LIFE Behind the Picture: The Photo That Changed the Face of AIDS
“In November 1990 LIFE magazine published a photograph of a young man named David Kirby — his body wasted by AIDS, his gaze locked on something beyond this world — surrounded by anguished family members as he took his last breaths. The haunting image of Kirby on his death bed, taken by a journalism student named Therese Frare, quickly became the one photograph most powerfully identified with the HIV/AIDS epidemic that, by then, had seen millions of people infected (many of them unknowingly) around the globe.”
“On 2 July 1942, most of the children of Lidice, a small village in what was then Czechoslovakia, were handed over to the Łódź Gestapo office. Those 82 children were then transported to the extermination camp at Chełmno 70 kilometers away. There they were gassed to death. This remarkable sculpture by by Marie Uchytilová commemorates them. Yet what had they (and their families) done to warrant such an end?”
Just 45 years ago, 16 states deemed marriages between two people of different races illegal.
But in 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court considered the case of Richard Perry Loving, who was white, and his wife, Mildred Loving, of African American and Native American descent.
The case changed history - and was captured on film by LIFE photographer Grey Villet, whose black-and-white photographs are now set to go on display at the International Center of Photography.
Twenty images show the tenderness and family support enjoyed by Mildred and Richard and their three children, Peggy, Sidney and Donald.
The children, unaware of the struggles their parents face, are captured by Villet as blissfully happy as they play in the fields near their Virginia home or share secrets with their parents on the couch.
Their parents, caught sharing a kiss on their front porch, appear more worry-stricken.
And it is no wonder - eight years prior, the pair had married in the District of Columbia to evade the Racial Integrity Act of 1924, which banned any white person marrying any non-white person.
But when they returned to Virginia, police stormed into their room in the middle of the night and they were arrested.
The pair were found guilty of miscegenation in 1959 and were each sentenced to one year in prison, suspended for 25 years if they left Virginia.
They moved back to the District of Columbia, where they began the long legal battle to erase their criminal records - and justify their relationship.
Following vocal support from the Presbyterian and Roman Catholic churches, the Lovings won the fight - with the Supreme Court branding Virginia’s anti-miscegenation law unconstitutional in 1967.
It wrote in its decision: ‘Marriage is one of the basic civil rights of man, fundamental to our very existence and survival.
‘To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law.’ [Read more]
A video of Pierre-Auguste Renoir towards the end of his life (around 1917), when his hands were completely overcome by arthritis. That didn’t stop him from painting or smoking just as heavily as he always had. Possibly filmed by his son, Jean Renoir.
The wonderful CK/CK shared this photograph, taken near London in November of 1942. Breaking between missions flying machines less sophisticated than a contemporary car in a war of annihilation with a nearby and superior enemy, a pilot breaks for a haircut, reading, and a pipe. The insistence on the accouterments of culture, on leisure —the book and pipe, of course, but also the nearly formal attire of the barber and the pattern of the sheet wrapped around his shoulders— seems so British, so laudable, so impossible to imagine today for innumerable reasons one hardly has the energy even to consider.
NINA LEEN - “Woman’s Dilemma - Housewife Marjorie McWeeney with broom amidst symbolic display of her week’s housework at Bloomingdale’s store including 35 beds to be made, 750 items of glass & china, 400 pieces of silverware to wash, 174 pounds of food to prepare”. 1947. New York, NY, USA. (Life).