This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.
Moderator: Edward Steichen, Director of the Department of Photography MOMA
Panelists are: Margaret Bourke White, Walker Evans, John Mealy, Lisette Model, Wright Morris, Homer Page, Irving Penn, Ben Shahn, Charles Sheeler and Aaron Siskind
Steichen begins by applauding the work of WNYC and its engineering staff. Explains the importance of the photography department at the Museum of Modern Art. Introduces Bourke White, who talks about her work (though unfortunately a bit off-mic) and a recent trip to South Africa, segregation of women in India and Pakistan. "Photography is as big as life itself."
Steichen introduces Harry Callahan, who is not present, and then Walker Evans, who talks about some influential photographers.
Steichen reads a statement about photography written by Louis Faurer, then introduces John Mealy: there is no such thing as modern photography - there is only photography and the lack of it. A photograph must reveal an instant that reveals more than the entire incident. Tells a story about a boxing match between Joe Louis and Joe Walcott.
Steichen introduces Lisette Model, who was too nervous to read her own introductory speech: a moment is captured that never was and never will be captured again.
Wright Morris delivers a treatise on photography as a skill. The personality of the photographer belongs in front of the camera, not behind it.
Homer Page talks about the new directions young photographers are taking. A trend away from the documentary standby of objective reporting, toward a more intimate personal and subjective way of photographing.
Irving Penn says modern photography is not a style; modern photographer doesn't think of his work as an art form. Role of magazines.
Ben Shahn talks about how he began photographing. His lack of technical knowledge makes the crowd laugh.
Charles Sheeler talks about the field of photography, including advances in equipment. There is a tendency to think that photography is a short cut to painting.
Steichen introduces Frederick Sommer, who is not present.
Aaron Siskind says "when I make a photograph, I want it to be an all new object."
Steichen reads a statement written by Weegee, Edward Weston.
WNYC announcer interrupts to close the program.
For more on this broadcast please see: http://www.wnyc.org/blogs/neh-preservation-project/2013/feb/04/modern-photography/
Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection
WNYC archives id: 53319
Municipal archives id: LT1120