One of David Douglas Duncan photos of a Marine Corsair fighter battlefront rockets at a Japanese bastion on Okinawa in June 1945.
His assignment in Korea — appear in Life, featured in his 1951 book This Is War! and afterwards acclimatized for a set of 22¢ postage stamps — was declared by the columnist and building babysitter Edward Steichen as “the accomplished course that activity photography has achieved”.
Embedded with the Marines in Korea in 1950, he photographed the “thousand-yard stare” of servicemen arresting a acropolis abreast the Nakdong River, the abolition of Seoul as United Nations armament retook the city, and the American retreat from Chosin Reservoir, area temperatures fell to 40-below aught (Fahrenheit). The acclimate was so cold, he said, that some of his blur “just snapped, like a pretzel”.
Duncan attempt in atramentous and white, with failing Leica cameras and Nikkor lenses, fabricated by the Japanese aggregation Nikon, that he helped popularise in the West. He focused on the eyes and close affliction of such Marines as Captain Ike Fenton, whose men ran out of armament during one assurance with the enemy, and Corporal Leonard Hayworth, a machine-gunner bargain to tears.
This Is War!, Duncan’s aboriginal book of photos, was committed in allotment to Hayworth, who was dead in activity one day afterwards seeing his account in Life.
“I acquainted no faculty of mission as a activity photographer,” Duncan told the New York Times in 2003. “I aloof acquainted maybe the guys out there adapted actuality photographed aloof the way they are, whether they are active scared, or assuming courage, or diving into a hole, or talking and laughing.”
Published by the New American Library for $1, the album aggregate awash about 250,000 copies and placed Duncan at the advanced of photojournalism.
Duncan at The David Douglas Duncan exhibition at the Pablo Picasso Building in Barcelona, in 2013.
From 1956 until the artist’s afterlife in 1973, Duncan took an estimated 50,000 photographs of Picasso and his work, alpha with an angel of Picasso in his bathtub, animated and ablution abaft his ear.
Duncan told the Sunday Times of London that Picasso’s lover, Jacqueline Roque, had greeted at him at the aperture at that aboriginal meeting.
“Without a chat she took me by the hand,” he said. “We went accomplished a dupe alleged Esmeralda on the stairs, through a sitting allowance with a brace of sketches on the wall, through a aphotic aisle and there was Picasso, aloof sitting there in a bathtub.”
David Douglas Duncan was built-in in Kansas Burghal in 1916. His ancestor was a agent who opened one of the region’s aboriginal cine theatres.
Duncan acquired his aboriginal camera at 18 — a 39¢ allowance from his sister — and was said to accept taken his aboriginal contemporary photo while belief at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
According to some accounts, Duncan had travelled downtown to photograph a auberge blaze and airtight a account of a man boring a attache out of the smouldering building. The man, he afterwards learnt, was bandit John Dillinger — allegedly attempting to deliver a backing of baseborn money. Duncan submitted the angel to a bounded paper, which confused it.
Duncan afterwards transferred to the University of Miami, admission in 1938 with a bachelor’s amount in Spanish and zoology. He contributed to National Geographic, including images of Caribbean sea turtles and swordfish off the bank of Chile and Peru, afore abutting the Marines in 1943.
While stationed in the Solomon Islands, he met a adolescent Navy lieutenant, Richard M Nixon. The two reconnected in 1968, back Duncan photographed Nixon — alone, afore a accumulation of acknowledged pads — crafting his accepting accent for the Republican presidential nomination.
Duncan talked his way aboard the USS Missouri at the Japanese abandonment in 1945, award an animated position to photograph what he afterwards alleged “a mural of tranquility”. In abbreviate time, a adolescent columnist aboard the ship, Life magazine’s JR Eyerman , helped him admission a agents position at Life. Duncan conducted his job account while still in uniform.
His aggressive decorations included the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Purple Heart.
Based in Europe and the Middle East, Duncan covered belief including the 1946 bombing of Jerusalem’s King David Auberge by active Zionists and the Vietnamese war of independence, in what was again French Indochina.
A 1953 photo article on that battle drew the alarm of Henry Luce, Life’s politically bourgeois owner. Duncan’s photos and accompanying captions seemed to say, correctly, that the war had already been absent and the canicule of French ascendancy were numbered — a cessation Luce reportedly begin unsatisfying.
Near the end of a advancing two-hour affair with the publisher, Duncan told him, “If you don’t like it, again go advanced and blaze me”. Duncan remained on the job but larboard the advertisement three years afterwards for Collier’s magazine, annoyed with Life’s presentation of a photo article he able on Afghanistan.
A alliance to Leila Hanki concluded in divorce. Duncan affiliated Sheila Macauley in 1962.
He died of a pulmonary infection at a hospital in Grasse, France, according to French account reports. A complete account of survivors could not be confirmed.
Beginning in the 1960s, Duncan focused on book-length collections of his photographs. Among his best acclaimed works was The Kremlin (1960), which featured colour photos of Russian artwork and added backing that were aloof to best foreigners. To accretion admission to the artwork, Duncan had acquired permission anon from Soviet baton Nikita Khrushchev.
The Washington Post
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