W. Eugene Smith

The Art of History
May 25 - August 1, 2008
Selected Works Thumbnail View
Spanish Village, Guardia Civil, 1950 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed no later than 1960 12 1/2 x 15 1/4 inchesSpanish Village, Guardia Civil, 1950 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed no later than 1960 12 1/2 x 15 1/4 inches

Spanish Village, Guardia Civil, 1950
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed no later than 1960
12 1/2 x 15 1/4 inches

Spanish Village, Spanish Wake, 1950 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed no later than 1960 11 x 16 1/4 inches  Spanish Village, Spanish Wake, 1950 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed no later than 1960 11 x 16 1/4 inches  
Spanish Village, Spanish Wake, 1950
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed no later than 1960
11 x 16 1/4 inches
 
Spanish Village, 1950 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed no later than 1960 13 1/2 x 10 inches  Spanish Village, 1950 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed no later than 1960 13 1/2 x 10 inches  
Spanish Village, 1950
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed no later than 1960
13 1/2 x 10 inches
 
Spanish Village, 1950 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed no later than 1960 12 1/2 x 9 1/2 inches  Spanish Village, 1950 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed no later than 1960 12 1/2 x 9 1/2 inches  
Spanish Village, 1950
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed no later than 1960
12 1/2 x 9 1/2 inches
 
Spanish Village, 1950 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed no later than 1960 13 1/2 x 10 1/4 inches  Spanish Village, 1950 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed no later than 1960 13 1/2 x 10 1/4 inches  
Spanish Village, 1950
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed no later than 1960
13 1/2 x 10 1/4 inches
 
Spanish Village, 1950 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed no later than 1960 13 1/4 x 9 inches  Spanish Village, 1950 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed no later than 1960 13 1/4 x 9 inches  
Spanish Village, 1950
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed no later than 1960
13 1/4 x 9 inches
 
Spanish Village, 1950 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed no later than 1960 13 3/8 x 9 1/4 inches  Spanish Village, 1950 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed no later than 1960 13 3/8 x 9 1/4 inches  
Spanish Village, 1950
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed no later than 1960
13 3/8 x 9 1/4 inches
 
Spanish Village, 1950 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed no later than 1960 13 3/8 x 9 5/8 inches  Spanish Village, 1950 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed no later than 1960 13 3/8 x 9 5/8 inches  
Spanish Village, 1950
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed no later than 1960
13 3/8 x 9 5/8 inches
 
Spanish Village, 1950 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed no later than 1960 13 1/2 x 10 inches  Spanish Village, 1950 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed no later than 1960 13 1/2 x 10 inches  
Spanish Village, 1950
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed no later than 1960
13 1/2 x 10 inches
 
Spanish Village, 1950 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed no later than 1960 13 1/2 x 9 3/4 inches  Spanish Village, 1950 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed no later than 1960 13 1/2 x 9 3/4 inches  
Spanish Village, 1950
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed no later than 1960
13 1/2 x 9 3/4 inches
 
Spanish Village, 1950 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed no later than 1960 9 3/4 x 13 1/2 inches  Spanish Village, 1950 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed no later than 1960 9 3/4 x 13 1/2 inches  
Spanish Village, 1950
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed no later than 1960
9 3/4 x 13 1/2 inches
 
