Family of Man, MOMA, 1955

The Family of Man was an ambitious photography exhibition curated by Edward Steichen, the director of the Museum of Modern Art's (MOMA) Department of Photography. It was first shown in 1955 from January 24 to May 8 at the New York MOMA, then toured the world for eight years, making stops in thirty-seven countries on six continents as part of the Museum's International Program. More than 9 million people viewed the exhibit. In 2003 the Family of Man photographic collection was added to UNESCO's Memory of the World Register in recognition of its historical value.

Carter Jones had the honor of exhibiting in this historically significant exhibition with the photograph below which was also reproduced in the exhibition catalog.

This Carter Jones photograph was in the  Family of Man  exhibit in 1955.

This Carter Jones photograph was in the Family of Man exhibit in 1955.

American National Exhibition, Moscow, 1959

The American National Exhibition was held in Sokolniki Park, Moscow in the summer of 1959.

Carter Jones had more photographs in the exhibition than any other American photographer.

The exhibit was sponsored by the American government, and it followed a similar Soviet Exhibit in New York City earlier that year. This exhibit was intended to narrow the gap between the Americans and the Soviets and improve the political relations between them. However, the "exhibition was also a tool of cultural diplomacy against the Soviet Communist Regime" as the American politicians wanted to demonstrate the advantages of capitalism to the Soviets.

The various displays of the exhibit were all successful in promoting the American way of life as superior to the Communist regime and lifestyle. For instance, the model of the modern kitchen was a great attraction for most visitors and even sparked the infamous "Kitchen Debate." A multi-screen film was presented, "Glimpses of the USA" by Charles and Ray Eames.

The 1959 American National Exhibition in Moscow was the first introduction of the USA to Soviet people. It went with great success and was attended by millions of Soviet people. 

This photograph was blown up to 8 feet square and exhibited in Moscow.

This photograph was blown up to 8 feet square and exhibited in Moscow.

US Camera Profile, 1960

The following is an excerpt from the US Camera Annual, 1960

CARTER JONES

Once upon a time there was a bright young man who sprinkled his genius amongst the top advertising agencies as a copywriter and copy chief.

Then one day, after winning many accolades over a ten year period, he decided to “chuck it all” and go to Pars. Two days before he left, a friend thrust a Rolleiflex in his hands, no one traveled without a camera -  and so, without his knowing, he had embarked on a photographic career.

Carter blessed with a visual instinct and a dynamic personality, went into action with his camera and made a hit with it. His work began to appear in the French journals and a photo essay of a beggar and nuns (shot from the window of his flat) was published in Life and reproduced in other publications around the world.

Paris cast its wondrous spell around Carter and all things seemed to go right – he did something he’d always wanted to do, studied painting at the Academy Julian, spent his leisure moments wandering through the streets making documentary studies of all that he saw around him, his pictures continued to be published. Then began a photographic liaison with the late and great Jacques Fath which led to his meeting Manine. Associated with Fath at the time, this young and beautiful French blonde, was duly courted and then married to Carter in Paris. After a year abroad they returned to the States where Mr. Jones’ photographic talents were snapped up by advertising clients. Of his work he says: “The photographer should be careful not to color things solely by his own first-impressions – but to look more deeply for the fact. The more closely he comes to catching the fact that caused the emotion, the truer our impression of the subject will be.”

At the American National Exhibition which opened in Moscow last July, Carter was proud of the fact, and rightly so, that five of his pictures had been selected as representative of the American way of life. Carter and his wife, their two girls and three boys, two cats and three dogs, live in a big rambling house in the country. On a busman’s holiday, he made most of the shots in the portfolio of his family and neighbors.

carterjones.uscamera.1960
carterjones.uscamera.1960
carterjones.uscamera.1960

US Camera (pull-out), 1954

In the US Camera Annual of 1954, Carter Jones was selected to showcase a series of 8 photographs in rare pull-out section of the publication. This was a great honor and only a few photographers in the history of the annual had ever been given a similar opportunity. The series created while the artist lived in Paris is reproduced in its entirety below.

carterjones.uscamera1954
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    1 Every Sunday morning an old man stood with his cap out-stretched on a street corner opposite Carter Jones’ Paris flat. Jones, newly interested in photography, decided to record the encounter of beggar and passerby.

1 Every Sunday morning an old man stood with his cap out-stretched on a street corner opposite Carter Jones’ Paris flat. Jones, newly interested in photography, decided to record the encounter of beggar and passerby.

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    2 Propping his Rollei on an improvised support of books, Jones shot from a window 1/200 second, f/8 to keep the grillwork from losing definition. The grillwork adds to the sense of depth and the Sunday quietude.

2 Propping his Rollei on an improvised support of books, Jones shot from a window 1/200 second, f/8 to keep the grillwork from losing definition. The grillwork adds to the sense of depth and the Sunday quietude.

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    3 The mood and scene having been established as in a movie, the main sequence begins. Unlike a movie, Jones cannot know what direction the action will take. He selects the dramatic moment from a mass of miscellany.

3 The mood and scene having been established as in a movie, the main sequence begins. Unlike a movie, Jones cannot know what direction the action will take. He selects the dramatic moment from a mass of miscellany.

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    4 The nuns are too discreet to consult among themselves in from of the beggar, and turn the corner to count their change. The omniscient camera lets us see this scene although the old man is unaware of the situation.

4 The nuns are too discreet to consult among themselves in from of the beggar, and turn the corner to count their change. The omniscient camera lets us see this scene although the old man is unaware of the situation.

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    5 Charity is given with no disregard for human dignity. “The photographer’s art”, says free-lancer Jones, “is an art of relationships. How much he says depends on how he sees” – and how much the viewer can feel.

5 Charity is given with no disregard for human dignity. “The photographer’s art”, says free-lancer Jones, “is an art of relationships. How much he says depends on how he sees” – and how much the viewer can feel.

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    6 The old man surveys the deserted street. “He looked surprised and a little bewildered,” the photographer noted, “as if wondering where his benefactors had disappeared to.” (Through the booth-like door in the wall.)

6 The old man surveys the deserted street. “He looked surprised and a little bewildered,” the photographer noted, “as if wondering where his benefactors had disappeared to.” (Through the booth-like door in the wall.)

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    7 The day’s accounting. Jones, relentless, keeps shooting – not unselectively or for the sake of quantity but for as long as he sees something that moves him. For, above all, the photographer is “a creature of feeling.”

7 The day’s accounting. Jones, relentless, keeps shooting – not unselectively or for the sake of quantity but for as long as he sees something that moves him. For, above all, the photographer is “a creature of feeling.”

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    8 Finis. The photographer makes the simple concluding shot that ties the action together. All pictures made at noon. Two rolls of fast pan film were exposed with normal development and printing throughout sries.

8 Finis. The photographer makes the simple concluding shot that ties the action together. All pictures made at noon. Two rolls of fast pan film were exposed with normal development and printing throughout sries.

carterjones.uscamera1954