W. Eugene Smith

Identify where the artist from? Grew up? Time period?

Born on December 30, 1918, William Eugene Smith started off as a photojournalist. He told deep stories through his photos. After he graduated from Wichita North High school, he worked for the Wichita Eagle. He would take pictures for the newspaper for a while until he moved to New York City and began working for a different newspaper called Newsweek. Eventually he was fired for not using the camera the paper wanted, so he went to work for Life Magazine.

Define what happened in their life that was significant?

Smith lived during the time of World War II. This meant a lot of bad things were happening. Not only did he have to live during the war but he was assigned to go photograph what was happening in the war. This meant he would travel with the soldiers during combat and take pictures of them. While he was doing this he was hit by mortar fire. He eventually recovered and was able to live his life how he wanted even though that was a hard part of his life he had to overcome.

Explain the overall meaning of their artwork?

W. Eugene Smith's work captures hard time for other people. In his work he shows a lot of struggling people and how life was during the war. You can see people barely making it through. This is a strong theme in his work and it brings awareness to how difficult the war made life for people.

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