International Day Against Fascism and Antisemitism

John Heartfield (1891-1968), AIZ, [“Voice from the Swamp”], March 19, 1936 (76.2005)

John Heartfield (1891-1968), AIZ, [“And his doves of peace will ‘immediately’ follow Hitler’s overtures of peace.”], April 5, 1936 (78.2005)

John Heartfield (1891-1968), AIZ, [“The Executioner and Justice””], November 30, 1933 (96.2005)

John Heartfield (1891-1968), AIZ, [“Mimicry.”], (55.2005)

John Heartfield (1891-1968), AIZ, [“With his empty phrases he wants to gas the world. The man who swore on the German constitution speaks now of peace. He will hold it as he has his oath.”], June 1, 1933 (44.2005)

John Heartfield (1891-1968), AIZ/VI, [“Death to the Octopus of War! Only when we have destroyed him ‘will the sun always shine.'”], August 11, 1937 (89.2005)

To commemorate International Day Against Fascism and Antisemitism, November 9th, which is the anniversary of Kristallnacht, fansinaflashbulb presents several photo-montages created by John Heartfield for AIZ (“Worker’s Illustrated Newspaper”).

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Vu, “They will vote…” May 8, 1929, (2009.52.43)

Unidentified Photographer, [Senator John F. Kennedy giving a campaign speech, Alexandria, Virginia], August 24, 1960 (2013.96.24)

ALEXANDRIA, VA., AUG. 24 — CAMPAIGNS IN VIRGINIA — Sen. John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts, Democratic Presidential nominee, as he carried his campaign for the White House into the South for the first time. He told an outdoor rally at a high school stadium in Alexandria tonight, that eight years under a Republican administration has led to critical decline in America’s prestige. Democratic Vice-presidential nominee Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson, also spoke. (AP WIREPHOTO) 1960. [Printed caption on recto]

Charles Pratt (1929-1976), “Edge of City,” [Vote Kennedy], 1960 (65.1996)

Charles Moore, [Voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama], 1965 (176.1991)

Matt Herron, “Vote” Marcher, Selma to Montgomery, March 1965 (2008.56.1)

Anonymous, [Illustration encouraging African Americans to vote], 1972 (DA.3A7.909)

Silence = Death Project, Silence = Death: Vote, 1988 (1251.2000)


1. A formal indication of a choice between two or more candidates or courses of action, expressed typically through a ballot or a show of hands.
1.1 An act of giving or registering a vote.
1.2 The choice expressed collectively by a body of electors or by a specified group.
1.3 The right to register a choice in an election.

1. Give or register a vote.
1.1 Cause (someone) to gain or lose a particular post or honor by means of a vote.
1.2 Used to express a wish to follow a particular course of action.
1.3 (of a legislature) grant or confer by vote.
1.4 Reject something by means of a vote.

Late Middle English: from Latin votum a vow, wish, from vovere to vow. The verb dates from the mid 16th century.

Source: Oxford Dictionaries

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James Nachtwey, Voting lines, San Salvador, March 1982 (425.2005)

Robert Capa (1913-1954), [Lines of people waiting to vote in the presidential election, Mexico City], July 7, 1940 (2857.1992)

Margaret Bourke-White (1904-1971), [Line of South Korean farmers walking to village office to vote for country’s President and Vice President in first vote held in battle torn republic], 1952 (1722.2005)

Margaret Bourke-White (1904-1971), [South Korean farmers waiting to vote for country’s Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates in first vote held in battle torn republic], 1952 (1721.2005)

Robert Capa (1913-1954), [Man inserting paper ballot in ballot box, Italy], 1948 (2010.93.970)

Jacob Riis (1849-1914), Patriotic Election in Beach St. School, ca. 1890 (242.1982)

Robert Capa (1913-1954), [Man voting in the election run-offs that would put into power the leftist-liberal Popular Front coalition government, Saint-Denis, France], May 1936 (2443.1992)

In the U.S. approximately 60% of eligible people vote in presidential elections. The amazing website from The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, has a comprehensive international database of voter turnout.

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Weegee’s October Surprise (part 4): The Candidates




See, October 1968, pp. 25-31

Back by popular demand, an encore presentation, it’s Weegee’s October surprise in November, hey, that’s a November surprise, almost like a dessert, after the three previous perfect and super-popular posts.

Perhaps for the first or second time in 48 years, Fansinaflashbulb presents See magazine’s presentation of Weegee’s political caricatures and Shakespeare’s words. This wasn’t the first such pairing in print, but in Weegee’s lifetime, it was the last.

The Candidates
As Seen Through the Three Eyes of Weegee
One of America’s Outstanding Photographers

“I take pictures with my third eye – the inner eye that sees what lies beneath the surface of the subject. What some call a pictorial distortion may, in truth, be the reality. And what we call reality may be a distortion of the truth.” – Weegee
See, October 1968

Weegee Wednesday is an occasional series exploring, or just enjoying, the life and work of Weegee.

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Around the World (alphabetically): Afghanistan

Charles Shepherd, Group of Maula Gori Afrides, Afghanistan, ca. 1867 (2007.104.3)

Edward Grazda, Jalez, Afghanistan, 1982 (2012.51.3)

Stephen Dupont, Man praying and reading the Koran inside the Grand Blue Mosque, Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan, 1993 (2012.37.5)

Stephen Dupont, The Grand Buddha Cave at Bamiyan, Afghanistan, 2005 (2012.37.7)

Peter van Agtmael, Aranas, Afghanistan, May 28, 2007, (2014.30.6)

AFGHANISTAN. Nuristan. 2007. A U.S. Blackhawk helicopter lands at the Ranch House, a small American outpost deep in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan. There were no decent roads and all medevacs, re-supply and transport were done by helicopter. Blackhawks were in short supply, forcing the U.S. military to turn to outside contractors. They rented ex-Soviet helicopters, rickety and ancient and known as “Jingle Air.” They came with pilots, some of whom had served in the Russian Army during the previous war in Afghanistan. They were storied figures, legendary for their bravery under fire and rumored to be heavy vodka drinkers in flight. [Caption provided by Peter van Agtmael]

Map of where the above photos were made:

Around the World (alphabetically) and chronologically with Fansinaflashbulb.