Pittsburgh, Dream Street, 1955-56 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1955-56 20 x 24 inchesPittsburgh, Dream Street, 1955-56 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1955-56 20 x 24 inches
Pittsburgh, Dream Street, 1955-56
Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1955-56
20 x 24 inches
Reign of Chemistry, Monsanto, Laundry Detergent Production, 1953 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1953 20 x 24 inchesReign of Chemistry, Monsanto, Laundry Detergent Production, 1953 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1953 20 x 24 inches
Reign of Chemistry, Monsanto, Laundry Detergent Production, 1953
Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1953
20 x 24 inches
Spanish Village, The Spinner, 1950 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1950 22 1/2 x 16 1/4 inchesSpanish Village, The Spinner, 1950 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1950 22 1/2 x 16 1/4 inches
Spanish Village, The Spinner, 1950
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1950
22 1/2 x 16 1/4 inches
Early Work, Harlem Congaroo, c. 1938 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1938 20 x 16 inchesEarly Work, Harlem Congaroo, c. 1938 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1938 20 x 16 inches
Early Work, Harlem Congaroo, c. 1938
Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1938
20 x 16 inches
Early Work, Loan Shark Victims, c. 1940 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1940 20 x 16 inchesEarly Work, Loan Shark Victims, c. 1940 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1940 20 x 16 inches
Early Work, Loan Shark Victims, c. 1940
Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1940
20 x 16 inches
Charlie Chaplin, 1952 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1952 16 x 20 inchesCharlie Chaplin, 1952 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1952 16 x 20 inches
Charlie Chaplin, 1952
Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1952
16 x 20 inches
Metropolitan Opera, Backstage at the Met, 1952 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1952 20 x 24 inchesMetropolitan Opera, Backstage at the Met, 1952 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1952 20 x 24 inches
Metropolitan Opera, Backstage at the Met, 1952
Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1952
20 x 24 inches
Frank Sinatra, c. 1947-51 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1947-51 20 x 24 inchesFrank Sinatra, c. 1947-51 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1947-51 20 x 24 inches
Frank Sinatra, c. 1947-51
Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1947-51
20 x 24 inches
The Loft From Inside In (Salvador Dali and two young women), c. 1957-68 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1957-68 16 x 20 inchesThe Loft From Inside In (Salvador Dali and two young women), c. 1957-68 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1957-68 16 x 20 inches
The Loft From Inside In (Salvador Dali and two young women), c. 1957-68
Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1957-68
16 x 20 inches
Bob Dylan, c. 1965 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1965 16 x 20 inchesBob Dylan, c. 1965 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1965 16 x 20 inches
Bob Dylan, c. 1965
Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1965
16 x 20 inches
The Loft From Inside In (Couple on Couch), c. 1957-68 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1957-68 16 x 20 inchesThe Loft From Inside In (Couple on Couch), c. 1957-68 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1957-68 16 x 20 inches
The Loft From Inside In (Couple on Couch), c. 1957-68
Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1957-68
16 x 20 inches
Death of Gus-Gus, 1953 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1953 4 1/4 x 6 1/2 inchesDeath of Gus-Gus, 1953 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1953 4 1/4 x 6 1/2 inches
Death of Gus-Gus, 1953
Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1953
4 1/4 x 6 1/2 inches
A Man of Mercy, Albert Schweitzer, 1954 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1954 20 x 24 inchesA Man of Mercy, Albert Schweitzer, 1954 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1954 20 x 24 inches
A Man of Mercy, Albert Schweitzer, 1954
Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1954
20 x 24 inches
Hands in Stockade, Africa, 1954 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1954 6 3/8 x 9 3/8 inchesHands in Stockade, Africa, 1954 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1954 6 3/8 x 9 3/8 inches
Hands in Stockade, Africa, 1954
Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1954
6 3/8 x 9 3/8 inches
A Man of Mercy, Albert Schweitzer, 1954 Gelatin silver print, printed later 7 3/4 x 6 inchesA Man of Mercy, Albert Schweitzer, 1954 Gelatin silver print, printed later 7 3/4 x 6 inches
A Man of Mercy, Albert Schweitzer, 1954
Gelatin silver print, printed later
7 3/4 x 6 inches
Haiti, Mad Eyes, 1958-59 Gelatin silver print, printed later 8 3/4 x 11 3/4 inchesHaiti, Mad Eyes, 1958-59 Gelatin silver print, printed later 8 3/4 x 11 3/4 inches
Haiti, Mad Eyes, 1958-59
Gelatin silver print, printed later
8 3/4 x 11 3/4 inches
A Man of Mercy, Albert Schweitzer, 1954 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1954 20 x 24 inchesA Man of Mercy, Albert Schweitzer, 1954 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1954 20 x 24 inches
A Man of Mercy, Albert Schweitzer, 1954
Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1954
20 x 24 inches
Haiti, 1958-59 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1958-59 20 x 24 inchesHaiti, 1958-59 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1958-59 20 x 24 inches
Haiti, 1958-59
Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1958-59
20 x 24 inches
World War II, Iwo Jima, Sticks and Stones, 1945 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1945 16 x 20 inchesWorld War II, Iwo Jima, Sticks and Stones, 1945 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1945 16 x 20 inches
World War II, Iwo Jima, Sticks and Stones, 1945
Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1945
16 x 20 inches
Early Work, Dog Training, c. 1940 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1940 16 x 20 inchesEarly Work, Dog Training, c. 1940 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1940 16 x 20 inches
Early Work, Dog Training, c. 1940
Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1940
16 x 20 inches
World War II, Okinawa, 1954 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1954 16 x 20 inchesWorld War II, Okinawa, 1954 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1954 16 x 20 inches
World War II, Okinawa, 1954
Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1954
16 x 20 inches
