A photographer has the unique ability to call the right shots in politics, history and entertainment.
Her head tilted slightly to the left, her keenly intelligent gaze on the rapidly darkening horizon, Margaret deftly clicked some knobs into place on her Leica and breezily waved over one of the handful of suave, mustachioed Muscovite gentleman vying for her attention. "Vladimir! Do be a dear and strike a distinguished pose at the balcony rail so that I might check my focus?" Seconds after Vlad gratefully obliged, the siren she had been expecting careened shrilly into the genteel atmosphere, prompting the glittering hotel guests to obediently scoop up wraps and vodka tumblers and drift languidly back into the suite. Margaret adjusted one more tripod-mounted camera and her elegant auburn up-do, then cooly slipped through the French doors herself. As the ponderous blackout curtains settled into place and the first barrage of German bombs rained down on Moscow, she smiled inwardly at the knowledge that her automatic exposure timers had assuredly recorded the dramatic event. Now here's a woman who looks forward … just the ticket for photography and passion. The Bourke-White images range from the macabre to the divine - just like life. She got the shot.
Few American pioneers of photography or photojournalism can lay claim to the panache or the professional legacy of the dauntless, daring Margaret Bourke-White ... particularly few women have a prayer of doing so. Many artists adventure, yet a scant handful participate in history. Over the wide-ranging course of her career, Margaret was in turn torpedoed in the Mediterranean, strafed by the Luftwaffe, stranded on a remote Arctic island, nearly eviscerated along with a German airfield near Tunis, obliged to enter Buchenwald with Patton, thoroughly blitz-bombarded in Moscow, and fished out of the chilly waters of the Chesapeake when her chopper crashed.