A large-scale photograph by Carl Mydans of the Japanese surrender aboard U.S.S. Missouri, 2 September 1945 Visible image area 23 ½ x 25 ½ in (59.5 x 65 cm)

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Lot 350
A large-scale photograph by Carl Mydans of the Japanese surrender aboard U.S.S. Missouri, 2 September 1945
Visible image area 23 ½ x 25 ½ in (59.5 x 65 cm)

Sold for US$ 2,500 inc. premium

World War II

5 Jun 2014, 10:00 EDT

New York

A large-scale photograph by Carl Mydans of the Japanese surrender aboard U.S.S. Missouri, 2 September 1945
Silver gelatin print of the moment when Shigemitsu Mamoru, acting "By Command and in behalf of the Emperor of Japan and the Japanese Government," signs the Instrument of Surrender on board the U.S.S. Missouri, in Tokyo Bay, framed and glazed. Some small faded areas.

General MacArthur and Admiral Nimitz are amongst those who look on as the surrender document is signed: an iconic image and typical of Carl Mydans work. The New York Times rightly noted that "Resourceful and unruffled, Mr. Mydans sent back pictures of combat that even now define how some remember World War II, Korea, and other conflicts."

Carl Mydans joined the recently established Life Magazine in 1936. In 1938 he married the journalist Shelley Mydans and the following year they were sent to Europe to cover the conflict. Working as a team, their assignments took them to England, Sweden, Finland, Portugal, Italy, and then to China, and Hong Kong, They had traveled over 45,000 miles, but had the misfortune to be in the Philippines when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. They were captured by the Japanese Army in Manila and were interned with other Americans and remained in captivity until December 1943 when they were released under a prisoner exchange. Mydans returned to war reportage, and in 1944 he accompanied Allied forces to Italy, and also covered the D-Day landings in France. In 1945, in addition to the present image, he also took the famous photograph of General Douglas MacArthur as he stepped into the water returning to the Philippines.
Visible image area 23 ½ x 25 ½ in (59.5 x 65 cm)
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