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Weegee’s October Surprise (part 3): For President

Weegee (1899-1968), [“For President, Nixon”], ca. 1961 (12608.1993)

Weegee (1899-1968), [“For President, Nixon”], ca. 1961 (11572.1993)

Weegee (1899-1968), [“For President, Reagan”], ca. 1968 (11639.1993)

Weegee (1899-1968), [“For President, Rockefeller”], ca. 1966 (11699.1993)

Weegee (1899-1968), [“For President, Wallace”], ca. 1968 (12616.1993)

Accompanying the caricatures, above, made in the 60s, by a photographer in his 60s (about a decade older than his subjects), of American politicians Richard Nixon (1913-1994), Ronald Reagan (1911-2004), Nelson Rockefeller (1908-1979), George Wallace (1919-1998) is a little-known article, below, by Leo Glassman, from the largely-unknown New York Item newspaper. The out-of-this-world Richard Nixon caricature illustrates the article (perhaps the first publication of this image), along with likenesses of Jerry Lewis, Ed Sullivan, British Prime Minister Harold MacMillan, Big Ben, and of course, Weegee. By 1961, Weegee had been making caricatures, or distortions, for over ten years; and he continued for the remaining seven years of his life.

Weegee is the world’s greatest photographer. He is the most remarkable, the most original, and the most ingenious master of the camera alive today. Who said so? Why, Weegee, of course…

On one point there seems to be no disagreement: between his admirers and his detractors: Weegee is the undisputed master of the grotesque and the macabre. Out of his camera comes marching an endless parade of distorted, twisted, misshapen images, each of which seems to be, if not impossible, at least unreal, perhaps the product of a frenetic imagination. But as we study Weegee’s pictures we come to the conclusion that they represent, especially in their collective effect, a portrait of the human race. This is the way Weegee sees the world, and he certainly sees it differently from the way most of us see it. To him life is one great cosmic joke…

Whether he is shooting the Duke and Duchess of Windsor or some nameless drunk or dope-addict on the Bowery, Weegee’s camera strips away the externals of the human personality, penetrates through the pose and posture, the pretense, the mask beneath which people to hide their inner nakedness, their true self in the vain hope that they can somehow deceive their Maker. It is hard to say if this is something Weegee does con­sciously or subconsciously, but the result is what matters. He has a sure instinct, or intuition. when his scalpel-like lens starts probing beneath the surface in search of what is every true artist’s goal: the truth…

Like his work, Weegee’s personality is completely unconventional. “I have no inhibitions, neither has my camera,” he says. This is true. Had he less freedom from emotional restraints he could hardly have given, what some very properly-bred souls call his irreverent treatment of Eisenhower, Nixon and other noted per­sonages on the contemporary scene…

Despite his world-wide fame and his great achieve­ments Weegee’s way of life remains exactly the same as it was back in the days when he was a struggling, starving beginner in a field where highly trained and educated artists of the camera reigned. He remains indifferent to his clothes and still resides in a cold water flat, which is littered with tens of thousands of his pictures. But those who know him will tell you that beneath his rough exterior there beats a warm, sensitive and kindly heart. In middle age his pudgy, pixyish face is lit up by a pair of glowing somber eyes that bear the marks of total absorption in his great love, photography.

Weegee declares in all seriousness that there is nothing he cannot do with his camera. “Whatever the human mind conceives, I can photograph,” he says. This may sound incredible, but Weegee is incredible, and in this space age of ours his boast should not be brushed aside lightly. I am willing to lay odds that the day one of our astronauts goes up to Mars and brings back the first Martian, a picture of the strange visitor will be in the hands of the newspaper even before he lands. And the credit line will read: Photo by Weegee.

by Leo Glassman, New York Item, June 1, 1961

Weegee Wednesday is an occasional series exploring, or just enjoying, the life and work of Weegee.

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Weegee’s October Surprise (part 2): LBJ

Weegee (1899-1968), “Draft Johnson for President,” ca. 1968 (3015.1993)

Yesterday this great drawing and fun fact floated down by Twitter stream (while at lunch, of course, LBJ and PB&J):

There’s no evidence that Weegee’s caricatures of LBJ were sent to the White House. Here’s another fun fact: there are more Weegee photos of LBJ (approximately 272) than any other person (Marilyn Monroe might be in second place, with approximately 157 photos). This might reflect Weegee’s antipathy towards LBJ (and MM’s marketability). Weegee didn’t make the original photos; instead he transformed and distorted existing press photos, perhaps playfully and sometimes profoundly. Inspired, in part, by the quantity of LBJ distortions and the above tweet, here are six LBJ caricatures.

Weegee (1899-1968), [Lyndon B. Johnson distortion collage], ca. 1963-68, (7161.1993)

Weegee (1899-1968), [Lyndon Baines Johnson (distortion)], ca. 1965-68 (11293.1993)

Weegee (1899-1968), “Pres. Johnson,” ca. 1965-68 (11206.1993)

Weegee (1899-1968), “Pres. Johnson,” ca. 1965-68 (11205.1993)

Weegee (1899-1968), “President Johnson – U.S.A.” ca. 1965-68 (11167.1993)

Weegee Wednesday is an occasional series exploring, or just enjoying, the life and work of Weegee.

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