Mahatma Gandhi

Münchner Illustrierte Presse, May 18, 1930, (2007.87.56)

Vu, March 11, 1931, (2011.7.30)

Vu, “Towards Peace,” September 16, 1931 (2011.7.53)

Margaret Bourke-White (1904-1971), Gandhi Colony: Gandhi’s morning walk with close members of the Ashram and members of his family. It is hard to overemphasize the importance of the daily ritual, 1946 (1909.2005)

Margaret Bourke-White (1904-1971), Gandhi Colony, Twilight prayer meeting, 1946 (1908.2005)

Margaret Bourke-White (1904-1971), [Mohandas Gandhi with hands clasped in prayer, standing near his nephew Kanu (R) and his wife Abha, as his secretaries (L-R) Sushila Pai, Raj Kumari and Pyarelal, sit at his feet during twilight meeting at his colony compound], 1946 (1898.2005)

Life, “India’s Leaders: As independence dawns they fail to agree on how to use their new freedom,” May 27, 1946, pp. 104-105

Gandhi giving a Post Prayer Speech on October 2, 1947 (from where Gandhi spent the last several months of his life: Birla Bhavan, New Delhi) can he heard below and here:

Source:, uploaded by, audio courtesy of Gandhi Heritage Portal from All India Radio.

Today is my birthday.¹ I do not celebrate my birthday in the usual way. I would say that on this day we must fast, spin and pray. That, in my view, is the most appropriate way of celebrating one’s birthday. If you really want to celebrate my birthday, it is your duty not to let anyone be possessed by madness and if there is any anger in your hearts you must remove it. I would appeal to the people not to take the law into their hands but leave it to the Government to decide the issue. If you remember this much, I would consider it a good act on your part. This is all I wish to tell you. (transcription of speech, October 2, 1947)

“Note on Gandhi’s Birthday” from Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, Volume 089 (LXXXIX), p.524-525, from

Gandhi celebrated his last birthday by fasting, prayer, and spinning. He did not listen to the special programs in observance of his birthday on the radio. He preferred the sound of the spinning wheel. “He heard it in the ‘still sad music of humanity’.” (Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, Volume 89, p.525)

Today is the 149th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948). Gandhi’s message of non-violence, truth, and equality for all is essential and eternal.

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Weegee does coffee

Weegee (1899-1968), [Fireman enjoying a cup of coffee after tenement fire, New York], July 27, 1941 (15131.1993)

Yeah, I reckon I do get the breaks. But I get them because I stay around and work for them. I have no wife – no family. No home. Just a little room across from headquarters. I have no vacations. No recreations. No time out for friends or parties – unless you count a glass of beer now and then or a cup of coffee with some pretty girl I meet on the job. Most of my life is spent in waiting for things to happen. (Rosa Reilly, Popular Photography, December 1937, p. 78)

Every day to work I wore a white shirt, reasonably clean, with a hard Arrow collar and tie, and knickers. My mother gave me a couple of sandwiches and fifteen cents, ten cents for carfare and a nickel for a pint of milk. Many mornings, when there was no money, I had to take my alarm clock to the pawnshop. I hocked it for half a dollar. On pay day, I always redeemed that clock. Big Ben spent more time in the hock shop than with me. I used to envy the other employees when, at lunch time, they would go to the comer saloon and, for the price of a nickel beer, get a hot free lunch… soup, meat sandwiches, etc. Me being in knee pants, I wasn’t allowed into the saloon. A coffee break had not yet been invented. Besides helping the photographer from eight in the morning till six in the evening, I ran his errands, dried prints, swept up, and did whatever else had to be done. (“Weegee by Weegee,” p. 15)

Weegee (1899-1968), [Intermission at Metropolitan Opera, New York], ca. 1944, (7357.1993)

One of the fellows I met suggested that it wasn’t too difficult to get a part-time job in the Automat restaurants, so we went to the one at Broadway and Houston. The manager hired us as extra bus boys for the lunch-hour rush. I was given a white coat and apron and a tray, and told to pick up the dirty dishes. I worked from ten-thirty to two-thirty. Before starting work I had corn muffins and coffee. When we were through we ate everything that was left over. Then we were given a dollar bill and told to come back again the next day. (“Weegee by Weegee,” p.21)

June Duckworth, [Weegee smoking a cigar and sitting at a table with coffee cup and camera], ca. 1960 (21656.1993)

ACME was located in the huge Printing Crafts building, at Eighth Avenue and Thirty-fourth Street, that had twenty-four hour elevator service and heat all night long. The bench in the dark room became my bed. I brought in a mattress, pillow and blankets, and stored them in my locker. I rather enjoyed the camping out, especially with no rent – always the bane of my existence- to pay. I stocked up om George Washington powdered coffee, Campbell’s soups, Heinz’s baked beans (vegetarian style – no pork), and Uneeda biscuits… (“Weegee by Weegee,” p. 30)

