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Guide to the National Maritime Union Photographs PHOTOS 044

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
10th Floor
New York, NY 10012
(212) 998-2630

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

Collection processed by Hanan Ohayon

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on September 11, 2018 using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

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Series II: Economic Cooperation Administration Photos by Ernst Haas, circa 1948-1952

Historical/Biographical Note

Ernst Haas (1921-1986) was born in Vienna and took up photography after World War II. His first widely published pictures depicted returning prisoners of war in Austria and brought him to the attention of Life magazine, which published his photo essay "Homecoming." At the invitation of Robert Capa, Haas joined the cooperative Magnum Photos in 1949, developing close associations with Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Werner Bishof. In 1951 Haas moved to New York and continued to take black and white assignments for magazines while experimenting with color film. His color photo essay of New York City was published in  Life in 1953 and was a turning point in the acceptance of color photography as an art form and abstraction as a photographic style. Haas became president of Magnum in 1959. Throughout his career, he worked in photojournalism, advertising, and as a still photographer for films, bridging the gap between photojournalism and the use of photography as a medium for artistic expression. He wrote four books during his lifetime, including "The Creation" (1971).

Scope and Content Note

The series contains 32 black and white prints made by photographer Ernst Haas, possibly between 1948 and 1952, for the Economic Cooperation Administration (ECA), the administrative arm of the Marshall Plan. The photographs appear to document economic development, shipping, and the lives of black and white merchant seamen in Marseille, France. They include portraits of workers at work, in cafes and at home with their families, images of ports, ships, a railroad yard, building construction, post-war housing developments, and signs, political posters and graffiti in French.