Alice Rose George, a ‘Photographer’s Dream Editor,’ Dies at 76
Alice Rose George, a Mississippi-born poet, curator and photograph editor who was an ardent promoter of well-known and unsung photographers for over 50 years, and whose unerring eye for visible particulars made her a fixture in New York’s journal world, died on Dec. 22 in Los Angeles. She was 76.
Her companion, Jim Belson, stated the trigger was a concussion.
Witty and urbane with a love for whiskey and a wisp of a Southern accent, Ms. George, recognized to her pals as Pi, cultivated relationships with scores of photographers and collectors, gallerists and journal editors, serving to to knit collectively a group simply because the very nature of images was present process speedy change, together with new instructions in photojournalism and the efflorescence of artwork images.
Starting along with her first job, as an assistant photograph editor at Time journal within the late Nineteen Sixties, Ms. George took benefit of the demise of the outdated order of photo-driven magazines like Life and Look to advertise a extra private, engaged fashion of photojournalism, an analog to the rising vogue across the extremely private, deeply immersive New Journalism of the day.
On the time, galleries and collectors that specialised in images largely didn’t but exist, and artistically minded photographers struggled to get by. Ms. George, who later labored at magazines like GEO, Fortune, Particulars and Granta, would use her ample photograph budgets to fee promising younger artists like Philip-Lorca diCorcia and Joel Sternfeld, giving them work that offered not only a paycheck however alternatives to construct portfolios.
“She was a photographer’s dream editor,” stated Susan Meiselas, a photographer who labored below Ms. George within the early Nineteen Nineties when Ms. George ran the New York workplaces of the photograph company Magnum. “She noticed what they noticed and gave them assist, not simply monetary however emotional.”
Ms. George was untrained in each images and artwork. She was an English main in school and thought of herself a poet at the beginning; she printed usually in magazines like The Paris Overview and The Atlantic. She got here to photograph modifying instinctually, with a deep love for photographs and the individuals who made them, particularly younger photographers who had but to make their mark.
“She didn’t simply join you,” Lisa Kereszi, who was a younger photographer when she met Ms. George in 1997 and who now teaches at Yale, stated by cellphone, “she cultivated you as you have been determining who you have been as a photographer.”
Alice Rose George was born on Oct. 23, 1944, in Silver Creek, Miss., about an hour south of Jackson. Her mom, Louise (Fairman) George, was a homemaker. Her father, James George, was a farmer. He nicknamed Alice “Apple Pie,” which he later shortened to Pie; she dropped the “e.”
Ms. George moved to New Orleans in 1962 to review English literature at H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial School, the all-women’s affiliate of Tulane College. She graduated in 1966 and left instantly for New York Metropolis, the place she had dreamed of residing since she was a baby.
She took up residence at 1 Fifth Avenue, an enormous constructing overlooking Washington Sq. Park in Manhattan, in a small condo that grew to become her house for the remainder of her life. Friends have been typically pressured to eat at her kitchen counter as a result of her eating desk was piled excessive with heavy photograph books, as have been her chairs, cabinets and all the pieces else — besides her piano (she was classically educated).
After working in magazines for nearly 30 years, together with a short stint in London because the writer of Granta, Ms. George went freelance. She was busier than ever. She curated reveals, wrote or co-wrote 5 books and commenced a profitable enterprise consulting rich people in addition to firms on their artwork collections. For over a decade starting within the Nineteen Nineties, she helped Howard Stein, the chairman and chief govt of the Dreyfus Company, construct what many think about the best non-public assortment of images within the nation.
She additionally wrote two books of poetry, “Ceiling of the World” (1995) and “Two Eyes” (2015); taught on the College of Hartford in Connecticut, in its grasp of fantastic arts program; and even had a recipe for potato-watercress salad printed in Gadget Clock.
Ms. George met Mr. Belson, her companion, within the Nineteen Seventies, however they might not start courting for 30 or so years. By then he had a house in Los Angeles, and in recent times they alternated between the 2 coasts till the pandemic persuaded them to dwell most of final 12 months in California. She died in Cedars-Sinai Medical Heart.
Along with Mr. Belson, she is survived by her sister, Jane Tyrone. Her brother, James, died in 2002.
Ms. George was in Portugal when terrorists attacked the USA on Sept. 11, 2001, and it took her every week to get again to New York. When she did, she teamed up with the artist Michael Shulan and the photographers Gilles Peress and Charles Traub, who have been growing an thought for a pop-up photograph gallery to replicate on the assaults. Skilled and novice photographers would submit photographs, which they might print and hold in a SoHo storefront, then promote to boost cash for charity.
Drawing on her connections, Ms. George shortly raised sufficient cash to get the mission began, and fewer than two weeks later the present, “Right here Is New York: A Democracy of Pictures,” had opened. It was an immense success: Over the following 12 months some 1.5 million individuals handed by the gallery and acquired 40,000 prints. A few of the photographs appeared in a photograph e book edited by Ms. George and Mr. Peress.
It was, Mr. Peress stated in an interview, a crowning expertise for her, permitting her to deploy her expertise each as a author and as a photograph editor, and to indicate how phrases and footage can complement one another to speak one thing deeper than both may on their very own.
“Alice was very alive, very current to the world,” he stated “For her, there was a direct hyperlink between poetry and pictures.”
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