John G. Morris 100th Birthday Party has been held on Sunday December 11, 2011, at his home in Paris, in which has been a milestone event to commemorate the century of the most influential picture editor ever, after an amazing photographic career throughout which he was Life magazine Hollywood correspondent, London Life magazine picture editor during Second World War, Executive Editor of Magnum Photos, Ladies´Home Journal photo editor, assistant managing editor for graphics of the Washington Post, picture editor for The New York Times and a Europe corresponding editor for National Geographic, so turning into the most experienced picture editor in the History of Photography.
This living legend of the photojournalism worked through many decades of the XX Century with the foremost photographers in the world: Henri-Cartier Bresson, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Robert Capa, Margaret Bourke-White, David Seymour Chim, Werner Bischof, Gjon Mili, Georg Rodger, Bob Landry, Ralph Morse, Carl Mydans, Elliot Elisofon, Hansel Mieth, Elliott Erwitt, Phillippe Halsman, Eugene Smith, Cornell Capa, Inge Morath, Dmitri Kessel, David Douglas Duncan, Fritz Goro, Myron Davies, George Silk, Peter Stackpole, John Florea, Hans Wild, Frank Scherschel, Dave Scherman, Ernst Haas, Lee Miller, Bill Vandivert, Ruth Orkin, Sol Libson, Esther Bubbley, Gordon Coster, Larry Burrows, Eve Arnold, Burt Glinn, Erich Hartmann, Dennis Stock, John Phillips, Erich Lessing, Marc Riboud, Kryn Taconis, Bill Snead, Ernies Sisto, Barton Silverman, Neal Boenzi, Edward Hausner, Jack Manning, Don Hogan Charles, Peter Magubane, Michel Laurent, Eddie Adams, Steve McCurry, David Turnley, Peter Turnley and many more.
His birthday has really been four days before, on Wednesday, December 7, 2016, but John G. Morris 100th Birthday Party has been scheduled for today December 11, 2016.
Many guests from all over the world (particularly from United States, Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Spain) have attended the event,
And among the roughly 95 attendees who filled John G. Morris´s home at the Paris III Arrondissement there has been a vast amount of recognized photographers, documentary movie producers, TV producers, editors-in-chief of magazines, journalists, filmmakers, writers and artists: Jane Evelyn Atwood, Amalie R. Rothschild, Mort Rosenblum, Barbara Nagelsmith, Joan Z. Shore, Riccardo Fisichella, Thomas Haley, Dimitri Beck, Cheryl Ann Bolden, Elisabeth Lortic, Dan Spigelman, Irene Walsh, Dragana Jurisic, Daphné Anglès, Jeffrey Schaeffer, Maya Vidon-White, Peter Brooks, Sonya K. Fry, Guillermo Altares, Hélene Grelou, Zachary Miller, and many others.
Besides, it must be highlighted the previous arrangement great work fulfilled by Mr John Morris (John G. Morris´s son) and his wife, John G. Morris´s grandsons and granddaughters and Riccardo Fisichella (John G Morris´s assistant, who has also worked with Martin Parr in New York, and a key factor during the making of My Century, the next autobiographic book written by John G. Morris on his lifetime as a picture editor and featuring stunningly lavish historical information on the myriad of photographers he met during his lifetime and sent on assignments, multitude of anecdotes, special events, defining instants of photojournalism, a number of exceedingly interesting stories, the usually difficult decisions which had to be quickly taken to publish iconic images, the exhausting hours before the deadlines to include the selected images and texts inside the magazines, the intricacies of the layouts along the many days spent envisaging the best way to visually enhance the pictures and making them match the texts and captions, etc.
Many of the pages of this exceptional book containing a slew of the best pictures made in XX Century were thoroughly prepared in advance before the party and projected during it on a screen through a laptop by Riccardo Fissichella, bringing about moments of unutterable relish among the guests, all of them lovers of timeless photojournalistic images.
Four days before, the guests to the party have been sent an email by the Morris Family explaining that John G. Morris has had to go to hospital, so he won´t be able to attend the open house party in his honor on Sunday December 11, 2016, and will spend his birthday in bed, though they hope that everybody goes to the event such as it had been scheduled to toast him and send him a birthday message.
They also report that if everything goes well, the guests might be able to share the occasion with him via Skype.
17:30 h in the evening.
The big lounge of John G. Morris´s home in Paris is already overcrowded with the guests, who in spite of the Maestro absence, have wished to be present to cheer him up and express the uncompromising love they all feel for him.
