AP Photographer Joe Rosenthal's Personal Original World War II Photo Album of the Battle of Iwo Jima and the Iwo Jima Flag Raising
Lot 135
Joe Rosenthal, (Photographer).
His personal album of photographs taken on Iwo Jima
February 19th-March 1st 1945
Sold for US$ 47,500 inc. premium
Auction Details
AP Photographer Joe Rosenthal's Personal Original World War II Photo Album of the Battle of Iwo Jima and the Iwo Jima Flag Raising AP Photographer Joe Rosenthal's Personal Original World War II Photo Album of the Battle of Iwo Jima and the Iwo Jima Flag Raising AP Photographer Joe Rosenthal's Personal Original World War II Photo Album of the Battle of Iwo Jima and the Iwo Jima Flag Raising
Lot Details
Joe Rosenthal, (Photographer).
His personal album of photographs taken on Iwo Jima
February 19th-March 1st 1945
An album of personal photographs, assembled by the photographer in this nondescript album to record his days on Iwo Jima as an Associated Press war photographer. The album comprising 52 small snap shots chronicling the landings and the beach head, soldiers checking for mines, the general terrain and foxholes, Mount Suribachi, the dead and the grave yards, the prisoners, the wreckage of warfare, sniffer dogs, and of course the two shots he took of the flag raising, of the flag going up and of the group assembled under the flag, all with a sepia tinge, some slightly over exposed, a few with some minor corner damage, each photograph 3.5in x 4.5in. in. Mounted in a 'Snapshots' album a 'Souvenir of Reading Pa', cloth ties, lettered on inside of pigskin front cover: "Joe Rosenthal....Iwo Jima...."

Footnotes

  • Exhibited:
    The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, New York, 1995-2007

    Provenance:
    - Joe Rosenthal
    - The War Museum

    An historic series of small delicate photographs chronicling the horrors of the Battle of Iwo Jima from the landings, the assault on Mt Suribachi and the subsequent 30 day campaign to capture this small 1.5 by 2 mile Island. This group includes a small version of his Pulitzer Prize-winning shot of the flag raising, but more than that it captures the hardship and the death that was the Battle of Iwo Jima. As a hardened AP photographer he was used to death and there was a lot of death to capture on film on that island. Of the near 21,000 Japanese defenders, 20,000 died in the 35 day campaign. For the Marines of the 3rd 4th and 5th divisions, the losses were around 7,000 dead and 14,000 injured, half the Marine losses in the Pacific Theater for the entire war.

    The resistance of the Japanese defenders was intense and stoical, and down to the last man, this being the first part of sovereign Japanese territory that America had attacked. This small and somewhat unobtrusive album gives us a small peek at the real war. The war with tiredness and hunger, with the exhaustion of a 34 day campaign, and the finality of death. Over the last 25 years it is estimated that over 5 million people have viewed these photographs in the museums where it has been displayed. A very poignant reminder for us all.

Saleroom notices

  • Seven of the photographs in the album are replacement "Guam issued" shots, replaced after they were lost while on exhibition on the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, New York, 1995 - 2007.
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