Esther Bubley was a 20th-century photojournalist renowned for her revealing profiles of the United States and its people in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. Having developed an interest in photography in high school, Bubley received her big break in 1942 when she was hired as a darkroom assistant for Roy Stryker, who assigned her to document wartime in the nation’s capital.
Bubley’s talent for creating gently humorous, probing images of Americans landed her freelance work for various corporations and publications—including Life and Ladies’ Home Journal—where she illustrated subjects from the Miss America Pageant to after-school programs and farm life. In an industry dominated by men, Bubley was one of the few women whose photographic accomplishments led her to the top of the field. (NMWA)