Ruth Orkin - The Making of a Classic

1 Jun 2008 – 15 Jul 2008

Save Event: Ruth Orkin - The Making of a Classic

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Michael Hoppen Gallery

London, United Kingdom


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  • Sloane Square / South Kensington
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The Michael Hoppen Gallery are pleased to announce an exhibition of photographs by Ruth Orkin including American Girl in Italy, one of the most widely known photographs ever taken. Co-curated by Orkin's daughter, Mary Engel, the exhibition will feature rarely seen photographs from Orkin's travelogue encapsulating the tourist's experience in Italy alongside iconic images spanning Orkin's career. On August 22, 1951, on the Piazza della Repubblica in Florence, Ruth Orkin, a 29 year old aspiring photojournalist, took the photograph that made her famous. The image of a young woman walking through a thicket of men was considered risqué in its time but since then it has become one of the most famous pictures ever taken. The image is such a perfect and classical composition that some critics to question whether or not the scene was staged. Orkin never hid the fact that the shot was not entirely spontaneous, and spoke of having directed some minor elements of the scene. Whether real" or not, the image remains an icon of street photography to this day.

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