Friday, December 06, 2013

William Vandivert in Pant-Y-Waun

These two great portraits were taken by American photographer William Vandivert in April, 1940. According to captions they were part of a series taken in and around the village of Pant-Y-Waun. You can see the rest of what is a brilliant set at the online Life magazine archive. Is this the same Pant-Y-Waun that would later be demolished circa 1962 to make way for open-cast mining? You know, the place where Philip Jones Griffiths took that classic photograph of a small boy smashing up a piano in 1961? Maybe someone could confirm this detail for me. Anyway, William Vandivert is perhaps best known today for his shots of Hitler's Bunker and his haunting images of the fall of Berlin. Like a lot of snappers of that era he originally studied chemistry before then switching to photography at the Art Institute of Chicago. He worked for Life and Fortune magazines and after the war he became a founder member of the Magnum photo agency. He died in 1989.

Photographs are ©Time Inc