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From August 9 to September 9, 2018, Villa Schöningen is showing the exhibition A Life for Moments with 120 photos by 95-year-old New York photographer Tony Vaccaro. He is the last living significant photo chronicler of World War II and the German post-war period.

He later worked for the major magazines Life, Look and Flair. His fashion and portrait photos went around the world. The photo stories were events back then, the photojournalists the story plates of their time. Vaccaro was one of the most brilliant of them, one of the last great magicians of the "Golden Age of Photography".

TONY VACCARO - A LIFE FOR MOMENTS. A life fixated on the crucial, fleeting moment that had to be captured. Lifelike, familiar, intimate. Not just being there, but in the middle of the action - this is how Vaccaro took his photos. Tens of thousands of these photographic moments count his life.

It is the professionalism, the attitude and the artistic ability of the photojournalist to capture the authentic and the magical moment at the same time that turns a photo into a unique, haunting story. An attentive audience of millions, hungry for stories, has been waiting for them, sucking them in month after month.

With Vaccaro's eyes you saw Picasso, Max Ernst and Georgia O'Keeffe. Peggy Guggenheim, Grace Kelly and Sophia Loren, John F. Kennedy, Maria Callas and Frank Lloyd Wright.

Images of unbroken effectiveness, icons of photojournalism, snapshots of entire generations, which today, in the age of quick photos, selfies, the Internet and its flood of information and images, have an even more intense effect in their own style and spirit.

Vaccaro's extraordinary photojournalist career began in 1944 on Omaha Beach, Normandy, as a soldier in the 83rd Infantry Division. D-Day meant for him: In one hand an M1 assault rifle in the other his Argus C-3 camera. On the way across Europe he took thousands of photos, a unique documentation of life and death in World War II.

Vaccaro stayed in Europe until 1949. As a photographer for The Stars and Stripes, the US Army newspaper, he became a chronicler of the post-war period, the first years of peace, especially of Germany that was destroyed and slowly regaining hope. In his concise view of the "zero hour" he documented German cultural history in all its facets up to the founding of the Federal Republic. After the war, Vaccaro was drawn to his second home in Italy again and again. He lived here from 1925-39, this is where his parents came from. The result was extraordinary photos, La Mia Italia, entirely in the spirit of neorealism.

When he returned to the USA, Vaccaro started his third career in New York, as a fashion and portrait photographer. For three decades his photo stories filled the big glamor magazines and magazines. Vaccaro also comes full circle in the photos of the twin towers in his hometown of New York. The first recordings were made during the planning phase of the World Trade Center, his last recordings on September 11, 2001 when the twin towers went up in flames. More than half a century after documenting the war, he was again capturing images of the destruction.

Tony Vaccaro himself will be present at the big summer party on September 2nd at Villa Schöningen. On the same day, the documentary film for the exhibition about Tony Vaccaro's life's work will be shown in the Villa Schöningen, which will also be broadcast on the same day on the rbb.

Tony Vaccaro

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