Fortune Magazine’s First Female Photographer

Our way of looking at art and the icons of American culture changes fast. Yet the classics of photography are still the reference points for the future. As evidenced by “Margaret Bourke-White: Fortunes of Industry” now available for viewing and collecting at GALLERY M ( in Denver, Colorado.

Margaret Bourke-White early on developed a fascination with the element of man versus machine. Bourke-White needed to separate herself from the pictorialist of the early part of the Twentieth Century. She also needed to give herself an edge as a woman in a very male-dominated world of photography. She did both as she recorded and showed the full-blown affect of the turbines, the smoke stacks on her ever changing world dealing with the industrial revolution.

Bourke-White's Female Steel Workers

Female Steel Workers, Gary, Indiana, 1943 by Bourke-White. Courtesy Time, Inc.

The first cover of LIFE Magazine, Ft. Peck, MT exemplified the power of the photograph, the power of Margaret Bourke-White. Bourke-White was a photojournalist first and then an artist.

She shot beautiful industrial pictures, landscapes, cityscapes, and portraits, as well as some of the most powerful and important social documentary images in history. Her range was enormous and appropriately mirrored her subjects. As the press photographer with General George E. Patton in WWII, Margaret Bourke-White distinguished herself early and often.

Manufacturing lead the United States from an agricultural society to an industrial society producing “things.” Today the United States has once again been faced with the transformational reality of moving from a manufacturing society, to a service society and now an information society. Yet Margaret Bourke-White’s classic images still command the collector’s attention world wide because they speak to our human condition while seeking our personal goals and fortunes.

Included in this stunning retrospective curated by the seasoned specialists of GALLERY M are Niagara Falls Power Company, Chrysler Building, Fort Peck Dam, Statue of Liberty, Harbor View, Female Steel Workers, Coiled Rods, Rayon Spool, and DC-4 Flying Over New York City. A grouping of “vintage” and “later” photographs are a part of this exhibition.

Author: Myrna Hayutin

Myrna has been a cultural and fine art leader in Colorado for over 35 years. She has worked directly with local, national and internationally recognized fine artists, collectors and estates through her fine art gallery, GALLERY M.

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