White House Photographer Eric Draper at the Nixon Library This Thursday
Eric Draper, served as President George W. Bush’s chief photographer for the entire eight years of his presidency. Named Special Assistant to the President, Draper became the first White House photographer to be named a commissioned officer to the President.
Draper will be at the Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, California on Thursday, February 20 at 7:00 pm. to talk about his experiences capturing the American Presidency.
This event is cosponsored by the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, the Richard Nixon Foundation and the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin. To reserve your seats for this free event, visit nixonfoundation.org.
"Photographers in pool need to bring ladders." -White House instructions for Press Coverage of the State Dinner for German Chancellor Schmidt.
Black Tie, BYOL (Bring Your Own Ladder)
State dinners received press coverage from the arrival of guests through the after-dinner entertainment. The East Wing Press Office, headed by Mrs. Ford’s Press Secretary Sheila Weidenfeld, issued guidance on what press access would be allowed for each portion of the evening.
Reporters covering Chancellor Schmidt’s arrival at the North Portico did not have to dress up, but black tie was required for those covering events inside the White House. In addition to following the dress code these photographers covering the toasts needed to bring their own ladders into the State Dining Room to ensure a clear view over the guests’ heads.
Warm Springs, Ga. April 1939. Cigarette holder at a jaunty angle, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt sits at the wheel of his car, fielding questions at an outdoor news conference. (AP)
An exhibit of Associated Press images of American Presidents opens today at Federal Hall in Manhattan. It will be on view through 2012. More information is available here.
"General Eisenhower had never met a female photojournalist…" Whew. Glad times have changed.
Obit of the Day: Eisenhower’s First Female Photographer
Patricia Holden really wanted to enlist in the Canadian military but her age prevented her. So instead she lied about her age, but to get around the need to provide a birth certificate she claimed to be from the Isle of Guernsey - which was occupied by the Nazis, making records inaccessible. Brilliant. Holden was recruited into the Royal Air Force’s Women’s Division to train as an aerial photographer, at the age of 17. She began by photographing the damage caused by bombing of London by the Luftwaffe. Later was was given assignments on the ground.
In 1945 she was one of the pool of reporters taking photos of General Dwight Eisenhower and Air Vice-Marshal Robert Leckie, and the only woman. According to the Globe and Mail obituary, General Eisenhower had never met a female photojournalist, so he asked to meet Ms. Holden following the shoot. He later signed a copy of the photo.
She was also in the darkroom at the London Free Press developing the first photos documenting the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. The scenes of bodies piled up in the camp, were what Ms. Holden said she remembered most from her wartime service.
When Princess Elizabeth, later Queen Elizabeth II, married Prince Phillip in Westminster Abbey, Holden was one of only six photographers allowed into the service.
She returned to Canada in the 1950s and worked for Reuters for a period of time. After marrying advertising executive Arthur Collins she became a photographer for Canada Pictures before leaving photography to raise her five children, as well as taken in pregnant teenager to provide love and support. She died at the age of 87.
(The image of General Eisenhower and Air Vice-Marshal Leckie taken by Holden is courtesy of the Globe and Mail.)
Obit of the Day: “Bad Light” Atherton
James Atherton always wanted the unique angle. He was willing to sacrifice the perfect environment to get the best shot. (Other photographers gave him his nickname for his apparent disregard for light.) Sometimes this got him into trouble. The above photo was not taken by Atherton but taken of Atherton. Once again trying to capture that unusual look Atherton took to the stage during a speech by President John F. Kennedy to try and capture a “Hail Mary” shot - one taken without looking through the viewfinder. When Kennedy’s press secretary saw what happened he was livid but JFK when he saw the photo in the paper, cut it out, signed it and sent it to Atherton with a note: “Two men at work.”
Atherton, who took pictures for Acme (which became part of UPI) and the Washington Post retired in 1990, after five decades which included covering every president from Truman to Nixon.
He also covered the civil rights movement. His iconic image of that period was taken on August 29, 1963 during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom which is best known for Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” Speech. Atherton attached his camera to a bamboo pole, hoisted it over the shoulder of Lincoln’s statue and took this:
Amazing what a different angle can illustrate.
Mr. Atherton was 83.
(Main image is courtesy of the Post via the Atherton Family. The second image is copyright of Atherton/UPI.)
Only 43 men in the history of the United States have held the title of President. That’s a fairly small group , smaller than your average NFL team. But smaller still is the group of professionals who have held the title as the President’s chief photographer. To date, only nine men have served as the official White House Photographer. President John F. Kennedy first appointed photographer Cecil Stoughton in 1960 in the role of White House Photographer. In the nearly 50 years following that first appointment, presidential photographers have served as visual historians of the President’s daily life. A new exhibit at the Truman Library showcases their work. Cecil Stoughton took this photo. Thanks for the correction from fullmoonovertampa - “Technically only 43 men have been U.S. president. Cleveland is counted twice as numbers 22 and 24.”
Only 43 men in the history of the United States have held the title of President.
That’s a fairly small group , smaller than your average NFL team. But smaller still is the group of professionals who have held the title as the President’s chief photographer. To date, only nine men have served as the official White House Photographer.
President John F. Kennedy first appointed photographer Cecil Stoughton in 1960 in the role of White House Photographer. In the nearly 50 years following that first appointment, presidential photographers have served as visual historians of the President’s daily life. A new exhibit at the Truman Library showcases their work.
Cecil Stoughton took this photo.
Thanks for the correction from fullmoonovertampa - “Technically only 43 men have been U.S. president. Cleveland is counted twice as numbers 22 and 24.”
Moving to the White House, by request
A contact sheet of images from President Ford’s 9th day in office. Due to the sudden resignation of President Nixon, the Fords had not yet moved into the White House. Here, Gerald R. Ford is seen sitting at a table in his Vice Presidential private residence on Crown View Drive in Alexandria, VA. The caption reads, “lots of boxes.”
Thanks to our awesome archivists at the Ford Library for pointing out this fascinating catalog of White House contact sheets.