Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Guide to the Estate of Carl Mydans Photography Collection
View entire collection guide What's This?
Search this collection
Collection Overview
Table of contents What's This?
The collection consists of photographs Carl Mydans created while working for Life and Time magazines. The collection is arranged alphabetically by the location where the photographs were taken. Exceptions are the folders of General Douglas MacArthur photographs (Box 3 Folder 1) and the portraits of political leaders of various countries (Box 2 Folders 5-6) Original image identification letter and number given to each photograph by Mydans have been retained, as has the original title of photograph when given. Folder headings were created by combining information on the back of the photograph with an inventory created by the Mydans estate. When a date is noted on the photograph, it has been included in this guide.
A graduate of Boston University's school of journalism, Carl Mydans joined Life Magazine as a staff photographer in 1936. His work over the years sent him overseas where he covered events in Britain, Sweden, Finland, Italy, France, China, and the Philippines. In 1941, the Japanese captured and held Carl and his wife, Shelley, in Manila for almost one year and then transferred them to Shanghai, China. They finally returned home in 1943 after being repatriated in a prisoner-of-war exchange. After his capture and release, Mydans covered the war in Europe, specifically the battles of Italy at Cassino, Rome and Florence and the American-Free French invasion of southern France in August, 1944. The following year saw him back in the Philippines covering General MacArthur's landing, and in 1948, he covered the earthquake in Fukui, Japan. Mydans would photograph General MacArthur's forces again during the Korean War. The photographs Mydans took from this time earned him U.S. Camera Magazine's Gold Achievement Award. Carl Mydans died on August 16, 2004 at his home in Larchmont, New York. His wife, whom he married in 1938, died in 2002.
2 linear feet (3 flat boxes)
Copyright in the photographs created by Carl Mydans is held by Time Inc./Life Magazine. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and the Head of Special Collections before publishing quotations or duplicating images from materials in the collection.
Collection is open for research; materials must be requested at least 24 hours in advance of intended use.