that’s life

J.R. Eyerman, Audiences Watches Movie Wearing 3-D Spectacles, 1952. Gelatin silver print, 11 1/2 x 8 1/2 in. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 2018.3341

Toronto. Ol’ blue eyes sang “That’s Life” back in 1966. The magazine called LIFE is a fascinating history of the middle class American psyche. Thanks to Google Books, every page can now be read. The magazine’s advertisements are a fertile ground for photographic history research on that art in America – especially its cameras. As the American public is a trend setter, the ads (and often the editorial content) show the historic progress of photography as it evolved from an outdoor, primarily black and white, art form to an outdoor/indoor full colour means to record family history.

The Princeton University Art Museum has produced an exhibition called “LIFE Magazine and the Power of Photography“. Online, a number of videos show what the magazine represents to Americans (and history).

Earlier this month my friend and fellow PHSC member, George Dunbar, wrote, “An absolutely “must watch” video (28 minutes) of Life Magazine and how it came to be an outstanding user of great photography is online [now].

George recomended the first video in the series (upper left on the university site) titled “Exhibition Tour | LIFE Magazine and the Power of Photography”. Enjoy the video bearing in mind that the magazine promotes an American perspective on history. And it was read all over the world. Back when I was a kid in Ontario, my local barbershop had copies of magazines including LIFE and Saturday Evening Post to entertain and educate his shaggy haired cliental waiting for their trim.

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