Photography seems to be evaluating itself these days—probably preparatory to taking off in a new direction, or, what is more likely, gathering its forces for a deepening of its various searches into truth and beauty. There seems to be a growing awareness that very few people glean all that is possible front photographs in general and some exceptionally rich photographs in particular.
In response to a request that they state their ideas on the problem of the photographer and his audience, Wilson Hicks, formerly an associate editor for Life, and Henry Holmes Smith, who teaches photography in the Fine Arts Department at the University of Indiana, have set down their notions.
In response to the problem of how to train the young photographer, Mr. Jules Aarons has interviewed a famous fashion photographer and herein reports the results. This justly famous photographic artist ... who prefers to remain unnamed ... is one of the fabulous four who collect fee-nominal sums each time they squeeze their plungers.
Whenever I attempt to make a statement concerning photography conflicting emotions rise to the surface of my thinking. Photography is no Pollyanna game to me. It is a vital, exciting art form for which I will sacrifice and fight. It deserves anger when it is abused—love when it is respected and made important.
You have to be rather suspicious in this kind of an atmosphere, you know ... I'm one of these fellows that has been on the off side of press photography for about 60 years. I've seen almost every angle of it, and I think I've been the victim of more good and bad photographers than perhaps anybody here—I don't see so many grey heads.
During July, in the Pentagon a photo show was quietly hung. It consisted of about two hundred pictures taken in the last year by combat photographers of the U. S. Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, and the Navy. In a major feature section of U. S. Camera Annual 1954, now in preparation, you see one of the best collections of combat photography yet made in Korea.
We have come to accept the photographs in newspapers as being as good as possible under the circumstances; and sympathize with the news photographers who have to work under the hardships of circumstance and a devil wearing the picture editor's hat.
When Edward Steichen, director of the Museum of Modern Art's photography department, returned from Europe a few months ago, he brought with him 300 photographs which are now on display in the museum's auditorium gallery. "Post-War European Photography," as the exhibition is called, is the work of 78 photographers from 11 countries.
Dear Editor: This society isn't quite devoted, to the point of its being a "central idea," as your review's second paragraph puts it, to making pictures available "in the same way that libraries make books available." Our view is that comprehensive availability is only possible, the picture distribution pattern being what it is, when a special collection of a substantial character has been formed and exists either as a file or as a book, or as some relatively tangible combination of specific files and books.
Can we announce the fact that Part II of Nancy Newhalls "Controversy and the Creative Concepts" must be postponed without sounding like an obituary? Nothing more disastrous has happened than usually happens to labors of love and quarterlies.