From the LIFE photo archive

Google has made the incredible photo archives of LIFE magazine digitally available to the general public. Many of the photos have never been published before and include works by celebrities like Alfred Eisenstaedt, less-known photographers like Hugo Jaeger (colour photos of the Third Reich, a creepy experience), and unknown illustrators. Here are some of my favourites in no particular order, perhaps they give an impression of my main interests :)

Helsinki; in front, the Russian Orthodox church, in the back, the Lutheran Helsinki Cathedral. I bet the photographer chose this angle because of the "red scare" during the general strike in Finland in 1949. An anecdote about Ronald Reagan tells that the President during a visit in Helsinki quipped, "I can see Russia from here!"
Date taken: August 08, 1949 * Photographer: Mark Kauffman

Ella Fitzgerald at "Mr. Kelly's" nightclub in Chicago, 1958. Photographer: Yale Joel

Jesuit novices contemplating their breviaries at Los Gatos Novitiate a.k.a. Sacred Heart Novitiate, San Jose, California. There are many more beautiful photographs from their vineyards and the varied work of the novices by Margaret Bourke-White. Date taken: October 1953

Carl Mydans, who also documented the Winter War from the Finnish side, took beautiful colour photographs of Venetian life in the 1940's.

This is adorable. A man is combing his girlfriend's hair in Italy, 1963. The photograph Paul Schutzer clearly enjoyed documenting Italian masculinity since there are many charming photographs of men doing nice things like dancing, mountain-climbing, relaxing or just goofing around. It is nice to rest one's eyes on those pictures after an overdose of full-colour Nazi and Fascist parades...
Tragically, Paul Schutzer was killed while covering the Six-Day War.

From peace to war, and to yet another war: This photo was taken in Khe Sanh, Vietnam, by Larry Burrows in 1968. The American soldier under siege is gently holding a native puppy. I hope they both got away alive; the photographer himself died while covering the invasion of Laos in 1971, when the helicopter he was flying in was shot down by North Vietnamese forces.

1 comment:

lotusgreen said...

wow -- this is really great! thanks!

i wonder what other archives they host.