“Put me down with people, and it’s just overwhelming,” Bubley exclaimed in an interview. Like most great photojournalists, she found her art in everyday life, and she successfully balanced her artistic ambitions with the demands of commercial publishing. Edward Steichen, curator of photographs at the Museum of Modern Art and the era’s arbiter of taste, was a great supporter of Bubley, whose work embodied his aesthetic ideal that photography “explain man to man and each to himself.” She was shown in several group shows at the Museum of Modern Art and was given a one-person show at the Limelight, Helen Gee’s legendary coffee house and the only gallery specializing in photography in New York during the 1950s. Bubley worked primarily for the printed page, however, and like her colleagues, can be only partially understood in the context of today’s gallery-oriented photography world, in which photographs are shown as isolated works of art.
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