Content from LIFE becomes available on Jan 25—free for all players!
ZiMAD, a mobile game developer, has announced a partnership with LIFE, the world-renowned magazine. In its first collaboration with a digital puzzle and gaming company, the LIFE Picture Collection will be sharing highlights from its vast and important photographic archive. And Magic Jigsaw Puzzles players will be able to relive the most spectacular moments in history, piece by piece.
LIFE’s debut features one of the most famous stars of the 20th century: Marilyn Monroe. You will find colorful and creative images by LIFE photographers Alfred Eisenstaedt, Ed Clark, JR Eyerman, Michael Rougier and more featuring the world’s most famous blonde in the new puzzle set.
“We are happy that now our players have the unique opportunity to ‘witness’ the greatest events and plunge into the heart of history by playing their favorite puzzle game,” said ZiMAD CEO Dmitry Bobrov. “Magic Jigsaw Puzzles is the world’s largest digital collection of puzzles, and LIFE is one of the greatest private photographic archives in the United States. Through digitalization, such a partnership contributes to sharing of the cultural heritage of an entire generation.”
The new LIFE-themed puzzle sets will be free for all players. ZiMAD is also planning to update the collection with more images from the LIFE archive.
The most famous story in the Aug. 8, 1949 issue of LIFE magazine introduced America to an artist named Jackson Pollock, posing the question, “Is this the most famous living painter in the United States?” A few pages away, the magazine also ran an unrelated story which included images from the Museum of Modern Art —with the point of these photos being how sophisticated a model could look outfitted in clothes bought (surprise!) at a five-and-ten.
The low-cost variety store had been around since the late 1800s and took off as a retail concept in the middle of the 20th century. LIFE’s story celebrated the stores as much as the clothing, opening with the declaration, “To visitors from abroad one of the perennial marvels of America is the five-and-ten crammed with household articles.”
Of particular interest to LIFE was the improving quality of the five-and-ten’s clothing selections. “They have proved as fast—and three to four times as cheap—as many a department store at copying simple fashions,” LIFE said.
As proof LIFE ran a fashion spread in which every item came from a five-and-ten and cost $2.00 or less. (The two-dollar price tag translates to $24.59 in 2023 dollars). Some fashions came from the original five-and-ten store, Woolworth’s, (The retail chain went out of business in 1987).
While the clothing was inexpensive, the pedigree for LIFE’s shoot was high-end. Legendary staff photographer Nina Leen was behind the camera while top model Jean Patchett posed for the pictures. The resulting photos are a tribute to the talents of both, as well as to the quality of the discount store wares. Some pictures here are outtakes from the original shoot, but the photos that ran in the original story include prices in the captions for each dime-store purchase.
In 1959 the first Disney theme park, which had opened to great fanfare in 1955, was already an international sensation. When Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev toured the U.S. that year and was in California, he asked if he could visit Disneyland—and was denied. ‘Why not?” he complained in a speech. “What is it? Do you have rocket-launching pads there?’ ”
No, but Disneyland did upgrade its entertainment arsenal that year, and when it did it invited another politician, U.S. Vice President Richard Nixon, to come celebrate the park’s new attractions. Disneyland was debuting the Matterhorn, the Submarine Voyage, and also the monorail that would become a Disney theme park signature (and also the basis for a beloved episode of The Simpsons).
Nixon came with his wife and daughters, and he stood side by side with Walt Disney for the monorail’s ribbon-cutting ceremony—though Nixon handed the giant ceremonial scissors to his daughters to cut the actual ribbon.
Nixon and Walt Disney then sat next to each other in the front row of a grandstand and watched a parade that celebrated all things Disney. While Nixon was the star guest that day, other notables included television host Art Linkletter, Broadway composer Meredith Willson, and an up-and-coming actor named Clint Eastwood.
The photos that Ralph Crane shot that day focus understandably on the parade, the park, the Vice President and Walt Disney. But his picture of Nixon and Eastwood together can’t help but jump out in this photoset, not only because they are each in their own way major figures, but because Disneyland is not the most obvious place to find either of them individually, let alone as a pair. Nixon would gain infamy as the only U.S. President ever resign, after the details of the Watergate scandal came to light. Eastwood would make his name as the gun-wielding star of Sergio Leone’s westerns and his signature Dirty Harry movies before becoming an Oscar-winning director.
This meeting at Disneyland caught both men in a period of transition. Nixon was about to launch his first run for President—he would lose to John F. Kennedy in 1960 before winning the office in 1968. For Eastwood, meanwhile, 1959 was the year his star first began to rise, playing Rowdy Yates in television show Rawhide. His first leading movie role, in A Fistful of Dollars, was still five years away.
And there they were, at Disneyland. In Ralph Crane’s photo Eastwood slyly smiles at the camera. Perhaps his look simply reflects the glee of a young star enjoying his new orbit. But he also looks like a guy who knows there are bigger things ahead.
The post The Nixons at Disneyland—with Clint Eastwood, 1959 appeared first on LIFE.
