Burt Glinn Retrospective to open at Milk Gallery

One of the essential tenets of producing the art of photography is being in the right place, at the right time. Few photographers could claim to uphold this credo as well as Burt Glinn, a Harvard graduate turned professional photographer who managed to capture some of the most iconic images of the 20th century in a career that nearly spanned six decades of American history and culture.

After serving in WWII, Glinn developed a knack for translating lush, exotic locales around the world onto film, highlighted best in his color photo series from the early 1950’s, documenting everywhere from the South Seas, Japan, Russia, and Mexico. He became one of the first members of photo agency Magnum, an organization that he would later lead as president in addition to leading the American Society of Media Photographers.

But Glinn solidified his reputation throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s not with agency positions, but with his immense output of work that captures the seismic shifts in world history. His photo of the ‘Little Rock Nine’ entering their first day of desegregated public school is studied in textbooks around the country, and his trip to Cuba in 1959 resulted in some of the first and most immersive documentation of Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution. He’s photographed monumental moments like Nikita Khrushchev during the Soviet leader’s tour of America, the US invasion of Lebanon and the Sinai War, and more subtle, quiet moments of recognizable figures, such as Andy Warhol and Edie Sedgwick in the streets of swinging mod-era London and Allen Ginsburg reciting poetry in New York’s Washington Square Park.

The full scale of Glinn’s work has been compiled into a retrospective debuting here at Milk Gallery tonight. Though Glinn passed away in 2008, the resonance of his body of work is still strongly felt, in all fields and all professions. He captured the entire spirit of an age, but in his own words, he had the most important thing a photographer can ask for, ‘just luck.’

Photo by Burt Glinn. USA. New York City. 1965. Andy Warhol with Edie Sedgwick and Chuck Wein.

Burt Glinn Retrospective opens on April 15th at Milk Gallery 450 W 15th st, New York.

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