We know the most grueling moments of a nation's history - and the depths of human capacity for destruction - because we've seen frames of soldiers working, killing, being killed, returning home. They're both difficult to look at, and hard to look away from. Anne Wilkes Tucker's 'WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY' fills 612 pages with those images. She's in town to speak at Collin College's Plano campus tonight at 7.
Tucker's retiring after 39 years as photography curator for the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. She talked to Jerome Weeks last month about the images she chose and the photographers who brought them back.
“I don’t think the public thinks about the danger. I hope they will because these photographers have taken great risk, and just like the veterans, many, many of these photographers had PTSD," Wilkes told Jerome Weeks last month on Think.
"They’ve seen the same things, they’ve experienced the same horrors. None of us could sleep well, and we weren’t even there – we were just vicariously experiencing it.”
Of the more recent images in the collection, a photo of a hooded prisoner at Abu Ghraib is particularly familiar. It never appeared in print, but it went viral – which is why Tucker chose to include two representations of the photo in context.
"One image is a Marine in Iraq, sitting watching President Bush’s apology with that image on the television screen, and the other one is where that has been painted on a wall in a children’s playground. That image embodied a lot of feeing and was widely reproduced in the Arab world," she said.
‘Time Magazine’ named Tucker “America’s Best Curator” in 2001. We've gathered more images from 'WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY' here.