The Italian Almanac

Life Magazine

Global Imagination

Modern photojournalism in the 20th century sprang to life on the pages of an iconic magazine whose style perhaps no other single publication over the years has managed to replicate. Photographers from Life magazine captured moments that have been ingrained into a global imagination as symbolic of the heart and soul of the United States, poignantly revealing the last-century's moods and moments for all of the world to see.

These insights into the country's, and in part the world's, last century will be on show at Rome's Auditorio Parco della Musica until August 4, 2012. From what has been dubbed the most famous kiss in the world - the Times Square VJ-Day liplock between a waitress and sailor - to the unforgettable photo of the rigid, semiconscious Robert Kennedy in a pool of blood on a concrete floor being held by Juan Romero, a busboy who seconds before seeing the senator shot had shaken his hand, visitors will be able to look through the lenses that tracked many of America's most historic and dramatic moments.

Also on display, Robert Capa's disputed photo of a soldier during the Spanish Civil War at the moment a bullet exits from his skull known as the Falling Soldier, the Apollo 11 launch, Normandy landing and the endless countryside of rural America with its clean faces of the 1950s alongside wide-eyed cinema goers at drive-ins and wild sock-hop dancing.

Over 150 black and white photos starting from 1936, when the magazine was bought out by Henry Luce for $92,000, through the 1970s celebrate the authors and the images taken exclusively for Life by its photographers. "See life, see the world," was Luce's motto that encompassed the magazine's approach to telling stories through images.

"It was 1936, TV did not exist. Life put images to words and showed Americans America," exhibition curator Alessandra Mauro says. "Life changed the history of the photography, teaching the reporter to condense everything into an image, while training our eyes and our collective iconography".