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Magnum photographer Erich Hartmann’s long-term project shows the human work involved in making “Our Daily Bread” from land-clearing through 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 market, a school cafeteria. “Our Daily Bread” was first shown in a large exhibition in New York 1962 and is now, for the first time, pd as a book. Born in Munich, Erich Hartmann (1922 – 1999) fled to the USA in 1938 and later worked as a freelance photographer in New York. Invited by Robert Capa to join Magnum in 1952, he was for many years on the board of directors, becoming president in 1985. As a photojournalist, he traveled all over the world on assignments from newspapers, magazines and corporate clients. He pursued many personal projects, for instance in the 1990s he photographed the remains of the Nazi concentration camps, resulting in the book and exhibition In the Camps (1995).
»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