History by Carl Mydans
RealAudio: Carl talks about
what photography means to him.
 Prime Minister Winston Churchill at
Biggleswade, England, 1955.
Back Page
Next Page
To order a copy of this photo, contact
the LIFE Gallery of Photography.
Several years ago I attended the opening of Carl's major retrospective at the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth. Wandering through the exhibit was like being swept through the corridors of time. A major part of the 20th Century, the summation of a lifetime's documentation was before us, all produced by one remarkable man. 

If you were to ask Carl to assess his talents honestly, he would probably be a bit shy about his photographic accomplishments. Certainly among those amazing colleagues at LIFE there were photographers who became more famous. Some, like David Douglas Duncan and Margaret Bourke-White, were swashbucklers, cutting a colorful swath wherever their assignments took them. Others, such as Alfred Eisenstadt, published major books year after year. Some were great specialists, Peter Stackpole, for instance, with his underwater photography; Ralph Morse, who "owned" the space program; Gjon Mili, a master of light and science; and Gordon Parks, whose art transcended photography into new areas of filmmaking, music, and literature. 

What Carl will never be shy about, however, is his credentials as a journalist. To Carl, journalism, the recording and communicating of history as it is made, is an almost holy mission. Words and pictures together have been his grail. 

True, others may have been more famous, or more colorful, but Carl Mydans' work has left a legacy of history for future generations that few writers or great artists could match. 

Dirck Halstead, March, 1998 

Many special thanks to Maryann Kornelly of TIME-LIFE SYNDICATION for making Carl's photographs available for this issue. 

If you would like to send a message to Carl and Shelley Mydans, click here. 

Contents Editorials The Platypus Links Copyright
Portfolios Camera Corner War Stories  Dirck's Gallery Comments
Issue Archives Columns Forums Mailing List E-mail The DJ
 This site is sponsored and powered by Hewlett Packard