Viewing Record 3 of 38 perspective/point of view
About the Photographer
Smith, W. Eugene
William Eugene Smith was born in Kansas and was first introduced to photography by his mother. At fifteen-years-old, he began working for two local newspapers photographing sports and current events, including the effects of the Dust Bowl. With his talent so evident from a young age, he was awarded a scholarship made just for him to attend University of Notre Dame. However, he left after his first semester to move to New York where he worked for Newsweek, LIFE, New York Times, Harper’s Bazaar, and eventually Magnum Photos. While with LIFE magazine, Smith was assigned as a war correspondent and became highly celebrated for his raw and impassioned depictions of chaotically lethal environments. Smith photographed twenty-six combat missions and thirteen invasions in Europe and the Pacific region.
His work in combat was halted in 1945 when Smith’s hands and face were severely injured by a grenade explosion during the Battle of Okinawa. After many surgeries and a long recovery, Smith was barely able to load film into his camera, however, he was determined to photograph affirmations of life and hope. During this time, he made one of his most well-known images, titled The Walk to Paradise Garden (1946), which depicts his two young daughters in a shadowy forest enclosure. This piece was later chosen by Edward Steichen as the final image in the Family of Man exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
William Eugene Smith studied at the New York Institute of Photography after his short time at Notre Dame. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1956. His extensive archives are held at the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona.