Alfred Eisenstaedt was one of the luminaries of American photojournalism. The German-born Eisenstaedt learned his craft in Europe in the 1920s and 30s, pioneering the use of the small Leica 35mm camera to get closer to his subjects and create more candid pictures. Eisenstaedt’s skillful reportage for the Associated Press earned him praise and recognition as he recorded countless historically significant events and people around the world. Fleeing the rise of fascism in the 1930s, Eisenstaedt came to the US where he became one of the first photojournalists of LIFE Magazine, the weekly newsmagazine that chronicled the twentieth century in pictures. His career at LIFE photographing the notable and newsworthy, spanned nearly forty years and resulted in some of the most iconic images of the era. The photographs on exhibition, part of The Ringling’s permanent collection, present subjects both notable and obscure. While only a fraction of the thousands of images Eisenstaedt created in his lifetime they offer a glimpse into the work of one of the most celebrated photojournalists.
Support for this exhibition was funded in part by the Florida State University Foundation Ringling Museum General Endowment. A special thank you to Douglas B. Thweatt for the establishment of the Paul Grootkerk Memorial Endowment for exhibition support.
Image: Alfred Eisenstaedt, American, 1898-1995, Gloria Swanson and her husband Michael Farmer, 1932, Gelatin silver print, Gift of Warren J. and Margot Coville, 2012, SN11310.43