Juxtapositions: Images from the Newseum Ted Polumbaum Photo Collection

This mesmerizing collection of freelance photojournalist Ted Polumbaum's photographs spans the world in the second half of the 20th century. India to Chile, the United States to Hong Kong, the human experience shines through the famous and the unknown, the mundane and the exceptional. Pairs of beautifully rendered images, printed on glossy, 8x12 pages, share visual or emotional connections, inviting readers to contemplate the commonalities and differences, as well as the distinctively insightful style Polumbaum uses to capture his subjects.

Throughout his career, Polumbaum (1924-2001) worked for various Time Life magazines, so Juxtapositions includes glimpses of monumental junctures like the U.S. civil rights movement and the election of Salvador Allende in Chile. It also presents daily activities, like those of a Mexican street musician, and playful scenes, such as winter sunbathers at Coney Island. In a mix of black-and-white and full-color prints, these snapshots evoke compassion, empathy, joy and anguish. The heartbreaking irony of four black women standing under the sign for Easy St. as they watch the Poor People's March in Mississippi grips the viewer as profoundly as the joy of a Canadian fisherman's reunion with his infant child after a catastrophe at sea.

Polumbaum's daughter Judy, a journalist, organized the photographs and wrote the introduction and afterword. Her perspective on her father's work enhances the experience of delving into this slice of his life's work. Juxtapositions is a study in the power of still images captured with a discerning eye, and readers don't have to be photography experts to take away a greater understanding of the world. --Jen Forbus of Jen's Book Thoughts

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