The police reporters, who had their offices in the back of headquarters, were a friendly bunch. I made myself useful by running across the street and bringing the slips back from the teletype machine, getting them coffee. When a story broke, I’d hitch a ride with them. (“Weegee by Weegee,” p. 37)

Unidentified photographer, [Weegee drinking coffee and smoking a cigar], ca. 1960 (21716.1993)

If I wasn’t riding in police equipped short wave cars, I waited in the lobby at Police Headquarters in Center Street. My favorite easy chair was near the elevators. I smoked cigars with cops bringing me fresh containers of coffee. I knew everyone from the Police Commissioner down. Having the run of the whole police headquarters I would retire to sleepy to Missing Persons Bureau offices for a doze leaving word with the cop at the information desk not to be disturbed unless something really hot came over the Police Teletype. (“Murder is My Business,” pp.9-10)

Unidentified photographer, [Weegee drinking coffee and smoking a cigar in a cafe], 1968 (20930.1993)

It is easy enough to create distortion photographically by such means as relatively short lenses or by tilting the enlarger easel. The problem of caricature is to choose the distinctive and/or peculiar features of the subject and to exaggerate them. In photography this is no simple achievement. Perhaps only a Weegee could have brought it off. Sad-eyed, he toils away through the New York night in a locked, secret room like a troll in an old German fable. A coffeemaker maintains him through the long hours – “the time of fantasy” he calls it – while the rest of the city sleeps… To all those who have seen his pictures and who want Weegee to caricature them, this professional eccentric, gadfly, and scandalizer replies: “You are a caricature.” Then he retreats to the locked room, the coffee-pot, the cigars, and the secret formulas. (“Popular Photography,” September 1956, pp. 77-80)

Les Barry, “Popular Photography,” April 1958, p. 126

Monday – Midnight
Hello dear,
Got the 2 cans today from the cigar man – thanks for the shoes, cigars, cigarettes + coffee. Especially the Coffee-Mate, incidentally the Chock Full of Nuts Instant Coffee, which you sent the last time, is the most wonderful stuff. Just like the real coffee… (Letter from Weegee to Wilma Wilcox, September 10, 1963) (2009.70.51)

Am learning to speak French, I can order a coffee with a glass of water… (Letter from Weegee to Wilma Wilcox, ca. 1958) (2009.70.68)

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Studio Visit: Martin Munkacsi

Martin Munkácsi (1898-1963), [Martin Munkácsi playing Ping Pong with woman in his studio], 1930s, (2007.110.1425)

Martin Munkácsi (1898-1963), [Martin Munkácsi with two women in his studio], 1930s, (2007.110.1425)

Martin Munkácsi (1898-1963), [Martin Munkácsi sitting with a man in his studio], 1930s, (2007.110.1425)

Martin Munkácsi (1898-1963), [Martin Munkácsi and Joe Pasternak], 1930s, (2007.110.1425)

Martin Munkácsi (1898-1963), [Martin Munkácsi and others reviewing photographs], 1930s, (2007.110.1425)

Martin Munkácsi (1898-1963), [Munkácsi and models reflected in glass ball], 1930s, (2007.110.1425)

If Martin Munkácsi were, say, photographing the memorial flagpoles on Fifth Avenue and Forty Second (in the middle of midtown Manhattan, in midday, in the middle of the Great Depression, at the middle of his life) in front of the New York Public Library and wanted to go home and play ping pong, pose for photos with a few unidentified people, pose and laugh with Hungarian-born film producer Joe Pasternak, show a pile of his photos to a few men, take a selfie with a pair of models reflected in a glass orb, pose with his wife, daughter and dog below a delightful mural, or maybe process his glass plate negatives, all he would have to do is turn right on 42nd Street and walk five blocks to his sun-filled home-studio on 5 Prospect Place, (Murryhill 4-2443) in Tudor City.

Martin Munkácsi (1898-1963), [Martin Munkácsi with Gizella Munkácsi, Alice Munkácsi, and unidentified dog], 1930s, (2007.110.1425)

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“Before we left a little church called Brown Chapel AME, we knelt and prayed together.”

Charles Moore (1931-2010), [Andrew Young leading people, including John Lewis and Hosea Williams, in prayer, before the Selma to Montgomery march, Alabama], 1965 (169.1991)

On Sunday morning, March 7, 1965, a march for voting rights from Selma to Montgomery began at the Brown Chapel AME Church. The march, along U.S. Route 80, was led by Hosea William of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and John Lewis of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). After crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge, six blocks from the Brown Chapel AME Church and above the Alabama River, the Alabama State Troopers beat (“beating us with nightsticks, bullwhips, trampling us with horses, releasing the teargas” John Lewis) the nonviolent marchers. In August 1965 the Voting Rights Act, prohibiting racial discrimination, was signed.

