For all the usual stress on differences, people are more alike than different. So one wonders if a study of the work and ways of the men who, by their devotion and passion, have put photography on its paths, would reveal a common core, a creative approach, a creative practice.
I—THE EUROPEAN PHOTO-JOURNALIST; HENRI CARTIER-BRESSON.
II—THE AMERICAN PHOTO-JOURNALIST.
Nancy Newhall, biographer, historian of contemporary photography, curator of the Photography Department of the Museum of Modern Art during the war, and since then closely connected to the George Eastman House at Rochester, outlines the men and ideas that are prevalent in photography today.
It would be cowardly to answer the question I have posed for myself with a time-worn and evasive "Yes and no," just as it would be flippant to answer it with "Who cares?" and ignorant to reply "I do not know." I think there can be no question but that photography has gone too far, but I feel confident that it can get back, if it wants to.
Note: For the last several years Paul Strand has been living and working in Europe. From Paris, where he has an apartment, he has gone travelling in many countries. As he did in his native New York, in the Gaspe, in Colorado, Mexico, New Mexico and New England, he goes on searching for the ?matrix of a country, for what shapes the basic character of a land and a people.
For discussions of the creative mind at work photographers still have to go to the literature of other fields. Here is a splendid example written about writers and for them. It becomes perfectly applicable to photographers by substituting the words "photographer," "photography" and "image" into the appropriate places.
Minor White started criticism of photographs (he prefers the term analysis) as a "judge" for a camera club in Portland, Oregon during 1938 and 1939. The experience was novel because he judged monthly for two years for the same club, and rewarding for the sense of growth imparted to the members.
Something important has finally hit the photographic field! It is the newly formed Graphic History Society of America and its official bulletin EYE TO EYE. Paul Vanderbilt, who was in charge of the Farm Security Administration collection of photographs for several years, and who is now Iconographer for the Library of Congress is the temporary chairman of the organization and has modestly "undertaken" to edit the bulletin.