Storia di una fotografia
1. Nel 1951 R. Orkin and Craig si sono incontrate a Firenze. Tutte e due avevano 23 anni. Ruth doveva rientrare negli Stati Uniti dopo un servizio in Israele per Life. Craid era in vacanza. Era una donna alta e bella e Ruth le chiese di posare per dimostrare come fosse difficile per una donna viaggiare da sola.
2. Craig amava Firenze e la conosceva, decise di passare attraverso il gruppo di uomini, senza che il suo sguardo incontrasse nessuno dei loro.
3. Per molti anni la fotografia è stata considerata oscena, mentre passa, dietro di lei c’è un uomo che sembra toccarsi i cosidetti… OGni volta che la foto veniva pubblicata, la mano veniva cancellata.
4. Orkin ha scattato la foto alle10:30 del mattino. La strada era piena di gente perché dopo la seconda guerra mondiale il lavoro scarseggiava in Italia.
5. “Avevo una piccola borsa con me e pochi bagagli dato che sarei rimasta sei mesi in Europa.” Indossavo una sciarpa arancione comprata in Messico. Nelle mani ha materiale per disegnare e dipingere.
6. Oggi una stampa della foto “American girl” costa $50,000, per le riproduzioni ci vogliono 2500$
7. Craig afferma di non aver ricevuto un centesimo e non ho mai rilasciato una liberatoria
Questo un testo scritto dalla figlia di Ruth, la fotografa.
My mother, Ruth Orkin, had many loves. Photography and travel were two of them.
When she was 17, my mother took a cross-country trip by herself, bicycling and hitchhiking from her home in Los Angeles to New York, snapping pictures along the way. She later moved to New York, where this spirit of adventure continued. She photographed Tanglewood’s summer music festivals, honed her craft in nightclubs, joined the Photo League, and with her first published story in Look magazine, became “a full-fledged photojournalist.” In 1951, Life sent her on assignment to Israel. From there she went to Italy, and it was in Florence that she met Jinx Allen (now known as Ninalee Craig), a painter and fellow American.
The two were talking about their shared experiences traveling alone as young single women, when my mother had an idea. “Come on,” she said, “lets go out and shoot pictures of what it’s really like.” In the morning, while the Italian women were inside preparing lunch, Jinx gawked at statues, asked Military officials for directions, fumbled with lire and flirted in cafes while my mother photographed her. They had a lot of fun, as the photograph, “Staring at the Statue”, demonstrates. My mother’s best known image, “American Girl in Italy” was also created as part of this series.
My mother always encouraged me to go to Europe, which I finally did during my college years, exploring Italy on a diet of wine and cheese. I felt a tremendous connection with her while I was there. Even now, with memories of my own, when I think of Italy, I picture my mother’s photographs. She captured its essence, as she did with most things.
Ruth Orkin era l’unica figlia di Mary Rubi , attrice del cinema muto, e di Samuel Orkin, crebbe a Hollywood durante la crisi del 1920-1930.Quando aveva appena 10 anni le fu regalata la prima macchina fotografica e già a 12 era in grao di sviluppare le proprie foto.Ruth aveva una gran passione per il cinema e amava collezionare autografi degli attri più famosi, che ben presto iniziò a fotografare.A 21 anni cominciò la sua collaborazione con gli MGM Studios, ma dovette interromperla perchè l’unioe cinamatografica non accettava membri donne.Quando si trasferì a New Yorkne 1943, iniziò,di giorno, a fotografare bambini, mentre di notte fotografava nei nightclub.Intorno al 1949 iniziò a collaborare con diversi giornali tra cui :Life, Look, Horizon,e Ladies Home Journal. Tra la fine degli anni 40 e l’inizio dei 50 iniziò ad appassionarsi al genere del ritratto, fotografando diversi musicisti cklassici. Dopo un viaggio in Isdraele giunse in Italia e successivamente viaggiò attraverso tutta l’Europa. Nel 1952 mentre lavorava alle riprese di “Little Fugitive” sposò il fotografo Morris Engel ; com lui Orkin girò anche “Lovers and Lollipops”. Nel 1959 fu nominata da”Professional Photographers of America” tra”The Ten Top Women Photographers in the U.S.”Ebbe due figli Andy e Mary.Le fotografie che documentavano la vita di New York, vista dalla sua finestra divennero l’argomento di due libri “A World Through My Window” (1978) e”More Pictures From My Window” (1983). Nel 1985 morì di cancro,nel suo appartamento di New York.
Ruth Orkin (1921 – 1985)
Ruth Orkin was an award-winning photojournalist and filmmaker. Orkin was the only child of Mary Ruby, a silent-film actress, and Samuel Orkin, a manufacturer of toy boats called Orkin Craft. She grew up in Hollywood in the heyday of the 1920s and 1930s. At the age of 10, she received her first camera, a 39 cent Univex. She began by photographing her friends and teachers at school. At 17 years old she took a monumental bicycle trip across the United States from Los Angeles to New York City to see the 1939 World’s Fair, and she photographed along the way.
Orkin moved to New York in 1943, where she worked as a nightclub photographer and shot baby pictures by day to buy her first professional camera. She worked for all the major magazines in 1940s, and also went to Tanglewood during the summers to shoot rehearsals. She ended up with many of the worlds’ greatest musicians of the time including Leonard Bernstein, Isaac Stern, Aaron Copland, Jascha Heifitz, Serge Koussevitzky and many others.
In 1951, LIFE magazine sent her to Israel with the Israeli Philharmonic. Orkin then went to Italy, and it was in Florence where she met Nina Lee Craig, an art student and fellow American, who became the subject of “American Girl in Italy.” The photograph was part of a series originally titled “Don’t Be Afraid to Travel Alone” about what they encountered as women traveling alone in Europe after the war.
On her return to New York, Orkin married the photographer and filmmaker Morris Engel. Together they produced two feature films, including the classic “Little Fugitive” which was nominated for an Academy Award in 1953. From their New York apartment overlooking Central Park, Orkin photographed marathons, parades, concerts, demonstrations, and the beauty of the changing seasons. These photographs were the subject of two widely acclaimed books, “A World Through My Window” and “More Pictures From My Window.” After a long struggle with cancer, Orkin passed away in her apartment, surrounded by her wonderful legacy of photographs with the view of Central Park outside her window.