Yesterday Congressman John Lewis tweeted the above photo by Charles Moore and the text: “During another period, we knelt. There is nothing wrong with kneeling down to stand up against injustice. It’s protected by the Constitution.”

To commemorate the 52nd anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” earlier this year John Lewis tweeted:

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Protesting Racism in America

John Dominis (1921–2013), [American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos protesting racial inequity with raised fists during national anthem at Olympics, Mexico City], October 16, 1968 (recto and verso) (1012.2005)

As the American national anthem began to play during the awards ceremony to honor the winners of the 200-meter dash at the ’68 Olympics in Mexico City, American athletes Tommie Smith (gold) and John Carlos (bronze) bowed their heads, took off their shoes, and raised black-gloved fists in a Black Power salute: “…they wore gloves to represent black America, and removed their shoes and wore black socks to symbolize the poverty [and lack of health care] of the American black community. Smith wore a scarf and Carlos a bead necklace, recalling lynching…” (Guardian.) All three athletes, including the Australian Peter Norman (silver), wore the round patch of the Olympic Project for Human Rights (OPHR), a short-lived (1967-68) yet significant group in the long march for international racial equality. This print, a donation by Time-Life, was used for reproduction in numerous publications, including Life.

Life, November 1, 1968, pp. 64c-64d (Photos by John Dominis p. 64c and Bill Eppridge p. 64d, words by Jeremy Larner and David Wolf.)

Fansinaflashbulb, January 2, 2014, “John Dominis, 1921-2013”
Guardian, February 8, 2012, “50 stunning Olympic moments No13: Tommie Smith and John Carlos salute”
Guardian, March 30, 2012, “The man who raised a black power salute at the 1968 Olympic Games”
Life, November 1, 1968, “Amid Gold Medals, Raised Black Fists”
The Nation, July 25, 2012, “Fists of Freedom: An Olympic Story Not Taught in School”
New York Times, December 31, 2013, “John Dominis, a Star Photographer for Life Magazine, Dies at 92”
Time, September 27, 2014, “The Black Power Salute That Rocked the 1968 Olympics”
University of Texas at Austin, “A Guide to the John Dominis Photographic Archive, 1952-2005”
Z Magazine, December 1, 2003, “An Interview with John Carlos, By Dave Zirin”

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Fast Forward

Lauren GreenfieldMijanou and friends from Beverly Hills High School on Senior Beach Day, Will Rogers State Beach, 1993 (63.1997)

I was Homecoming Queen. I was Junior Princess. The seniors voted and I won for Best Physique. I was very flattered. You’re more easily accepted if you’re pretty. People with good looks get away with much more than somebody else would. I think I’m a beautiful person inside, but I really don’t care about my appearance.

I lost my virginity when I was eighteen. That’s pretty rare. Kids now are having sex at twelve or thirteen years old. Even in the fifth grade, little girls dress provocatively, wearing tight bodysuits and everything. I think the younger generations are getting more and more corrupted and crazy. Kids here are exposed to so many things. It’s not necessarily just L.A., but because this is the center of everything -the center of television. The media influences kids. Hip-hop has influenced so much -fashion, kids’ attitudes, everything. Kids try to be like who they see on TV, who they think is cool. So that’s what they dress like. They all wear Adidas and baggy jeans and stuff.

You go to clubs now and everybody is just too cool. They are “hard”. They all have this attitude, this front that they put up. The whole attitude is being hard and being tough and being cool. “It’s phat.” “It’s cool.” “It’s dope.” It the jargon. It all comes from hip-hop. Those are the words that they use in all the raps. Hip-hop has been a huge influence on kids and the way this generation is.

The biggest pressure is fitting in. It’s real hard when you try to be your own person. You are really influenced by your friends. You want to dress like them. You want to be like them. It’s hard to find your own individuality. Especially at Beverly Hills High School. Everyone is really judgmental, very clique-y. There’s pressure to have a car when you turn sixteen and to have everything your friends have. If you saw the parking lot at Beverly High. There are BMW’s, Jeeps, Range Rovers -you know, fifty thousand-dollar cars driven by sixteen-year-olds. For me, not always growing up in Beveryly Hills and stuff, I felt like I didn’t fit in.