There can be seen among others Riccardo Fissichella (John G. Morris´s assistant, who has made a strenuous and praiseworthy labour in a number of sides to have the book My Century, written by John G. Morris and containing tons of gorgeously reproduced fundamental pictures of the XX Century as a photographic memoir particularly focused on those memorable photographs and the legendary photographers that made it , finished in time), Dimitri Beck (Director of Photography of Polka Magazine, currently one of the best illustrated publications in the world on photojournalism and featuring 236 pages), Amalie R. Rothschild (Producer of Anomaly Films and one of the most prolific photographers and movie producers ever regarding mythical concerts, singers, musical groups and social topics revealed through the lives of people in the arts), Irene Walsh, Elisabeth Lortic (one of the founders of Les Trois Ourses association in 1988) and Guillermo Altares (a highly versatile journalist working for El Pais Spanish newspaper, writing on a wide range of topics, having been editor-in-chief of that publication and its cultural supplement Babelia, as well as having formerly worked for Madrid France Press office)
Around 17:45 h in the evening.
Another area of the aforementioned lounge with a lot of guests chatting in a relaxed atmosphere. The event was a full-fledged meeting of John G. Morris´s friends and venue of a number of exceedingly interesting conversations.
There can be seen among others Jane Evelyn Atwood, a legendary photographer and one of the foremost embodiments of the development of long-term works focused on in-depth involvement with the human beings captured with the camera after a painstaking previous selection of the tackled projects.
Archetype of highly passionate concerned photographer and a woman featuring tremendous courage, mental strength and uncommon talent to get a rapport with the persons she photographs often in the most dangerous countries and contexts, her impressive 10 year project (1989-1999) Too Much Time on women in prison is one of the historical pinnacles in the scope of a reportage made throught many years exhausting up to the last drop of stamina, along with the project Minamata (1971-1975) by Eugene Smith.
Roughly 17:50 h in the evening.
The abundant quantity of guests arrived to celebrate John G. Morris´s 100th Birthday Party made that space for people had to be distributed before the lounge of the house and the legendary library.
Here we can see among others the photographer, videographer and writer Maya Vidon-White (working for U.S media and the Agence France-Press and featuring an experience of more than twenty years as a photojournalist who has covered different events like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during the first intifada in late eighties, the Somalia famine in 1992, the Hong-Kong handover to China in 1997, the riots in Jakarta and clashes in East Timor because of the economical crisis in 1997 and many others), Cheryl Ann Bolden ( American artist and curator, driving force of the itinerant Precious Cargo travelling museum devoted to the African Diaspora and the historical and social aftermath of slavery) and the Dublin based photojournalist Dragana Jurisic (author of The Lost Country, an excellent quickly sold out 112 pages photobook in 130 x 210 mm format, delving into the sequels of exile and displacement on memory and indentity from the viewpoint of an exile after the disintegration of Yugoslavia in 1991).
John Morris, John G. Morris´s son with the famous book Get the Picture written by his father and which has been published by the University of Chicago Press since 1998.
Albeit the book hasn´t been published yet, there are scads of hints clearly suggesting that John G. Morris and his assistant Riccardo Fisichella have made a herculean endeavour during 2015 and 2016 and have begotten a masterpiece work boasting more than 600 pages and including a very comprehensive assortment of the cream of XX Century pictures together with extensively detailed texts oozing very valuable information of all kind on plenty of subjects and the most preeminent photojournalist of the halcyon days of photojournalism, in addition to featuring new material not unveiled hitherto.
Her all-out efforts to utterly grasp the personality of her subjects, her relationship to them and the resulting mutual interaction irrespective of the necessary years to acomplish it, do beat in intensity Salvador Dali´s unswerving attempts throughout his lifetime to paint the electron and Werner Heisenberg´s Uncertainty Principle on canvas, and the extraordinary images of her project The Blind with which she attained the W. Eugene Smith Award in 1980 (and many of which were published in the book Extérierur Nuit in 1998) are probably the reference-class work of all time in this sphere together with René Burri´s reportage made at the Zurich-Morgenthal School for Deaf-Mute Children, and of which two of its images appeared on pages 302 and 303 in the July 1956 number of the legendary Swiss illustrated publication Camera magazine, one year after appearing in Life magazine with the title Touch of Music for the Deaf.
Such is her interest and passion for photography, particularly the one dealing with the concept of exclusion: surviving women of abuse, the immigration phenomenon, AIDS, the devastation of landmines in Angola, Mozambique, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Cambodia, death rows in penitentiaries and jails, aftermath of earthquakes, prostitutes and others, always managing to penetrate hidden environments often ignored or unknown by vast majority of society.