World War II, Saipan, 1944 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1960s 18 x 13 1/2 inchesWorld War II, Saipan, 1944 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1960s 18 x 13 1/2 inches
World War II, Saipan, 1944
Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1960s
18 x 13 1/2 inches
World War II, Saipan, 1944 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1944 16 x 20 inchesWorld War II, Saipan, 1944 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1944 16 x 20 inches
World War II, Saipan, 1944
Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1944
16 x 20 inches
World War II, Marshall Islands, Burial at Sea, 1944 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1960s 16 x 20 inchesWorld War II, Marshall Islands, Burial at Sea, 1944 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1960s 16 x 20 inches
World War II, Marshall Islands, Burial at Sea, 1944
Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1960s
16 x 20 inches
World War II, Okinawa, Terry Moore, 1945 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1945 16 x 20 inchesWorld War II, Okinawa, Terry Moore, 1945 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1945 16 x 20 inches
World War II, Okinawa, Terry Moore, 1945
Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1945
16 x 20 inches
Nurse Midwife, Maude Callen, 1951 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1951 16 x 20 inchesNurse Midwife, Maude Callen, 1951 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1951 16 x 20 inches
Nurse Midwife, Maude Callen, 1951
Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1951
16 x 20 inches
Country Doctor, 1948 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1948 16 x 20 inchesCountry Doctor, 1948 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1948 16 x 20 inches
Country Doctor, 1948
Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1948
16 x 20 inches
Nurse Midwife, Maude Callen, 1951 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1951 16 x 20 inchesNurse Midwife, Maude Callen, 1951 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1951 16 x 20 inches
Nurse Midwife, Maude Callen, 1951
Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1951
16 x 20 inches
Ku Klux Klan, 1951 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1951 13 1/4 x 9 1/2 inchesKu Klux Klan, 1951 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1951 13 1/4 x 9 1/2 inches
Ku Klux Klan, 1951
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1951
13 1/4 x 9 1/2 inches
Ku Klux Klanmen, 1951 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1951 16 x 20 inchesKu Klux Klanmen, 1951 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1951 16 x 20 inches
Ku Klux Klanmen, 1951
Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1951
16 x 20 inches
Ku Klux Klan, 1951 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1951 20 x 24 inchesKu Klux Klan, 1951 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1951 20 x 24 inches
Ku Klux Klan, 1951
Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1951
20 x 24 inches
Nurse Midwife, Maude Callen, 1951 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1951 16 x 20 inchesNurse Midwife, Maude Callen, 1951 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1951 16 x 20 inches
Nurse Midwife, Maude Callen, 1951
Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1951
16 x 20 inches
A Man of Mercy, Albert Schweitzer, 1954 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1954 16 x 20 inchesA Man of Mercy, Albert Schweitzer, 1954 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1954 16 x 20 inches
A Man of Mercy, Albert Schweitzer, 1954
Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1954
16 x 20 inches
Minamata, Tomoko and Her Mother, 1972 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1972 7 3/4 x 11 3/4 inchesMinamata, Tomoko and Her Mother, 1972 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1972 7 3/4 x 11 3/4 inches
Minamata, Tomoko and Her Mother, 1972
Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1972
7 3/4 x 11 3/4 inches
As From My Window I Sometimes Glance, Oil Slick series, Madonna and Child, c. 1957-58 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1957-58 16 x 20 inchesAs From My Window I Sometimes Glance, Oil Slick series, Madonna and Child, c. 1957-58 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1957-58 16 x 20 inches
As From My Window I Sometimes Glance, Oil Slick series, Madonna and Child, c. 1957-58
Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1957-58
16 x 20 inches
Pittsburgh, Steel Worker, c. 1955-56 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1955-56 8 1/2 x 6 inchesPittsburgh, Steel Worker, c. 1955-56 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1955-56 8 1/2 x 6 inches
Pittsburgh, Steel Worker, c. 1955-56
Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1955-56
8 1/2 x 6 inches
Pittsburgh, Smoky City, Steel Plant, c. 1955-56 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1955-56 8 1/2 x 6 inchesPittsburgh, Smoky City, Steel Plant, c. 1955-56 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1955-56 8 1/2 x 6 inches
Pittsburgh, Smoky City, Steel Plant, c. 1955-56
Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1955-56
8 1/2 x 6 inches
Pittsburgh, c. 1955-56 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1955-56 8 1/2 x 14 1/4 inchesPittsburgh, c. 1955-56 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1955-56 8 1/2 x 14 1/4 inches
Pittsburgh, c. 1955-56
Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1955-56
8 1/2 x 14 1/4 inches
Pittsburgh, Steel Worker, c. 1955-56 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1955-56 16 x 20 inchesPittsburgh, Steel Worker, c. 1955-56 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1955-56 16 x 20 inches
Pittsburgh, Steel Worker, c. 1955-56
Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1955-56
16 x 20 inches
Pittsburgh, c. 1955-56 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1955-56 13 1/8 x 8 3/4 inchesPittsburgh, c. 1955-56 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1955-56 13 1/8 x 8 3/4 inches
Pittsburgh, c. 1955-56
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1955-56
13 1/8 x 8 3/4 inches
Pittsburgh, c. 1955-56 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1955-56 8 1/2 x 13 1/4 inchesPittsburgh, c. 1955-56 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1955-56 8 1/2 x 13 1/4 inches
Pittsburgh, c. 1955-56
Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1955-56
8 1/2 x 13 1/4 inches
Pittsburgh, Steel Worker, c. 1955-56 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1955-56 16 x 20 inchesPittsburgh, Steel Worker, c. 1955-56 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1955-56 16 x 20 inches
Pittsburgh, Steel Worker, c. 1955-56
Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1955-56
16 x 20 inches
Press Release

