Our Daily Bread • Erich Hartmann • Magnum Photos

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Our Daily Bread

A lyrical examination of the men and women around the world involved in creating the daily food staple of bread

Erich Hartmann

Erich Hartmann Floured hands kneading bread. Centralia, Kansas, USA. 1956. © Erich Hartmann | Magnum Photos
Erich Hartmann A woman preparing dough for bread. Centralia, Kansas, USA. 1956. © Erich Hartmann | Magnum Photos
Erich Hartmann A farmer watches wheat pour from a combine into the back of his truck. Centralia, Kansas, USA. 1956. © Erich Hartmann | Magnum Photos
Erich Hartmann Wheat Harvest. Kansas, USA. 1956. © Erich Hartmann | Magnum Photos
Erich Hartmann A farmer shovelling wheat from a wagon. Centralia, Kansas, USA. 1956. © Erich Hartmann | Magnum Photos
Erich Hartmann A North African immigrant on a land-clearing project. Lachish region, between Jerusalem and Beersheba, Israel. 1958. © Erich Hartmann | Magnum Photos
Erich Hartmann Clearing Land. Judea, Israel. 1958. © Erich Hartmann | Magnum Photos
Erich Hartmann A woman planting in a field. Israel. 1958. © Erich Hartmann | Magnum Photos
Erich Hartmann Bread and table. Carmel Vic, Israel. 1958. © Erich Hartmann | Magnum Photos
Erich Hartmann Grain Tow. St. Paul to St. Louis. USA. 1961. © Erich Hartmann | Magnum Photos
Erich Hartmann Grain elevators at the Pillsbury Company. Springfield, Illinois, USA. 1958. © Erich Hartmann | Magnum Photos
Erich Hartmann St. Paul to St. Louis. USA. 1961. © Erich Hartmann | Magnum Photos
Erich Hartmann Pillsbury Company. Springfield, Illinois, USA. 1958. © Erich Hartmann | Magnum Photos
Erich Hartmann Bread bakery. Paris, France. 1961. © Erich Hartmann | Magnum Photos
Erich Hartmann A cornfield with Chartres Cathedral on the horizon. Chartres, France. 1962. © Erich Hartmann | Magnum Photos
Erich Hartmann A farmer is shaded by an umbrella on his combine while harvesting a wheat field. Centralia, Kansas, USA. 1956. © Erich Hartmann | Magnum Photos
Erich Hartmann A combine is unloaded from a truck in preparation for the harvesting of a wheat field. Kimball, Nebraska, USA. 1959. © Erich Hartmann | Magnum Photos
Erich Hartmann Settlers breaking rocks to clear land. Israel. 1958. © Erich Hartmann | Magnum Photos
Erich Hartmann The arrival of the new immigrants from Romania at the village of Miftahim near the Gaza Strip in the Northern Desert of Negev. A new immigrant mother returning home with a pram of bread, at their v (...)
Erich Hartmann Beersheba Bedouin Market. Bedouins from the Negev desert trade and sell grain. Beersheba, Israel, 1958. © Erich Hartmann | Magnum Photos
Erich Hartmann Traders on the trading floor at the Minneapolis Grain Exchange. Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. 1958. © Erich Hartmann | Magnum Photos

“Magnum photographer Erich Hartmann’s long-term project shows the human work involved in making a food staple – bread – that exists in many forms across nearly all cultures, depicting the processes involved ranging from land-clearing through to planting and harvesting, to the feeding of millions.

From the early 1950s he added material to this project – land workers in Israel, combine harvesting in Nebraska, a miller in rural France, a soup kitchen, a Paris bakery, a Bedouin in Beersheba selling grain at the market, a school cafeteria. Our Daily Bread was first shown in a large exhibition in New York 1962 and is now published as a book.

The product of eight years of thought and work, Erich Hartmann’s Our Daily Bread is his lyrical tribute to the men and women everywhere whose daily work helps to create the bread which feeds us all and which has become a metaphor for sustenance. His photographs make a picture-poem of the significance of bread to us all.” – Ruth Bains Hartmann.

This story was also published in the book Magnum Stories, published by Phaidon. A very limited number of copies of Magnum Stories are available from the Magnum Shop, signed by Magnum photographers.