Her presence at the John G. Morris 100th Birthday Party in Paris was fairly meaningful.
As a matter of fact, she met John G. Morris in 1980, when she was awarded the first Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography, knows him well and four days before the December 11, 2016 John G.Morris 100th Birthday party in the French capital, she published an insightful article in L´Oeil de la Photographie titled John G. Morris at 100: Jane E. Atwood Tribute in which she underscored not only the virtues of John G. Morris as a great picture editor but his love for photographers, whom he has defended to his utmost being always loyal to them, the tragedies regarding his most beloved persons died from illness or killed in war that have steadily haunted his existence from his very beginnings in photojournalislm and his boundless humanity which has resulted in the true love and affection professed to him for those who have had the chance to meet him and be witness to his élan and verve on every conceivable aspect related to photography and photographers, his lifetime professional core.
Mort Rosenblum, a towering figure of the international journalism, featuring an amazing background of 50 years as a reporter, writer and educator.
Among the major prizes bestowed to him are: the Overseas Press Club Award for coverage of Romania and Czechoslovakia (1989), the Associated Press Managing Editors Annual Award for coverage of Africa (1990), the Associated Press Managing Editors Annual Award for coverage of water matters (2001), the Harry Chapin Media Award for coverage of water affairs (2001), the Associated Press Managing Editors Award for coverage of world water topics (2001) and eight Pulitzer Prize nominations.
After being a reporter for the Arizona Daily Star newspaper in Tucson between 1964 and 1965, his international career began working as an AP Central Africa correspondent in Kinshasha 1967-1968, two years after he joined Associated Press) when he was sent to cover the mercenary wars in Congo brought about by the secession of Katanga province, subsequently becoming AP West Africa correspondent in Lagos, Nigeria (1968-1970), AP Chief of Bureau in Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysa (1970-1973), AP Chief of Bureau in Argentina (1973-1976), Edward R. Murrow fellow in the New York Council of Foreign Relations (1976-1977), Chief of Bureau of Associated Press in Paris (1977-1979, Executive Editor of the International Herald Tribune in Paris (1979-1981) and Chief International Correspondent of the Associated Press (1981-2004), as well as having been a professor at the University of Arizona Journalism Department since 2005 and editor of Dispatches, an international affairs journal, since 2008.
Amalie R. Rothschild in conversation with a guest.
A renowned award winning filmmaker and photographer, Amalie R. Rothschild started her almost fifty years career in 1968 working as a freelance photographer in the musical field, making a sensation with her pictures being published in The New York Times, Newsweek, Time-Life Books, Life Magazine, The Village Voice, Rolling Stone, After Dark and many others, until in 1969 she became a member of the Joshua Light Show at the Fillmore East Theatre in New York as an expert in special effects photography, slides, graphics, films and film loops used during performances, and that same year she was on staff at the 1969 Woodstock Festival.
Her love for her trade, innate gift for capturing the gist of what happened on stage and backstage, huge talent and working ability to spare launched her meteoric progression, subsequently photographing the most important music events on the East Coast, including the 1969 Newport Festival, the Isle of Wight Festival and the 1969 and 1970 Tanglewood Festival, as well as the Who´s United States premiere of their rock opera Tommy, the Rolling Stones at the Madison Square Garden in November of 1969 and the six week Bob Dylan and The Band 1974 tour throughout January and February, getting pictures of them in 21 cities and 40 concerts with her Nikon F camera and Nikkor high speed primes.
This exceedingly genuine and unforgettable rock and roll tour, maybe the greatest in history (held in full winter of 1974 and with performances all over United States often under freezing temperatures with massive devoted audiences), made a deep impression on Amalie R. Rothschild, fostering even more her enthralment for live concerts and the sphere of rock music.
Not in vain, she had already made with a 24 x 36 mm format Nikon F camera coupled to a 5 elements in 3 groups Non-Ai Nikkor-P 105 mm f/2.5 Auto telephoto lens an excellent black and white head and right shoulder picture of Bob Dylan on the stage in 1969 in the Isle of Wight which was published in full page in the number 43 of the Rolling Stone magazine of October 4, 1969, and in 1972 Bobbs-Merrill publisher from Indianapolis had dedicated 30 pages to her work in their book The Photography of Rock.