Bruce Silverstein is pleased to announce The Art of History, an integral survey of artist
W. Eugene Smith's rare works. W. Eugene Smith's artful renderings of earnest subjects have made him known throughout the world as the preeminent authority of photojournalism and originator of the photographic essay. During his fruitful career Smith displayed an unwavering commitment to photography, its communication of events and their often complex emotions.



Dating back to his beginnings as a young photographer for the Wichita Eagle, Smith had a ravenous appetite for capturing the news of the day. His determination to bear witness to the historical events of the period placed Smith among the company of other politically minded photographers of the time including Walker Evans and Dorothea Lange. Like Lange and Evans, Smith worked against the current of genteel pictorialism then popular throughout America and Europe, and instead honed in on the humanist tragedies of the time, using his camera as the great raconteur.



 

Smith's passion for documentation was surpassed only by his passion for the expression of artistry. Thought of primarily as a journalist before an artist, any close examination of Smith's work and working methods reveals much the opposite to be true. Smith possessed a unique awareness of the power held within the image and its ability to articulate not only the physical moment as impressed upon the film, but the underlying web of emotions and implications as well. Despite his moral adherence to the accuracy and truthfulness of documentation, Smith at times manipulated the elements within the frame, the visual focus while printing, and the chronology of the works while sequencing his essays. This flexibility was born out of Smith’s desire to faithfully convey the feeling of the scene with the same rigor as the event itself. The voracity with which Smith employed directorship while shooting the images was matched by his endurance once printing them in the darkroom. Smith often used enhanced bleaching processes, and severe cropping to remove or draw attention to various subjects and themes in his essays. This emphasis on manipulative techniques, and Smith’s adherence to the presentation of his work in essay form allowed his images to exemplify moods and sentiments never before seen in photojournalism—illustrating the universal human experience which pervades each of his photographic essays regardless of their content, location or date.

 

The Art of History will present a unique opportunity to see the work of a master photojournalist in the context of the contemporary gallery setting, finally freeing the images from the bonds of text which normally surrounds them. This show will include a group of over fifty prints, many of which come from a private collection amassed before Smith’s death in 1978, and have been unseen for the last 30 years. Additionally included will be alternate views of Smith’s most well known works, illustrating the notion that Smith’s photographs occupied that rare space between document and art.

 

Smith’s work can be found in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others. His work has been widely exhibited at noteworthy institutions including the Center for Creative Photography, the Jewish Museum, New York, the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Centre Georges-Pompidou, and the Fotomuseum Winterhur. Most recently, Smith's series Dream Street was the subject of an exhibition at the International Center of Photography.