[BOURKE-WHITE, Margaret] A Collection of Light Original Stills from some of her more Recognised Photographs. Including the famous front cover of the first Issue of Life Magazine. They include: (a) Plough Blades 1929; (b) International Harvester 1933; (c) Louisville Flood Victims 1937; (d) Head of North Korean Soldier 1952; (e) Wheat Field & Smoke Stacks 1930; (f) Fort Peck Dam, Montana 1936. * First Cover of Life Magazine; (g) Gold Miners, South Africa 1950; (h) Protective Pattern, Walsh Co. 1954; As photographs, w.a.f. (8)
Margaret Bourke-White was a photojournalist, particularly know for her ‘Life Magazine work’. She is recognized as having been the first female documentary photographer to be accredited by and work with the U.S armed forces.
Margaret White attended Columbia University in the mid 1920’s. During that period she took up photography, first as a hobby and then, after leaving Columbia on a professional freelance basis. She combined her own last name with her mother’s maiden name (Bourke – of County Sligo) to create her hyphenated professional name. She later gained a reputation for originality, and in 1929, publisher Henry Luce hired her for ‘Fortune Magazine’. In 1930 Fortune sent Bourke-White to photograph the Krupp Iron Works in Germany, and she continued to photograph the First Five-Year Plan in the Soviet Union. Her photograph of Montana’s Fort Peck Dam was featured on the cover of ‘Life Magazine’ first issue in 1936, and used in the feature story of the first issue.
Working directly with the U.S. armed forces, Bourke-White covered World War II for ‘Life’. While crossing the Atlantic to North Africa, her transport ship was torpedoed and sunk, but Bourke-White survived to cover the bitter daily struggle of the Allied infantrymen in the Italian campaign. Toward the end of the war, she crossed the Rhine River into Germany with General George Patton’s Third Army troops. Her photographs of the emaciated inmates of concentration camps and of the corpses in gas chambers stunned the world.
After World War II Bourke-White travelled to India to photograph Mohandas Gandhi and record the mass migration caused by the division of the Indian subcontinent into Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan. During the Korean War she worked as a war correspondent and travelled with South Korean troops.
Stricken with Parkinson disease in 1952, Bourke-White continued to photograph, write and published several books on her work as well as her autobiography. She retired from ‘Life Magazine’ in 1969.