Curators moving a Greek statue – – Dmitri Kessel

Louvre Museum 1953, Paris

 

 

Louvre Museum , Paris by Dmitri Kessel

 

 

 

Mary-Callery,-Sculpture of two abstract figures----Gordon-Parks-1952

Mary Callery, Sculptor —- Gordon Parks

1952

 

Faces-of-Egypt,-life-magazine,-circa-1940's An Egyptian man standing under a large arch

Egyptian arch, 1940

 

 

Nina-Leen,photograph of model -Jean-Patchett,-Life,-1949

Nina Leen photograph of model  Jean Patchett for LIFE

1949

 

 

Boardroom Photo by Nina Leen for Life Magazine, 1956.

Nina Leen for Life Magazine, 1956.

 

 

 

Pablo Picasso-light-painting-at-Vallauris

Pablo Picasso light painting at Vallauris – Photo Gjon Mili

1949

 

 

Pair of dancing figures, metal cutouts, folded & painted, by Pablo Picasso. Gjon Mili 1967

Pair of dancing figures, metal cutouts, folded & painted, by Pablo Picasso. Photo Gjon Mili

1967

 

 

Yellow lazy boy convergence photo - Joao.Almeida.d.Eca

Yellow Lazy Boy convergence – photo – Joao Almeida d-Eca

Palm Springs, 1956

 

 

Paul-Delvaux,-A-Siren-in-Full-Moonlight-oil-painting--Dmitri-Kessel

Paul Delvaux, ‘A Siren in Full Moonlight’ oil painting–Dmitri Kessel

XXV Venice Biennale, 1950

 

 

 

Peruvian Art At Museum Of Modern Art

Peruvian artifact – Andreas Feininger 1954

MOMA

 

 

Chicago outdoor drive in theater Francis-Miller-1951

Chicago outdoor drive in theater – Francis Miller

1951

 

 

Remugen Bridge Okinawa Casino & Anzio Battlefield Taejon Battle Ground

Photo Walter Sanders And Joe Scherschel And N R Farbman

 

 

 

Sam-Zemurray photo by Eliot Elisofon

Sam Zemurray photo by Eliot Elisofon

 

 

 

Reclining Sculpture-By-Dina-Melicov

Sculpture By Dina Melicov

 

 

 

Sculpture-By-Picasso -- Little-Girl-Skipping-Rope Gjon Mili photo

Sculpture By Picasso ‘Little Girl Skipping Rope’ – Photo  Gjon Mili

1950

 

 

‘I am Cuba’     Directed by Mikhail Kalatozov and using Infra Red film stock

1964

 

 

Starlets Jean Colleran, Peggy Lloyd & Betty Jane Hess imitating a statue at home of publisher William Randolph Hearst Sr.

1943 Photo by John Florea

 

`

Starving old blind Indian beggar with stooped old woman standing next to empty grain pots, during famine caused by a 2-yr. droughtin Mysore

Margaret Bourke-White 1946

 

 

The-Westinghouse-Exhibit with Elektro the robot

The-Westinghouse Exhibit with Elektro the robot. 1939 World Fair

Photo –  Alfred Eisenstaed

 

 

US gymnast Muriel Davis practicing at the National Gymnastic Clinic. Stan Wayman

US gymnast Muriel Davis practicing at the National Gymnastic Clinic. Photo Stan Wayman

 

 

 

Villa-Albani-wall-relief, Roma

Villa Albani wall relief, Roma

 

 

 

Venice Gondola & US DUKW amphibious trucks on the canal in Venice

Venice Gondolas & US DUKW amphibious trucks cruising the canals, WW2

 

 

Zulu chief drinking deeply from the beer gourd called 'inKezo

Zulu chief drinking from a beer gourd which is called ‘inKezo’

 

 

Life photo archive hosted by Google

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEXT POST  —  Romantic love in art, sculpture and clay