- Margaret Bourke-White
- 'The American Way of Life' (At the Time of the Louisville Flood, Kentucky)
- gelatin silver print
By descent to the present owner
Bourke-White rode on various rowboats and rafts with her equipment through the flooded streets of Louisville to capture photographs for the magazine. The present image shows refugees lining up for supplies at an emergency relief center. Bourke-White made several negatives from various viewpoints before finding the most provocative composition. A biting example of the social and economic ironies of the Depression era, it is perhaps Bourke-White's best-known image.
The Witkin Gallery, New York, held two significant exhibitions of Bourke-White’s photographs during its first ten years in operation. This rare lifetime print was made in conjunction with the first, in January 1971. Bourke-White was involved with the exhibition and attended the opening. She died in August 1971. Of the projected edition of 200, Bourke-White made very few prints. At the time of this writing, it is believed that only one other print from this edition has appeared at auction.