She had previously got a BFA in Graphic Design from Rhode Island School in 1967, studied photography in 1968 with Harry Morey Callahan ( a disciple of Lászlo Mohóly-Nagy, National Medal of Arts in 1966, driven by an innovative impulse, enthusiast of making proof prints of the best negatives and a wizard of the use of chemical emulsions in both small and large formats, different photographic techniques with multiple exposures, creative bokehs and others aimed at enhancing lines, shape, light and darkness, he was a seminal figure in the bringing of photography into the art world) and with Paul Caponigro in 1969 while obtaining her MFA in Film Production from New York University´s Institute of Film and Television.
She was probably along with Jim Marshall the photographer who got pictures of more prominent figures in the golden era of rock and roll, and among the personalities and bands of this field photographed by her stand out Chuck Berry, The Beach Boys, James Brown, Joe Cocker, Eric Clapton, Ray Charles, Miles Davies, Bob Dylan, Roberta Flack, Dizzie Gillespie, Jimi Hendrix, Jethro Tull, Mick Jagger, Elton John, B.B.King, John Lennon, Jerry Lee Lewis, Thelonious Monk, Moody Blues, Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones, Santana, Nina Simone, Rod Stewart, Tina Turner, The Who, Neil Young, Frank Zappa and many others, nowadays keeping on making gorgeous prints of them on photographic paper in traditional darkroom.
She was one of the original founders of New Dat Film self-distribution cooperative in 1971 and has received a number of production grants like the American Film Institute Independent Filmmaker grant in 1973; the National Endowment for the Arts 1977, 1978, 1980, 1985 and 1987; the New York State Council on the Arts in 1978 and 1987; the Pinewood Foundation in 1978; the Ohio Joint Program in the Arts and Humanities in 1985, and in 2007 she won an award for its pioneering role in autobiographical cinema at the Biografilm Festival in Bologna (Italy).
And in July 2002, Amalie R. Rothschild´s picture of Tina Turner and Janis Joplin singing together was given as a gift to President Clinton and exhibited in the Music Room of the White House.
Thomas Haley, Barbara Nagelsmith and another guest inside John G. Morris´s famous library during the 100th Birthday Party in Paris.
Barbara Nagelsmith was for twenty-three years photo editor in the Paris Bureau of Time Magazine and also assistant to the French publisher Robert Delpire in the magazine Special Photo and sime photographic projects, in addition to having participated in the World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass.
She currently one of the foremost experts in the world in picture editing as well as a recognized writer on photography, organizer of workshops, curator of photographic exhibitions (some of them landmark ones like Murs held in Pont de la Machine, Geneva, Switzerland, between November 9, 2009 and January 31, 2010, with pictures of Larry Towell, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Peter Marlow, Michael Yamashita, Moises Saman, Chris Anderson, Macduff Everton, Henk Kruger, Tony Suau, Ron Haviv, Peter Boer, Shai Kremer, Tomas Muscionico, Frédéric Sautereu, Stéphane Duroy, Sean Hemmerle, Ad van Denderen and Ron Haviv) and editor of photographic books.
A self-made woman featuring a tremendous love for photography, all kind of illustrated books and children´s books, she began her career teaching art in elementary schools, until becoming a picture reasearcher while working for some publishing houses in New York, London and Paris.
A highly experienced photographer who has travelled worldwide while doing his assignments, he features a stunning background of almost forty years both as a photojournalist and documentary film maker since he worked as a photo researcher for Magnum Agency New York and Paris between 1979 and 1982, subsequently becoming a photographer for Visions Photo Agency, after which he met Göksin Sipahioglu (Legion d´Honneur France 2007, one of the most important figures in the History of Photojournalism, father and mentor of many great current photojournalists and a great enthusiast of basketball who founded the Efes Pilsen team and created the groundwork for the future thriving Turkish basketball churning out franchise players like Hidayet Türkoglu, Ibrahim Kutluay, Ersan Ilyasova, Mehmet Okur, Enes Kanter, Ömer Asik and others), beginning his relationship with Sipa Press Agency covering international news, which would last until Le Grand Turc´s death on October 5, 2011.
On the other hand, Thomas Haley was commissioned in 1997 by the United Nations Drug Control Program to make the photographic project Drug Abuse in South Asia, after which was hired by Danone in 2008-2009 to implement Danone Annual Reports and give birth to the eleven minutes multimedia production Believe in Your Dreams, following in 2012 with the start of his collaboration with Mediapart aimed at the realization of multimedia content.
During his long photojournalistic career, Thomas Haley has regularly worked with the most important news magazines (GEO, Life, Figaro Magazine and many others) which have published a number of photographs taken by him.
In addition, he has shot a lot of documentary movies.
