Margaret Bourke-White and Soviet Russia Chapitre d’ouvrage - 2015

Ada Ackerman

in William Benton Whisenhunt ; Norman E. Saul (ed.), New Perspectives on Russian-American Relations, 2015, pp. 193-211. ISBN 9781317425144

Abstract

Margaret Bourke-White acquired much fame by traveling in Soviet Russia between 1930 and 1932, being labelled the first foreign professional photographer authorized to take pictures of Soviet industrialization and collectivization. Though, this part of her life and art- and of her myth - has never been documented with primary sources. Relying on American and Russian archives, this article scrutinizes it and tries to shed a new light on it. How and why Soviet administrations decided to allow Bourke-White to make pictures in Russia ; why was she officially hired by them ? What were Russian reactions to her art and her personality ? How Bourke-White contributed to American knowledge of Soviet Russia ? And what were her links with Soviet culture when she came back to America ?

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