Looking Back At The Great 'Life' Photographers : The Picture Show The magazine's greatest photographs have been reissued in a paperback anthology.
NPR logo Looking Back At The Great 'Life' Photographers

Looking Back At The Great 'Life' Photographers

Life really has an unfair advantage when it comes to curating art books. At least in the photography category, it has one of the most extensive, impressive archives from which to cull. For decades the pages of Life were home to the best photographers, and it was just about every amateur photographer's aspiration to be in those pages.

Some of the photos you've seen, like the sailor kissing the nurse on V-J Day in Times Square. Others you may not know, but can instantly appreciate: Kennedy and baby Caroline, Jackie Robinson rounding third base at the World Series, Picasso painting with light — and in a bathtub.

The Great Life Photographers
Time Inc.

So add The Great Life Photographers to your list of holiday gift books. The paperback edition of the 2004 visual encyclopedia was released in October and contains 600 pages of Life's best photography. Daunted by the prospect of making an even smaller edit, I asked Barbara Baker Burrows, director of photography at Life Books, to pick some of her favorites. Her edit and commentary constitute this gallery. But you can see more Life classics on the Life Books website.