On site: MARGARET BOURKE-WHITE Insect Studies

In Exhibits, Gallery, Photo Print Collector, Photographer on March 7, 2010 at 11:45 am

Cocoon and Larvae – Source: Life

The camera is a remarkable instrument. Saturate yourself with your subject, and the camera will all but take you by the hand and point the way.

-Margaret Bourke-White

Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa. maintains a teaching collection of famous photographer’s works. The current exhibition (through June 10 at the Rauch gallery), contains gelatin silver contact image prints of various insects that Margaret Bourke White photographed in 1935.

Her career spanned many areas of personal and commercial interest presented often with a social commentary aspect. This particular exhibit contains personal photos on a subject she was very keen on … to the point where she would travel with cocoons in hope of capturing live birth shots.

The pictures’ composition and depth of field against various backgrounds make for a very aesthetic approach to what could be a dry scientific examination of biology.

Margaret Bourke-White was a pioneering figure in 20th century documentary photography and is famous for her scenes of modern industry, of the Great Depression, and of political and social movements in the 1920s through 1950s. Born in New York in 1904, Bourke-White attended Columbia University to study under renowned photographer, Clarence White. In 1927 she moved to Cleveland, the heartland of American industry, and opened her own studio. There she documented the effects of modern industry on the land and people.

For more information on the exhibit: LUAG Galleries

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