John Loengard, Existence Photographer and Chronicler, Dies at 85 – The New York Occasions


Credit score…Alfred Eisenstaedt/The LIFE Image Assortment, by the use of Getty Pictures

When Existence mag despatched John Loengard to Miami to photograph the Beatles in February 1964, he had a unusual concept: Pose them in a swimming pool, as a Fab 4 of bobbing heads. However on an overly cold day, he may just in finding most effective an unheated pool.

The Beatles had been reluctant to take the dip, however their supervisor, Brian Epstein, recommended them in, mentioning Existence’s significance. “It was once very, very chilly, they usually had been turning blue, so after a minute or two we allow them to get out,” Mr. Loengard told The Guardian in 2005.

The image stuck John, Paul, George and Ringo smiling and making a song within the water right through their advent to the US. To Mr. Loengard, it was once his maximum American image in 11 years as one of Existence’s main photographers.

Credit score…John Loengard

Mr. Loengard died on Would possibly 24 at his house in New york. He was once 85. His daughter Anna Loengard stated the purpose was once middle failure.

From round age 11, when his father were given him his first digital camera, a Kodak Brownie, Mr. Loengard (pronounced LOW-en-guard) understood that there was once magic in images, that photographs stuck inside of a field may just bear endlessly.

At Existence, the place phrases had been subservient to images, Mr. Loengard prolonged that magic and changed into one of the mag’s maximum influential photographers, following within the trail of Alfred Eisenstaedt, Margaret Bourke-White and W. Eugene Smith.

Running nearly solely in black and white, Mr. Loengard photographed stars like Judy Garland and Jayne Mansfield, and heads of state like President John F. Kennedy, strolling in Frankfurt with German officers in 1963, and Queen Elizabeth II on a shuttle to Ethiopia in 1965.

He captured Louis Armstrong spreading balm over his chapped lips. He created a portrait of grief in Myrlie Evers’s comforting of her 9-year-old son, Darrell, on the funeral in 1963 of her husband, the civil rights chief Medgar Evers, who were murdered. He stuck the poet Allen Ginsberg just about hidden by way of a veil of cigarette smoke, its wisps seeming to increase from his hair.

Credit score…John Loengard

In 1966 and 1967, Mr. Loengard went to New Mexico to {photograph} the modernist painter Georgia O’Keeffe. He didn’t need to depict her as different photographers had, amongst them her husband, Alfred Stieglitz, and Yousuf Karsh. He serendipitously discovered a brand new approach to painting her when she informed him about killing rattlesnakes on her assets with a stick.

Credit score…John Loengard

“As we had been having lunch, she pulled out from the sideboard packing containers of the rattles that she’d gathered,” he recalled in “Existence Photographers: What They Noticed” (1998), a selection of 43 interviews he performed (and one that somebody else performed of him). “I figured O’Keeffe want to be identified to the readers of Existence mag as a killer. I requested if I may take photos on the desk.

“‘No doubt,’ she stated. “I photographed her hand shifting the rattles round one of the little packing containers, with a wood fit.”

The O’Keeffe footage, a few of which gave the impression in Existence, had been incorporated in a e-book, “Georgia O’Keeffe/John Loengard: Artwork and Pictures,” printed in 2006.

Publishers Weekly said the side-by-side displays of Ms. O’Keeffe’s artwork and Mr. Loengard’s pictures afforded “a wealthy viewing revel in that elevates appreciation of each.”

After Existence stopped publishing weekly in 1972, Mr. Loengard stayed at its dad or mum corporate, Time Inc., with its mag building team; he helped get started Folks mag in 1974 and served as image editor for particular editions of Existence and of a per 30 days model of Existence that started in 1978. He left in 1987 to freelance for quite a lot of publications, together with Existence and Folks, and for company studies.

Credit score…John Loengard

John Borg Loengard was once born on Sept. 5, 1934, in New york. His father, Richard, was once an engineer and the president of United Chromium; his mom, Margery (Borg) Loengard, was once a homemaker.

Together with his Brownie, younger John took photos of his friends and family and of native landmarks. Together with his father’s lend a hand, he evolved his photos in the toilet.

“I’ve been hooked ever since,” he told Rfotofolio, a images site, in 2016.

He took photos for his highschool newspaper. And whilst attending Harvard College, the place he earned a bachelor’s stage in American historical past, he were given his first project from Existence, to {photograph} a tanker that had long past aground on Cape Cod.

The photographs by no means ran, however he were given extra assignments. He was once employed by way of the mag in 1961.

At Carnegie Corridor that yr, he took a dramatic photo of Judy Garland as she bent over to the touch the fingers of target market contributors. All eyes had been riveted on her, together with the ones of one guy who gave the impression rapturous. It’s an emotional image, however Mr. Loengard stated it was once now not a excellent one.

“I fudged main points and relied most effective on robust shape,” like her again and head and the open mouth of her ecstatic fan, he wrote in “As I See It” (2005), a retrospective of his paintings. “The digital camera’s veracity was once now not wanted.” It would as smartly had been a portray, he added.

After leaving Existence, Mr. Loengard changed into as famend for his books as for his images. He wrote about his personal paintings in “Photos Underneath Dialogue” (1987) and “Second by way of Second” (2016); commented on evocative Existence photos of human expression in “Faces” (1991); paid homage to the photographic procedure in “Celebrating the Unfavorable” (1994); and compiled his portraits of Annie Leibovitz, Richard Avedon, Henri Cartier-Bresson and different photographers in “Age of Silver: Encounters With Nice Photographers” (2011).

When American Photo magazine ranked him 80th some of the 100 maximum necessary other folks in images in 2005, it described him as a “superb photographer” who had “became his intimate wisdom and keenness for Existence right into a exceptional profession as a creator.”

Along with his daughter Anna, Mr. Loengard is survived by way of every other daughter, Jenna Loengard; his son, Charles; three grandchildren; and two step-grandchildren. His marriage to Eleanor Sturgis resulted in divorce.

One in all Mr. Loengard’s photographic heroes was once Mr. Cartier-Bresson, the grasp of side road images, who had carried out his very best for a few years to keep away from having someone {photograph} him.

When Mr. Loengard requested him to pose for photos that might accompany a Museum of Trendy Artwork exhibition of his early paintings, Mr. Cartier-Bresson requested, “Are you able to take all of the photos from in the back of?”

No, he stated, he may just now not.

“I felt an important factor was once to nail him down, as temporarily as conceivable — get that face — after which he began taking photos of me, and he went click-click,” Mr. Loengard said on the PBS show “Charlie Rose” in 2011, “and I had a motor on my digital camera, so I went ‘zeep-zeep,’ and we gave the impression of two bugs getting interested by each and every different.

“He idea this was once a laugh, and he giggled.”