The Camera Queen


Modern Mechanix, March 1937

As Bourke-White’s fame grew in the 1930s, she was the subject of a glamorous profile by Richard Parke in the March 1937 issue of Modern Mechanix magazine.  The article praised her portrayal of “beauty that lies in the clean-cut lines of a steel girder, the towering majesty of a city skyscraper, the shower of sparks from a blazing coke oven, the sombre blackness of a coal mine.”

Parke wrote glowingly that “the camera queen”  “knew that the faces of factory workers could wear the nobility of statesmen, that farmers could plow their fields with the grace of athletes and that the skill in a workman’s toss of a red-hot rivet could be compared with the marksmanship of a rifleman.”

Although she is shown here with her customary large tripod camera, Bourke-White admitted that she had recently been getting good results with a small “candid camera”, which allowed more spontaneity. “Often the best results are obtained when you work fast and catch the subject on the split second,” she told Parke.

Click on the picture to read the entire article.


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