Ingrid Bergman In Exile

(Gordon Parks, 1949) This shot of an isolated Ingrid Bergman was taken during the filming of “Stromboli” while in exile in Italy. Bergman’s flee abroad was a response to the public scorn to which she was subject (even the U.S. Senate denounced her as “a powerful influence for evil) for having an affair–and ultimately a child–with Italian director Roberto Rossellini while still married to her Swedish husband. Bergman would later marry Rossellini, have three more children (including famed actress Isabella Rossellini), and then divorce him in 1957. While Bergman did return to the United States, her private decisions as a woman tended to divide her professional life into “Before” and “After” the affair. No matter, though; Bergman’s work in “Anastasia” won her an Oscar for Best Actress in 1956.

German Hyperinflation

(Photographer unknown, 1921-1923) An image accurately representing Germany’s the pervasive hyperinflation, this photo depicts children playing with worthless German currency. At the height of Germany’s hyperinflation, it took 4.2 trillion Deutsche Marks to equal $1 USD. War reparations after World War I saddled the country with huge debt to other countries (namely the United States) and stoked emotional vulnerabilities that helped enable Adolf Hitler’s words resonate with many struggling Germans.

Gloria Swanson, Fading Silent Film Star

(Edward Steichen, 1924) This photo of silent film veteran Gloria Swanson was taken right before the debut of feature length films with sound. Being a primarily a silent-film actress, her fame naturally waned as ‘talkies’ grew in popularity. Ironically, she is best known for her role as a faded silent-film star in the critically acclaimed “Sunset Boulevard”, released in 1950.

Marilyn Monroe, The Misfit

(Eve Arnold, 1960) Taken on set of the film “The Misfits” during the summer of 1960, this marks Monroe’s final screen appearance, just two years before her death. The film’s other star, Clark Gable, died of a heart attack a mere 12 days after filming his final scene. Eve Arnold had been photographing Monroe for a decade, but the shots taken during this time period are widely considered to be the best.

A Dip In Hitler’s Bathtub

(David E. Scherman, April 30th, 1945) Vogue photographer Lee Miller was snapped by her colleague, Scherman, sitting in Adolf Hitler’s Munich residence bathtub. Scherman, a LIFE magazine correspondent, and Miller teamed up on many assignments during this time period. This was the most iconic image from the partnership, and was taken on the very same day that Hitler and Eva Braun took their lives in Berlin. Said The New York Times of this photo, “A picture of the Führer balances on the lip of the tub; a classical statue of a woman sits opposite it on a dressing table; Lee, in the tub, inscrutable as ever, scrubs her shoulder. A woman caught between horror and beauty, between being seen and being the seer.”

Entering King Tut’s Tomb

(Harry Burton, November, 1922) Eerie and intriguing, Harry Burton captured famed pharaoh Tutankhamun’s intact seal on his funeral chamber tomb door. Burton, who was widely regarded as the best archaeological photographer of his time, spent the next eight years carefully cataloging the historical find in photographs. He was the only photographer authorized to enter the Tutankhamun site.

A Llama In Times Square

(Inge Morath, 1957) “A Llama in Times Square” was published in LIFE Magazine on December 2nd, 1957 in a one-page feature about television’s most beloved animals. This is one of Inge Morath’s most celebrated images, who was considered one of the greatest photographers of her generation. Three years later, Inge met Arthur Miller on the set of the film “The Misfits” while covering his then-wife, Marilyn Monroe. Miller and Morath later married after Miller’s divorce from Marilyn.

The Discovery Of A Lifetime

(Antony Barrington-Brown, 1953) Posing with their discovery that would change science forever, are James D. Watson and Francis Crick with their Double Helix model. Despite their momentous achievement, the photos taken by Barrington-Brown were not published for at least another decade, even after Watson and Crick won the Nobel Prize for their discovery in 1962.

Documenting The Titanic’s Collapse

(Photographer unknown, 1912) The crushing Titanic headline is seen being held by young paperboy outside the Oceanic House offices of White Star Line, the owner of the Titanic. Edward (Ned) John Parfett, the boy holding the paper in the iconic image, would be killed in World War I–less than six years later–at the age of 22.

The Mainbocher Corset, A Living Statue

(Horst P. Horst, 1939) “The Mainbocher Corset” by the photographer most often known as just ‘Horst’ was published September 15, 1939 in Vogue magazine. Considered one of the great iconic photos of the twentieth century, the single moment in time has been made eternal by everyone from Donna Karan in her clothing collections, to Madonna in her music video for the song ‘Vogue’.

Erin Kelly
Erin Kelly is a freelance writer, artist and video editor that splits her time between the humid Midwest and the dusty corners of her mind.
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