I was different because my family struggled a lot, as many families do, but in Beverly Hills you are in a place where kids have no financial problems and can have anything their heart desires. They can go shopping, get whatever they want, always have money to go out to eat, for movies -so much money all the time. It’s hard. I was raised very spiritually by my father and mother. I was grateful for what I had and that I was even able to go to that school. I mean, I was different for them. They lived in these huge houses and could have just basically everything they wanted. Every Easter, go to Hawaii. Winter, go to Aspen.

All the rich Bevery Hills families know each other. So-and-so’s parents are friends with so-and-so’s parents. We lived south of Beverly Hills, where the apartments are. I lived in an apartment where I shared a room with my brother. Sometimes I felt prejudice from the parents who would rather have their kids go out with the kids of families they knew -who lived north, in the big houses. Even the parents wanted the kids to stay friends with the wealthy kids.

I grew up in Costa Rica, which was very different, where you stay as a kid. You’re a kid, you listen to you parents, and you do thing you are supposed to. But here, kids never listen to what their parents say. Kids pretty much end up making their own decisions.

You grow up really fast when you grow up in L.A. L.A. is so fast-moving, and kids really mature at a young age. It seems like everyone is in a rush to be an adult. It’s not cool to be a kid.

Lauren Greenfield, Fast Forward: Growing Up in the Shadow of Hollywood. New York: Knopf/Melcher, 1997, pp. 64-5.

Now on view: GENERATION WEALTH by Lauren Greenfield at ICP Museum, September 20 – January 7, 2018.

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Fern, Fungi, Fun: “What a Wonderful World”

Jeannette Klute (1918-2009), Luna Moth, ca. 1950 (2354.2005)

Jeannette Klute (1918-2009), Wild Larkspur, ca. 1955 (2009.89.5)

Jeannette Klute (1918-2009), Trout Lily, from the “Woodland Portraits” series, ca. 1950 (2345.2005)

Jeannette Klute (1918-2009), Jack in the Pulpit, ca. 1950 (2349.2005)

Jeannette Klute (1918-2009), Pitcher-plant, from the “Woodland Portraits” series, ca. 1950 (2359.2005)

Jeannette Klute (1918-2009), “Woodland Portraits, Plate 4,” ca. 1955 (2009.86.2)

Rochester born Jeannette Klute attended the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics (predecessor to the Rochester Institute of Technology) and the University of Rochester. While still a student the trailblazing Klute began her long career at the Eastman Kodak Company. At Kodak she worked in the Research Laboratories, was head of the Visual Research Studio of the Color Control Division, and managed the Photographic Technology Studio.

“The first month they were sending people out for job interviews, but not me,” she recalled in a speech at the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1984. “I asked how come? The head of the department said, ‘Oh, there are no jobs for women in photography.’ My world fell apart.”

Ms. Klute took it upon herself to go out for interviews, and every week on her day off, she walked to the offices of Eastman Kodak Co. to ask for a job. For a long time, she never made it past the personnel office. Then, one day, in the pouring rain, decked in her finest navy blue suit, she stalked to the offices and was sent straight to the sixth floor for an interview.
“The man took a look at me with the rain dripping off my hat and said, ‘If you want a job that bad, you’ve got it,’” she recalled. “There was a celebration in the neighborhood that night.”…

“She was really like my college education,” said Barbara Erbland, who assisted Ms. Klute in the lab at Kodak for many years. “She taught me everything — about light, color, about people … how to live well.”… “Her lab consisted of all women,” she said. “I think it was by intention. She believed women had brains. We worked very well together.”…

Lugging a 4-by-5 Graflex single-lens reflex camera wherever they went, Erbland ventured into swamps and tide pools… “She taught me you don’t make do, you make things happen,” said Erbland. “You’re not a victim.”

Back in Rochester, the two sought out swamps and woodland for Ms. Klute to take her photographs — or, as she put it, to “make pictures.”
PHOTO GALLERY: In memory of Jeannette Klute, a ‘Renaissance woman,’ by Philip Anselmo, August 2009

In the early 1950s Klute had photos in three exhibitions (including Color Photography, 1950, and Abstraction in Photography, 1951) at MoMA. In 1954 a colorful portfolio of plant photos were published by Little Brown and Co. in a book called “Woodland Portraits.” (Photographic portraits of plants in their natural environment, a kind of wildlife.) Klute’s artistry, technical expertise, and love of nature can be seen in these large, beautiful dye transfer prints.

Sources, citations, and further reading:
PHOTO GALLERY: In memory of Jeannette Klute, a ‘Renaissance woman,’” by Philip Anselmo, August 2009.

Guide to the Jeannette Klute collection at RIT.

Jeannette Klute (1918-2009), Spinulose Wood-Fern, from the “Woodland Portraits” series, ca. 1950 (2353.2005)

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