DEDICATED TO MINOR WHITE (1908-1976) AND MICHAEL E. HOFFMAN (1942-2001)
In 1952, Minor White, Beaumont and Nancy Newhall, Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Barbara Morgan, and others joined forces to create a journal whose impact and longevity they could never have anticipated. Like a force of nature, Aperture magazine—having weathered everything from financial difficulties, censorious assaults, attacks from the left and right, every imaginable photographic style, a myriad of spiritual impulses, a group of editors with strong and eclectic sensibilities, three formats, a broad range of themes, ethnic and national focuses, an extraordinary roster of writers, and most recently a complete redesign—is fifty years old.
Aperture began with a few profoundly gifted individuals possessed of lofty ideals, high ambition, and no money, who created a humble photography journal with the life expectancy of a hamster— and not a particularly healthy one. That its golden anniversary is herewith celebrated is little short of a miracle.
Comprehending the history of anything is largely a matter of context, and what is left out can be as revealing as what lies within. A viewer/reader of Aperture in its early years wouldn't find a hint that the United States was in the thrall of an anti-Communist witchhunt.