Jimmy Hare


Before Capa or Duncan, there was Jimmy Hare.

I had never heard of him before yesterday, but Jimmy Hare was probably the best known photojournalist in the world around the beginning of the 20th Century.

Hare was hired by Collier's Weekly which was a pioneer in the use of half-tone photo reproductions to illustrate news stories.  Here is a brief bio from the Luminous Lint site:

"Was one of the key photographers during the Spanish American War and his photographs for ‘Colliers Weekly‘ are generally credited with greatly increasing circulation. He did photograph a number of wars following this including the Russo-Japanese War (1904), the Mexican Revolution (1911), the First Balkan War (1912), and the First World War (1914-) for ‘Leslie‘s Weekly‘."

References to Hare's work are easily found, but In spite of having millions of his photos in circulation at the time, Hare's photos seem to appear very rarely on the Web.  The only ones I have located so far are at the Eastman Archive site.  The photo above showing Hare with one of his big plate cameras in his lap is listed as a latern slide; the caption is rather cryptic, but the date gives it away.  In 1911, Hare was covering the Battle of Juarez in the Mexican Revolution.  The photo shows him seated in an ancient aircraft about to fly over the Rio Grande to photograph the combatants.

I only just learned of Hare as a result of attending a presentation last night by Miguel Ángel Berumen, a film and photography historian from Juárez, México.  Berumen has authored two impressive books of photos on the Mexican Revolution, one about Pancho Villa, and the other about the Battle of Juarez(1911, La Batalla de Ciudad Juárez).
. . The book on the 1911 battle features many photos by and of the photographer, Hare.  Berumen did an incredible research job to string together the story through the pictures of the battle; the work took a couple of years and was pursued in archives and private collections world-wide.  To give just one example, Berumen was able through meticulous research to plot the exact street-by-street path followed by Hare and some other photographers as they accompanied the victorious rebel army into the center of Juarez.

In browsing the net, I came across references to a book on Hare published in 1977: Photojournalist: The Career of Jimmy Hare by Lewis L. Gould.  I ordered a used copy for five bucks, and I'm looking forward to learning more about this remarkable photographer.

Quite awesome in range and quality.  

Back in the pre-Internet Dark Ages you'd have had to have access to a high standard university library to have any chance of discovering gems like this guy and his work.  Thanks for the alert.


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