Exhibition : Esther Bubley Up Front

  • National Museum of Women in the Arts 1250 New York Avenue Northwest Washington, DC, 20005 United States
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©Esther Bubley Up Front 

Esther Bubley Up Front

September 4, 2015–January 17, 2016

During America’s golden age of photojournalism, freelance photographer Esther Bubley (1921–1998) cast her discerning eye over a broad range of subjects. Mentored by Roy Stryker, manager of the Farm Security Administration’s documentary photography program during the Great Depression, Bubley first chronicled American life during World War II. She later photographed worldwide for clients including the Standard Oil Company, Life magazine, UNICEF and Ladies’ Home Journal. Drawn from a recent donation to NMWA’s collection, this exhibition presents Bubley’s images of beauty pageants, circuses, amusement parks, boarding houses, barber shops, classrooms, clinics and kitchens. Bubley strove to give a human face to each story she covered, yet many of her images convey an ironic tone and suggest the momentous social changes that were developing in mid-20th-century America.