Posted by ricardo marcenaro | Posted in Photos - Fotos: John Vachon - Part 1 - Bio data - Links | Posted on 13:31
John Vachon - Blind beggar on the sidewalk, Omaha, Nebraska 1938
John Vachon - Commuters waiting+for south-bound trains, Chicago, Illinois, 1941
John Vachon - Employees of Coca Cola+plant on strike, Sikeston, Missouri, 1940
John Vachon - Farm family in town, Washington, North Carolina, 1938
John Vachon - Farm wife and baby waiting in car while husband attends auction, Oskaloosa, Kansas, 1938
John Vachon - Girls in Woodbine Iowa 1940
John Vachon - Girls on main street, Watertown, Wisconsin, 1941
John Vachon - Halifax County Virginia 1941
John Vachon - Jones and Laughlin Steel Company Aliquippa Pennsylvania 1941
John Vachon - Meeker County, Minnesota. Music supplied by two Meeker County farmers for dance at crossroads store, 1942
John Vachon - Mildred Irwin, saloon singer+at North Platte, Nebraska, 1938
John Vachon - Negro boy near Cincinnati, Ohio (LOC)
John Vachon - Rural school children, San Augustine County, Texas (LOC fsac.1a35425)
John Vachon - Steelworker and family. Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, 1941
John Vachon - Striking realty workers, Chicago, Illinois, 1941
John Vachon - Typhoid inoculation
John Vachon - Waiting for street car, Chicago, 1940
John Vachon - Wife and child of FSA tenant purchase borrower, Crawford County, Illinois, 1940
John Vachon - Wife of resettled farmer, Roanoke Farms, North Carolina, 1938
John Vachon - Woman and dogs shacktown Dubuque Iowa 1940
John Vachon - Worker at carbon black plant
John Vachon - Workers leaving Pennsylvania shipyards, Beaumont, Texas, 1943
Family and education
Vachon was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He graduated from Cretin High School (now Cretin-Derham Hall High School). He received a bachelor's degree in 1934 from the University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul, then named St. Thomas College. In about 1938 he married Millicent Leeper who was known as Penny. She died in 1959. Vachon married Françoise Fourestier in 1961. Vachon served in the United States Army in 1945.
Vachon's daughter, Christine Vachon, is a noted independent film producer.
John Vachon's first job at the Farm Security Administration carried the title "assistant messenger." He was twenty-one, and had come to Washington from his native Minnesota to attend The Catholic University of America. Vachon had no intention of becoming a photographer when he took the position in 1936, but as his responsibilities increased for maintaining the FSA photographic file, his interest in photography grew.
By 1937 Vachon had looked enough to want to make photographs himself, and with advice from Ben Shahn he tried out a Leica in and around Washington. His weekend photographs of "everything in the Potomac River valley" were clearly the work of a beginner, but Stryker lent him equipment and encouraged him to keep at it. Vachon received help as well from Walker Evans, who insisted that he master the view camera, and Arthur Rothstein, who took him along on a photographic assignment to the mountains of Virginia. In October and November 1938, Vachon traveled to Nebraska on his first extensive solo trip. He photographed agricultural programs on behalf of the FSA's regional office and pursued an extra assignment from Stryker: the city of Omaha.
The hallmark of this style of photography is the portrayal of people and places encountered on the street, unembellished by the beautifying contrivances used by calendar and public relations photographers.
He was a photographer for the Office of War Information in Washington, D.C. from 1942 to 1943, and then staff photographer for Standard Oil Company of New Jersey between 1943 and 1944. After serving in the army in 1944–45, in 1947 Vachon joined the Photo League, where he wrote book reviews for Photo Notes and participated in many exhibition. Between 1945 and 1947 he photographed New Jersey and Venezuela for Standard, and Poland for the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. Vachon became a staff photographer for Life magazine, where he worked between 1947 and 1949, and for over twenty five years beginning in 1947 at Look magazine. In 1953 Vachon took the first pictures of Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio when Monroe cured a sprained ankle near Banff, Canada. When Look closed in 1971 he became a freelance photographer. In 1973, he won a Guggenheim fellowship. In 1975 he was a visiting professor at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.
He died in 1975 in New York at age 60.
Photos - Fotos: John Vachon - Part 1 - Bio data - Links
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