The musical Hello, Dolly! made its Broadway debut in 1964 and was an instant smash with Carol Channing in the title role. Three years later, when ticket sales were starting to slump, producer David Merrick retooled with an entirely black cast that featured Pearl Bailey as the lead and Cab Calloway as her love interest. The move was such a success that it landed Bailey on the cover of LIFE. And it also drew the attention of the sitting U.S. President.
LIFE said that with the new cast, “the performances have sharpened up. The dancing has extra snap, as if the hoofers are trying to outdo their excellent predecessors.” Pearl Bailey, it said, had the perfect temperament for the role of Dolly and “feels at home in every word.”
Audiences agreed. Clive Barnes, the powerful New York Times critic, raved about the show, in which he said Bailey drew show-stopping applause from the audience: “For Miss Bailey this was a Broadway triumph for the history books…She took the whole musical in her hands and swung it around her neck as easily as if it were a feather boa.”
Interestingly, Bailey told LIFE that when she signed on as Dolly, she was not told anything about the racial composition of the rest of the cast. The choice to use only Black actors was not without its dissenters—including Frederick O’Neal, who was the first Black president of Actor’s Equity and felt that a mixed-race cast would be more in line with the goal of integration. LIFE also cited white critics who found the idea of an all-black cast condescending, and mentioned that some wondered if this might lead to an all-white Porgy and Bess.
Bailey’s response to LIFE was: “If anyone was worried about integration, why didn’t they worry about it at the time of the first Dolly?”
Bailey’s performance earned her a special Tony award (as a replacement she wasn’t eligible for a standard nomination). When Bailey and the cast performed at the ceremony they were introduced by Carol Channing, who graciously raved about the success Bailey was having with her signature role.
Among those who came to see the production was Lyndon Johnson. He already had a connection to the musical from his 1964 presidential campaign, when Channing sang “Hello, Lyndon!” at the 1964 Democratic Convention. For this new production Johnson and his wife Lady Bird visited with Bailey and came on stage after a performance. LIFE said that this was the first time a U.S. President had appeared on a theatrical stage before an audience.
Bailey continued in the role until Hello, Dolly! closed its original run in 1970. She returned to a new production of the show in 1975, one that had been especially designed for her.
The post Remembering the Historic All-Black “Hello, Dolly!” from 1967 appeared first on LIFE.
James Beard’s name is well familiar to anyone who follows the world of fine dining. His non-profit James Beard Foundation bestows annual awards to restaurants and chefs, and when the honorees are announced, it’s a foodie equivalent of the Oscars.
Beard, who died in 1985 at the 81, often appeared in LIFE toward the later stages of the magazine’s original run. For one story, in the June 16, 1972 issue, LIFE had Arthur Schatz shoot Beard in a way that mimicked Gjon Mili’s famous pictures of Pablo Picasso that ran in the magazine in 1949. Back then Mili asked Picasso to “draw” in the air with a small electric light, and the photographs captured a new kind of artistic creation. Decades later Schatz had Beard replicate the process by affixing a light to the chef’s wrist and capturing his motions as he made a souffle.
The results with Beard are perhaps less illuminating—Picasso’s motions were meant to be an end to themselves, whereas Beard’s end product was dessert. The motions that Schatz captured are simply a fun jumble. But the underlying message of the shoot was clear: chefs are artists too.
The 1972 LIFE article that went with the photos also included conventional photographs from Beard’s cooking classes. For the classes the renowned chef welcomed groups of 12 students into his New York City townhouse (which is still open to the public today for special events).
The article described Beard as a man who knew who he was, and also what he loved:
He seems to be that rare thing, a happy and fulfilled human being, as far from an identity crisis as the planet Pluto. His only problem would appear to be the occupational hazard of excess. Not exactly obsessed with vitamins and nutritiion, he says, “I happen to think that good food is good for you. Nothing can take the place of good butter and good cream.”
In addition to photos from that story, included here are also a couple photos from an earlier appearance by Beard in LIFE magazine as part of a Nov. 23, 1962 issue devoted to food. In that issue Beard was part of a trend story on the popularity of cookbooks—he had a dozen out by that time‚ and was photographed making a casserole. Perhaps the most notable thing about that photo, shot by Yale Joel, is the pineapple-patterned wallpaper that is visible in the background. That same wallpaper also shows up in the background of the photos of his cooking classes that Schatz would take a decade later, confirming that both shoots took place in his home kitchen and that Beard was not just a fine chef but also a welcoming host.
William Wordsworth, who helped launch the Romantic age of English poetry, came of age at a time when industrialization was changing the English landscape. He was early in recognizing the value of maintaining and celebrating a connection to the natural world, just as man was starting to make significant encroachments.
In 1950, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Wordsworth’s death, LIFE magazine sent N.R. Farbman to photograph the home country of Wordsworth and the landscapes and local characters that inspired him. “The heart of Wordsworth’s poetry is in his profound love of nature,” LIFE wrote. “He also had a great respect for farmers—though they considered him a bit odd.”
The ambitious photo essay, which ran in the July 17, 1950 issue, paired Farbman’s images with verse from Wordsworth. Some of those verses that LIFE used appear here in the captions to the photos (you can read complete Wordsworth poems here), and this story also includes images from Farbman that never ran in LIFE, and so are presented without poetic accompaniment.