A man sporting a broad photographic and artistic education (he studied photography at Oregon University between 1971 and 1973, at the Université de París-Sorbonne in 1974, Art History at the American College in Paris during 1975-1976 and New York University Film School), Thomas Haley has received a number of awards during his extensive professional career: Pictures of the Year Award (POY) 1982 for British Butler School published in GEO magazine, 1984 World Press Award for Bhopal Victim published in Newsweek, 1987 Picture of the Year Award for Seoul Demonstration published in Time, 2006 Pris Special dy Jury, Prix Paris Match for Bosnie + 10, 2010 Grant from CNC for the web documentary project Facts on the Ground, 2013 First Prize for his short documentary American Dreamer at the Visions du Réel Film Festival, Nyon.
Thomas Haley has been one of the standard-bearers of a philosophy brought into being by the genius photojournalist Göksin Sipahioglu (in a time when Sipa, Gamma and Sigma, three Paris-based agencies, were the spearhead of the best international photojournalism during seventies, eighties and nineties), a visionary who had a unique nose for the news, an outstanding knowledge of the photographic market circumstances and helped to launch the starting careers of great photojournalists like Abbas, Maggie Steber, Reza, Luc Delahaye, Patrick Chauvel, Nina Berman (World Press Photo Award Winning photographer of the 2005 and 2007 photo contest) , Olivier Jobard and others, as well as managing to attract top-of-the-line photojournalists excelling in the coverage of wars, disasters and turmoil milieus all over the world and whose labour was strengthened with the hiring of gifted photo editors like Geoffrey Hiller, Jim Colton, Sue Brisk and Robert Dannin (the latter would be director of Magnum Photos Inc between 1985 and 1990),
Detail of a section of John G. Morris´s famous library showing a shelf with books on Robert Doisneau, Leonard Free, Robert Capa and Martine Franck.
John G. Morris´s knowledge on the History of Photography, photojournalism and the traits of all and each one of the photographers with whom he worked was truly tremendous, in the same way as his prodigious memory enabling him to remember everything since mid twenties hitherto down to the very last detail.
" He really knew the personality of each photographer, he knew what each assignment would entail, so he always chose the best photographer to do things " Bobbi Baker Burrows (Photo Editor for Life magazine throughout more than 30 years and presently Life Books Photo Editor and Member of the Board of Directors of the Eddie Adams Workshop).
Another detail of a different section of John G. Morris´s library showing a shelf with some books on Magnum stories and the birth of the prestigious photographic agency (founded by Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, David Seymour Chim, Georg Rodger and William Vandivert in 1947 as a photographic cooperative owned by its photographer members and with a powerful individual vision ), of which he was executive director between 1952 and 1961.
" Testimony and creation were the starting principles of the agency, and their claim by creating Magnum Agency was to stay free, to be able to act as an author " Andrea Holzherr (Magnum Exibition Manager).
Detail of a further section of John G. Morris library with a shelf containing books on Gordon Parks, Man Ray, David Seymour Chim and Eugene Smith.
Irene Walsh, Board Member of The Collection Trust (the professional association for collections management established in 1977 and which since then has worked worldwide with museums, galleries and archives to improve the management and use of their collections) writing some words of encouragement to John G. Morris in the guests book, while Peter Brooks (Sterling Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature at Yale University, who has been teaching at Princeton University Center for Human Values and the Department of Comparative Literature since 2008 as an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Scholar) introduces two other guests who are shaking hands.
Irene Walsh is an experienced financial advisor to governments and corporates in the development of infrastructure projects, who based in New York and London over the last thirty years, has held senior positions at J.P.Morgan, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), KPMG Corporate Finance, USB and Deloitte Corporate Finance.
She holds degrees from Harvard University´s Kennedy School of Government and George Washington University, also being a great enthusiast of art and photography who is presently earning an MA in Beaux and Decorative Art from the London Sotheby´s Institute of Art and her labour throughout the last three decades has been instrumental in the development, promotion, maintaining and improving the standards of collections and information management in museums, art galleries, heritage organizations and other collecting institutions, providing know-how and pioneering new ideas, as well as bringing experts together.
Daphné Anglès, European Picture Coordinator and Bureau Manager of the New York Times in Paris.
