Artist | Carl Mydans (*1907)

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    • Carl Mydans

      Chain gang on Wall Street1937
    • Carl Mydans

      Roustabouts, Freer, Texas1937

About the work

About the work

Bom in Massachusetts, near Boston, in 1907, Mydans discovered his true calling as a photographer while at Boston University. After working for the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald, he joined the photographic staff of the Farm Security Administration in 1936. The FSA, as it was familiarly known, was a govemment agency established during the Great Depression by Franklin Roosevelt to provide assistance to the poor and homeless. Roy Stryker, who Mydans has described as one of the most important influences in his life, headed the FSA. Stryker hired Mydans, along with several other photographers who were later to become legendary, such as Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, and Aurthur Rothstein, to document the conditions of people and their surroundings most affected by the Depression.

Mydans joined LIFE magazine as a staff photographer in 1936, just after the inaugural issue. He photographed major news and feature stories in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Mydans reported on the Russo-Finnish winter war, Italy under Mussolini, and the fall of France. When war erupted in Europe, Mydans and his wife, LIFE researcher Shelley Smith, became the magazine's first husband and wife team to be sent overseas. Constantly traveling, Mydans' assignments took him to Britain, Sweden, Finland, Italy, France, China, Malaya, and the Philippines, where he and his wife were captured by the Japanese. Released after being held prisoner of war for two years, Mydans was sent back into war in 1944, eventually covering the stoic figure of General MacArthur landing at Luzon. This famous image eloquently captures the pride and determination of the great commander and stands in dramatic contrast to the sense of shame and resignation expressed in the photographs of the Japanese surrender aboard the U.S.S. Missouri from the same year.

Not all of Mydans' most mernorable photographs are from the field of battle. Equally a master of portraiture and landscape photography, Mydans' compelling photographs provide a picture odyssey of all kinds of events from around the world. Mydans has received many important awards and citations, including the annual Infinity Award for Lifetime Achievement from the International Center of Photography and the 1991 Guest of Honor award at the prestigious International Festival of Photojournalism in Perpignan, France.

"As a storyteller in pictures, the photojournalist is looking not only for action but for substance. He is a historian and a sociologist. He has created humanitys first international language, a common imagery for all mankind. And in his pictures, people see themselves with a clarity they never knew before." - Carl Mydans

Text by: Soho Triad Fine Arts, New York, NY

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Exhibition History 

Exhibition History

SUMMARY based on artist-info records. More details and Visualizing Art Networks on demand.
Venue types: Gallery / Museum / Non-Profit / Collector
Exhibitions in artist-info 10 (S 1/ G 9) Did show together with - Top 5 of 333 artists
(no. of shows) - all shows - Top 100
Alfred Eisenstaedt (9)- 33
Margaret Bourke-White (7)- 68
Andreas Feininger (6)- 60
Peter Stackpole (4)- 9
Loomis Dean (3)- 5
Exhibitions by type
10:   7 / 2 / 1 / 0
Venues by type
4:   1 / 2 / 1 / 0
Curators 1
artist-info records May 1951 - Jan 2003
Countries - Top 2 of 2
United States (9)
Germany (1)
Cities 3 - Top of 3
New York (8)
Hannover (1)
Houston (1)
Venues (no. of shows ) Top 4 of 4
Soho Triad Fine Arts (Photography) (7)
Contemporary Arts Museum - CAMH (1)
MoMA (5/7) - The Family of Man (1)
Kestner-Gesellschaft (1)
Curators (no. of shows) Top 1 of 1
Edward Jean Steichen(1)
Offers/Requests Exhibition Announcement S / G Solo/Group Exhibitions   (..) Exhibitions + Favorites
Soho Triad Fine Arts (Photography) G Dec 2002 - Jan 2003 New York (38) +0
Soho Triad Fine Arts (Photography) G Mar 2002 - May 2002 New York (38) +0
Soho Triad Fine Arts (Photography) G Jan 2001 - Mar 2001 New York (38) +0
Soho Triad Fine Arts (Photography) G Jun 2000 - Jul 2000 New York (38) +0
Soho Triad Fine Arts (Photography) S Oct 1999 - Nov 1999 New York (38) +0
Soho Triad Fine Arts (Photography) G Apr 1997 - Apr 1997 New York (38) +0
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