Introduction by Anne Wilkes Tucker, MFAH Gus and Lyndall Wortham Curator of Photography
This film tells the story of the rise and politically motivated fall of the Photo League (1936–51), which served as the center of the documentary movement in American photography at a time when the camera was held to be, in James Agee’s words, “the central instrument of our time.”
The Photo League’s membership roster included Sid Grossman, Aaron Siskind, Jerome Liebling, Dan Weiner, Morris Engel, Walter Rosenblum, Weegee, Lisette Model, and W. Eugene Smith. Ordinary Miracles is built around a handpicked selection culled from hundreds of images, fashioned into sequences designed around various subjects of the league's focus (Harlem, the Lower East Side, children at play, Coney Island, WWII). MFAH curator Anne Tucker was interviewed for this documentary and is a noted authority about the Photo League.