She was Secretary of the Annual World Press Photo Jury between 2009 and 2013 and has been a member of photojournalism juries such as Visa pour L´Image, Bayeux Award for War Correspondents, Yves Rocher Foundation Photo Award, Canon Award for Female Photojournalists, Prix Lucas Dolega de la Ville de Paris, the International Red Cross Committee Award, Czech Press Photo, Bulgarian Press Photo, Belarus Press Photo Award, Estaçao Imagem, Humanitarian Visa d´Or ICRC, International Sportsfolio Award, AFD Photo Contest and others, also being a portfolio reviewer at Les Rencontres d´Arles, Visa pour L´Image, Hamburg Trienale, Lens Culture FotoFest and others, in addition to having developed an intensive activity as curator of photography exhibitions at Galerie Dupont in Paris and as a teacher of the Editing and Visual Storytelling masterclass at the Lucca Photolux Festival (Tuscany, Italy).
The filmmaker, movie cameraman and editor Gabriel Moscovitz from Atlanta, United States (in the lower right area of the image) talking to some guests.
In spite of his youth (he is only 36 years old), he´s gleaned a lot of experience through taking part in the shooting of films like the impressive Outcast Forever, directed by DeVaughn Hughson. produced by Jason Staten and with a great direction of photography by De Vaughn Hughson and himself, enhancing the power and impact of the footage with high contrast black and white gorgeous images.
He is also the director of BTS ATL, a movie making firm in Atlanta (Georgia) specialized in the genesis of documentary films and reality based creative content, working wirh highly experienced professionals in the sphere of sound, editing, camera handling, special effects, etc, which has made hitherto short commercials for Adidas Training and RGIII, Celebrity Solstice cruiser, American singer Usher Confessions fourth studio album, Festival Flea Market in Miami, the Joint Snelville place aiming at improving quality of life through routine chiropractice care, and others.
Joan Z. Shore, a Paris-based journalist, author and lecturer, currently a columnist of the Huffington Post, providing it with more than a hundred articles until now.
She is an internationally acclaimed writer born in New York City, though has spent most of her life in Europe and was Paris correspondent for CBS News for a decade during seventies (even doing some television reports on important topics for the Evening News with Walter Cronkite), and has contributed to The Wall Street Journal, Voice of America, CNN, The International Herald Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, the Associated Press, UPI, Conde-Nast publications, Boomer Times & Senior Life Florida and Scotland on Sunday among others.
During her previous ten years living in Belgium she founded ViVART! (a top-notch art curatorial service and was staff writer for The Brussels Times, English language correspondent and commentator for Belgium´s RTB radio and Features Editor of the weekñy magazine Brussels Bulletin.
She is likewise a recognized art critic with solid background in history and architecture (she graduated from Vassar College, New York, majoring in both of them) and a remarkable interior design expert who won the Vogue Prix de Paris and earned a certification from the New York School of Interior Design, as well as a scholarship from the Fashion Institute of Technology.
Often self-defined as a newsperson, Joan Z. Shore is for all intents and purposes a multitalented writer for radio and television, whose activity raison d´etre is mostly hinged on a keynote of inspiration balanced with curiosity aplenty, and a journalist with a very deep discernment on international politics, social subjects, French culture, art in its manifold expressions, economy, as well as an unwavering love for cuisine, proximity to water and becoming spellbound on watching the architecture of Pompidou Centre, etc, besides featuring a great acumen on human psychology.
And throughout her more than forty years of professional career she has interviewed such characters like Leonard Bernstein, François Mitterrand, Valéry Giscard d´Estaign, Jacques Chirac, Nancy Reagan,
She has also written some very interesting books, among them the landmark ones Saging-How to Grow Older and Wiser (2000) dealing on helpful attitudes in life including to avoid doldrums with age and Red Burgundy (2011), a novel presenting the readers with a wealth of information on French language and culture, together with a once in a lifetime culinary experience and an adamant immersion in fabulous wines, intriguing characters, mouthwatering recipes and description of the beautiful French landscapes.
Jim Bitterman (CNN European correspondent) talking to Jeffrey Schaeffer (senior producer of the Paris bureau of Associated Press Television News and columnist on a wide range of topics).
On the left of the image is Talia Moscovitz, John G. Morris´s granddaughter, who made a commendable work throughout the whole party, constantly paying attention to every detail to help the guests and fulfilling a painstaking previous organization of the event along with John G. Morris´s son and his two grandsons.
Talia Moscovitz features a remarkable background as a media artist, curator, photography researcher, visual artist, writer, editor and self publisher of exhibition catalogues, as well as experience in the scopes of galleries management and contemporary documentary photography.
Her work has been displayed in Atlanta, Boston, Accra and Dublin.
