Discuss a Bourke-White Photograph (Taxi Dancers)

Discussion in 'Discussing a ****** Photograph' started by Bill Mitchell, Aug 30, 2006.

  1. Bill Mitchell

    Bill Mitchell Member

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    Although not her most famous photograph, this is my favorite. Interestingly it's easy to overlook if printed less than 16x20, but then it takes off on a life of it's own.

    http://www.gallerym.com/work.cfm?ID=114
     
  2. Gay Larson

    Gay Larson Member

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    I love Margaret Bourke-White and I like this one a lot but my favorite is of the top of the Chrysler building. I read her biography and was amazed at all she did in a time when women had to fight to be recognized at all. I love the miners picture. She has such a wide range of photography that it's very hard to pick a favorite. Thanks for asking about one of my favorites.
     
  3. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    Gay,

    About a year or so ago, on the 75th anniversary of the completion of the Chrysler Building, there was a multi-page section in the NY Times which included a long article on Margaret Bourke-White. Don't have a link to it (and probably on pay-per-view "Times Select") but it was quite a detailed bio.

    Amongst other things, she retained occupancy rights to an aerie in the building for many years.

    BTW: I can look out my window (as I've just done) and see the CB - it remains the "classic" - so much prettier than the ESB that utilmately "topped it" but was nothing more than an ape perch! :D

    Oh, I like this shot too.
     
  4. Gay Larson

    Gay Larson Member

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  5. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member

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    This photograph really sums up the depression, doesn't it? All those melancholy faces, and the ill fitting clothes. These are folks who haven't done much partying. I've long admired Bourke-White for being "out there" in the very male world of early photojournalism, but somhow, a lot of her photographs don't really resonate with me.

    I'm pleased you reminded me of this one, because, she seems to have made such an amazing human connection to this community of people in "Taxi Dancers". It's one of the great journalistic images of the 20th c., IMHO.
     
  6. catem

    catem Member

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    I love this. It almost has the feeling of a classic painting, they way the people are (informally) arranged, but not in any kind of unnatural way - it's completely natural and spontaneous. Maybe it's the emotions and gestures that painters had to strive to get into their work - that's she's caught here in that single moment.
    Cate
     
  7. Timothy

    Timothy Member

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    I love the way this photograph acknowledges the world around itself. There are three couples more or less contained in the center of the image but on the right hand side there is another couple only partially visible who are facing out of the image, so they are looking at or talking to someone outside of the image, or just dancing. And on the left side there is parts of someone's foot visible proving that there are more people outside of the image. It seems to me that many photographers try to center a "subject" and go to great pains to eliminate any hint that there is more going on outside the frame.
    I am curious about the term Taxi in the title.

    Tim R
     
  8. Bill Hahn

    Bill Hahn Member

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  9. Bill Mitchell

    Bill Mitchell Member

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    Tim, I believe that it refers to the women charging per dance like a Taxicab charges for hauling passangers. "Sweet Charity," is a wonderful play/movie about them.