MARGARET BOURKE-WHITE (1904-1971)

Click To View Biography
CONSTRUCTION YARD OF THE BETHLEHEM SHIP BUILDING CORPORATION, SPARROWS POINT, MARYLAND, USA, 1937 by MARGARET BOURKE-WHITE (1904-1971) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

CONSTRUCTION YARD OF THE BETHLEHEM SHIP BUILDING CORPORATION, SPARROWS POINT, MARYLAND, USA, 1937

CLICK TO VIEW

P.O.A

   

Margaret Bourke-White was a celebrated figure in her time, who broke new ground as a female photojournalist. She was born in New York on 14 June 1904, into a middle class family, and was home-schooled by her mother. Her father was an engineer and inventor.

Bourke-White began to take photographs to earn money when a student at Cornell University and, by 1928, developed a particular eye for architectural and industrial photography. In 1930 she was taken on by 'Fortune ' magazine, and despatched to the Soviet Union to photograph its industrial installations. Soon she was their principal photographer, and her career took off quickly. She became particularly well-known as the plucky girl, in her mid-twenties who, in 1930, scaled the heights of the Chrysler Building during its construction for an apparently death-defying shoot. These became some of the most memorable images of New York ever taken.

In 1936, Bourke-White became one of the founders of 'Life' magazine, and contributed its first cover image an artfully composed shot of the Fort Peck Dam in Montana as well as the written article that accompanied it. This was the first of many assignments for the magazine.

During the Second World War, Bourke-White set new ground as a war photographer, becoming the first female photojournalist both to be allowed in combat zones and to fly in a combat mission. At the war's close, she took shocking images of the newly liberated Buchenwald concentration camp that reverberated around the world's press.

Margaret Bourke-White died in Darien, Connecticut on 27 August 1971 after a long battle with Parkinson's Disease.

Related Links

Enter your email to be the first to hear about
exhibitions, events and the latest acquisitions