W. Eugene Smith And his contribution to society

Where was the artist from and where did they grow up? What was the time period that they lived in?

W. Eugene Smith was born and raised in Witicha, Kansas. On December 20, 1918, his parents, Nettie Caplinger Smith (a photographer) and William Smith (a businessman) gave birth to a baby boy, William Eugene Smith. During his adult years, him and his wife Aileen Smith, he had two children named, Marissa Smith and Juanita Smith. However, he died on October 15, 1978 in Tucson, Arizona. He lived to be only 60 years old.

What was the most significant event that happened in their life?

W. Eugene Smith lived a significant life. He lived a significant because he was able to figure out what he wanted to do for the rest of his life (photography) at the age of fourteen. A few years later, he was offered a scholarship for photography. The photography scholarship was for the University of Norte Dame, however he decided to leave a year into college to go work in New York. He worked at many different newspapers like: Newsweek, LIFE, Collier’s, Harper’s Bazaar, The New York Times and many more. While working at numerous newspapers, he had many accomplishments.

What was the overall meaning of their artwork?

W. Eugene Smith wanted his photography to be very powerful and leave people thinking about the world. He did a lot of war related photography because during World War II, he was a war correspondent in the Pacific theater and he was then seriously wounded in 1945 in Okinawa. After he recovered from this injury, he created many photo essays. One of the photo essays that he had created was called, "Nurse Midwife."

Nurse Midwife is one of his well-known photo essays.

What was the impact of the artist and his/her work on society?

W. Eugene Smith was impacted about the life that he had lived. Being apart of World War 2, had a big impact on his work. A lot of his photography is based on the action that was occurring during the war. Taking photos throughout the war allowed for him to show how important art and war is, not just to himself, but the others around him. The impact that W. Eugene Smith had on society was that his work was so impressive and powerful, that people wanted to keep his type of work going (humanistic photography).

Sources

https://www.icp.org/browse/archive/constituents/w-eugene-smith

smithfund.org/smith-legacy

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/w-eugene-smith-about-w-eugene-smith/707/

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