Dissertation Presentation

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  • I haven’t decided on a title yet, so this one is just temporary.
  • I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do my dissertation presentation on but for some reason the photojournalist Weegee popped into my head.
  • Did an essay on one of his images in first year.
  • Found him very interesting.
  • Was a freelance photographer selling to around eight different New York Newspapers. Press photographer, socialite and fashion photographer.
  • Photographed New York between 1935-1947.

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  • To begin with I looked at several books on photojournalism but nothing was catching my eye.
  • Weegee unmentioned in any of the photojournalism books I was looking at.
  • This book was created in conjunction to the exhibition Weegee: Murder is my Business by Brian Willis for the International Centre of Photography (New York).
  • Contained loads of information on his most famous work – press photography for tabloids in New York and the exhibition Weegee curated Murder is My Business in 1941 for Photo League.

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  • Photos taken of the exhibition in 1941 of Weegee’s exhibition Murder is my Business at Photo League.
  • What I found notable about the exhibition was how strange it seems to see images of murders in this way – as art. Weegee saw the murders as art, each was different and sent a message.

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  • The only image shown in the book to have been edited before it could be printed. Took the body out of the trunk.
  • Shows Weegee’s darkroom skill.

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  • The books Weegee produced in order earliest to last.
  • The Village (1989) was the last book Weegee was involved with but was published after he died. The writing in it and the order the images were chosen by him though.
  • Naked City (1945) Weegee’s first book was by far his most successful, photographer Paul Strand said that it was “The first major contribution of day to day journalism to photography as a creative medium.”.
  • After Naked City he no longer took pictures of murders and claimed that “murders weren’t anything anymore”.
  • He shot some pictures for Vogue, he shot Hollywood, celebrities, operas, everyday life.
  • Worked on a lot of film and starred in some.

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Re-construction and comparisons.
Exhibitions – for inspiration.


– Time
– What you’re looking for in the work – issue.
– Other photographers of the time.
– How we look at images today.


Ethical issues
– The camera changing the context of the situation.

Photo history
– The depression
– Psychology and trauma
– Cultural history
– Film and crime novels of the time.



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