She is currently Magnum Photos Consultant for the project management and development of Education activity in the United States, having produced two Magnum Education workshops events in Los Angeles (California) and Austin (Texas), and has exhibited as a curator and photographer in Dublin, Edinburgh and Glasgow, in addition to working professionally for the Institute of Contemporary Art in London, the British Film Institute´s London Film Festival, the Frieza London and New York Art Fairs, among other prominent galleries and arts organizations.
On the other hand, she possesses a distinctive flair and savvy for the development of all kind of artistic projects and edition of exhibitions publications, keeping low budgets without reducing quality and subsequently undertaking foresighted marketing strategies aimed at optimizing profitability.
Talia Moscovitz is a Northeastern University Boston Massachussets B.A in International Affairs and Art (2001-2006) and Edinburgh College of Art at University of Edinburgh MFA with Distinction Honours in Contemporary Art Theory and Visual Culture (2012).
Dimitri Beck, Editor-in-Chief and Director of Photography of Paris-based Polka magazine and member of the International Jury of the Leica Oskar Barnack Award / Newcomer Award.
Having been preceded by the foundation of Polka Gallery in 2007, photojournalistic Polka magazine´s main goal has been to promote photography through a powerful focus on visual storytelling in synergy with the support to photographers when it comes to selling their pictures.
Something almost heroic in a current world ruled by the tremendous technological progress and in which the speed of transmission is most times given absolute priority, frequently at the expense of the quality of the images, the accuracy and veracity of the information, the lack of a wise selection of photographs, the absence of good picture editors and their very important relationship with photojournalists and the input of professional photographers often underestimated by some shareholding bosses of the media and newspapers who lack knowledge and experience on image impact, subtleties and messages conveyed, don´t care a bit about photography and good pictures and are only interested in money, in addition to shameful drops in the payment for the assignments to photojournalists (who are increasingly asked to also do video recordings for the same "price", and if they have a drone of course bought by themselves, far better) risking their lives, as well as the nowadays "fashionable habit" of preferring anybody living in the specific area of the world to get the pictures for misery salaries or even free, sending the photographs through email. WeTransfer or FTP in exchange of their names and their blogs titles appearing in the credits than paying fair prices to professional photographers, something that has regrettably become mainstream in editorial groups of different countries and continents all over the world, always with a common aim: to pay as little as possible to the good photographers or even better to bypass them, to such an extent that during the last ten years a lot of professional photojournalists had to begin their careers putting werewithal of their own to travel abroad and be able to make their assignments under precarious and stressful conditions, though it is true that the interest of people for photobooks and the work of good photographers has had a tremendous surge throughout recent years and is steadily turning into a very interesting economical parallel alternative.
As a matter of fact, by dint of strenuous effort, passion for photography, taking of risks and the creation of a great team integrating highly experienced professionals in the sphere of photographic image, visual communication, printing, image analysis, picture editing and others and a huge effort spanning nine years, Polka magazine has become an international benchmark of quality, preserving its independence, authenticity and fundamental keynote of photography as a haptic entity on paper tooth and nail, with a really top-notch content whose cornerstone are the superb photographic stories, interviews and illustrated articles it features, simultaneously having been successful in the attaining of utter trust by such firms like Cartier, Luois Vuitton, Chanel, Guerlain, Woodford Reserve, Leica, Sony, Nikon, Hermès, HP, Huawei, Lexus, Louis Roederer, Bulgari, Fujifilm, BMW, Panasonic, Asus, Tamron, Sigma, Swarovski Optik, Samsung and others which announce in Polka magazine in full page, double page and even different full pages, knowing the prestige and profitability it delivers.
This is an amazing accomplishment which can be undoubtedly defined as a feat, particularly if we bear in mind that it has been fullfilled in less than ten years, in the midst of very difficult times for the photoreportages, with far-reaching changes in the photojournalistic industry and a more than massive volume of millions and millions of daily images all over the world unleashed by the arrival of digital photography.
The proof is in the pudding: the Life magazine number of November 5, 1945 (in the heydays of photojournalism, when there wasn´t TV and it had a run of 2 million worldwide copies) with extraordinary cover picture made by Eileen Darby in Central Park capturing unaware, at point blank range from a perpendicular position, using her 2 1/4 x 2 1 /4 medium format Rolleiflex camera with Zeiss Tessar 75 mm f/3.5 lens and Kodak Super-XX black and white film the American sailor Calvin Matthews from the U.S.S Portland returned from the Pacific War, sitting at the table of a coffee shop terrace and drinking soda, featured 39 full page advertisements of different firms, while the number 36 of Polka magazine holds 35 full pages of advertisements of very important firms.
