Photography | A Paper that Dared to Tell the Truth

Helen Levitt
‘Third Avenue, Upper East Side, Offers no Trees or Cliffs for Kids to Climb,
but Porch of Abandoned Building is Excellent Substitute’
July-August 1940

PM New York Daily: 1940 > 48
Steven Kasher Gallery
14 January 20 February 2015

‘The Critic, Opening Night at the Metropolitan Opera’
November 22, 1943

PM is against people who push other people around. PM accepts no advertising. PM belongs to no political party. PM is absolutely free and uncensored. PM’s sole source of income is its readers – to whom it alone is responsible. PM is one newspaper that can and dares to tell the truth.’ Making itself loud and clear in its first issue of June 18, 1940 New York’s progressive PM Daily – together with the Sunday version, PM Weekly – whose territory was politics, crime, war, labour, and celebrating the everyday lives of ordinary people, would become a platform for cutting edge photojournalism and an instrument for socially progressive thought.

Unknown photographer
‘Adam Clayton Powell at the Negro Freedom Rally, Madison Square Garden’
June 26, 1944

Max Peter Haas
‘Heroic Taxi Driver, Leonard Weisberg, Lying Dead at
Deadly ‘Mad Dog’ Shoot-Out in Manhattan’


Gene Badger
‘On May 13 The Day, Yiddish Newspaper, Where 42 Employees Are On Strike’
May 1941

At a time when most New York publications were staunchly conservative, PM was ‘a fighting liberal crusader’, whose bold mission attracted important writers such as Ernest Hemingway, Dashiell Hammett, and Dorothy Parker, as well as future Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Tip O’Neill. The editorial staff ardently supported US intervention against Hitler, took stands against racial and religious discrimination, and fought for the rights of labour unions.

Margaret Bourke-White
‘Men Searched the Job Boards on Sixth Avenue, as Unemployment is Rising Again’
June 1940

Closing on June 22, 1948, the legendary publication, whose roster of staff and freelance photographers included, among others, Weegee, Helen Levitt and Margaret Bourke-White, had a lifespan of almost exactly eight years.

PM New York Daily: 1940 > 48 forthcoming exhibition at Steven Kasher Gallery features over 75 black and white vintage photographs. Seeking to emulate the visual punch of Life magazine, PM had the most expensive printing and paper ever used for a daily tabloid – vintage copies of the newspaper will also be displayed.

All photographs and captions courtesy Steven Kasher Gallery, New York City, USA

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