It does confirm that there´s nowadays space for a painstakingly made and top class illustrated photojournalistic publication, a very interesting amount of discerning readers having a penchant for real quality and awesome photographic essays and texts, and that Polka magazine has turned into a highly influential niche in itself and has even been about to reach the figure of full page advertisements made sixty-one years ago by one of the most sold numbers of the legendary Life magazine which also included a 17 page portfolio titled War Photographers with a choice of the best U.S war photographers during the Second World War: Carl Mydans, Robert Capa, George Strock, George Silk, W. Eugene Smith, Vernard Hoffman, J.R.Eyerman, David Scherman, Margaret Bourke-White, William Shrout, Myron Davies, Peter Stackpole, Eliot Elisofon, John Phillips, William Vandivert, John Florea, Ralph Morse, Frank Scherschel, Georg Rodger, Robert Landry and Dmitri Kessel,
First two pages of the article written by Dimitri Beck in number 36 of Polka magazine November/December/January outlining the most significant traits of My Century, a new autobiographic book by John G. Morris containing more than 600 pages and in which his author delivers his vision of modern photojournalism with a work going far beyond the already acclaimed Get the Picture book (published by Chicago Press Library in 1998 and in France by Editions La Martinière in 1999 with images from archives), particularly in two sides: a much higher figure of pictures (many of them among the most important images in the history of photography and reproduced with a top-notch quality), setting up a one of a kind visual diary, telling his life and his profession with photographs and a lot of very interesting stories which took place since he started working as a photo editor for Life in 1938.
In this book, John G. Morris and his assistant the photographer Riccardo Fisichella have made a strenuous effort during 2015 and 2016 to go ahead with this colossal work in which thousands of hours had to be spent on research, designing of the layouts, selection of the images, choice of the pictures sizes, preparation of the texts, captions of the photographs and many other things.
On the other hand, this superb and historical number 36 of the quarterly Polka magazine (currently among the best five illustrated publications in the world on photography, with nothing less than 236 pages, an excellent quality of paper, dazzling reproduction of the pictures with impressive colour precision and tonal range attained with black and white images and commendable level of detail in both low key and high key areas even in photographs taken with scarce available light, admirable portfolios of noteworthy photographers, surveys on photobooks launched into market, interviews with personalities of the photographic sphere, essays on photographic topics with in-depth texts providing lavish information) also features an extraordinary 40 page portfolio with the cream of the crop pictures made by the colour wizard Joel Meyerowitz throughout his professional career, a gorgeous black and white portfolio titled Retour Vers L´Enfer with an assortment of inedit pictures made by Sebastiao Salgado in Kuwait during the Gulf War of 1991 accompanied by an insightful text by Thierry Grillet, a reportage by Souvid Datta on Calcuta brothels with text by Manon Moreau, a 12 page portfolio with a medley of black and white and colour images created by William Klein in Paris titled Paris Les Terrasses de Klein, a compelling eight page photoreportage made by Deanne Fitzmaurice titled Saleh Coeur de Lion with pictures of the 9 years old Iraqui boy Saleh who was about to be killed by a bomb in 2003 and was sent to United States where ha managed to survive and recover from the terrible wounds he suffered all over his body, and a ten page photoreportage titled Sur Le Chemin Étroit Des Mennonites made by Jordi Busqué to the Mennonnite community in Bolivia with impactful images unveiling the commendable degree of intimacy and empathy attained by the photographer while living with these people.
Cheryl Ann Bolden talking to Amalie R. Rothschild.
Cheryl Ann Bolden is an American independent artist and curator of museums featuring a long experience in the management of cultural institutions.
Her most important task so forth has been the creation and development of the itinerant Precious Cargo Museum, devoted to the African Diaspora and the historical and social aftermath of slavery, and whose trove of more than five hundred works has been exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum of London and the Berlin´s Amerika Haus.
She is a world-class authority regarding the Afro-American culture and heritage who learned Art History working as a guide at the Phillips Collection and the Textile Museum in Washington, D.C, after which she went to China in 1981 to get the knack of ancient medicine, subsequently travelling to Western Australia to acquire proficiency in weaving and textile arts, completing her formation studying at the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design in Washington, D.C. and opened her first gallery in Charlotteville (Virginia) in 1984, displaying her artistic clothes and jewels for the first time, together with the historical objects he had gathered for years and pictures of her great aunt´s great aunt.
Cover of the book My Century with a picture of John G. Morris made in 1953 by Henri Cartier-Bresson at his apartment in rue de Lisbonne, Paris.
Text and Photos: José Manuel Serrano Esparza