A pho­tog­ra­pher of life’s big­gest mo­ments

Sun Sentinel Palm Beach Edition - Showtime - Palm Beach - - ART -

A fly on the wall for the defin­ing mo­ments of the 20th cen­tury, pho­to­jour­nal­ist Ralph Morse saw and cap­tured it all, from World War II to the Space Race. A col­lec­tion of Morse’s photos for Life and Time mag­a­zines will be show­cased in “Once in a LIFE Time: The Pho­to­graphs of Ralph Morse,” open­ing today at the Palm Beach Pho­to­graphic Cen­tre in West Palm Beach. Dur­ing a 50-year ca­reer, the pho­tog­ra­pher cov­ered the D-Day in­va­sion and Ger­many’s sur­ren­der the fol­low­ing year, Babe Ruth’s farewell game at Yan­kee Sta­dium and the first heart-by­pass surgery. He fol­lowed the Mer­cury 7 as­tro­naut team so doggedly in the early 1960s that John Glenn branded Morse the “eighth as­tro­naut.” (Morse, at age 81, even pho­tographed Glenn’s re­turn to space in 1998.) For Morse, who lived in Del­ray Beach un­til his death in 2014, the sto­ries of how he cap­tured these iconic photos are egendary. As­signed to cover Al­bert Ein­stein’s death in 1955, Morse smooth-talked his way into the pro­fes­sor’s of­fice at Prince­ton Uni­ver­sity with a fifth of Scotch. The re­sult­ing pho­to­graph, show­ing Ein­stein’s messy desk as he left it, be­came fa­mous. To catch Jackie Robin­son steal­ing home base, Morse left a foot-con­trolled cam­era on the third-base line so his hands were free to take more pho­to­graphs. Did he have a fa­vorite im­age? Not re­ally, Morse told the Sun-Sen­tinel in a 2000 in­ter­view. “It’s what as­sign­ment I am on at that mo­ment,” Morse said. “I had 50 years. ... I hap­pened to hit ma­jor news events all the way.” When: Today through April 28 (open­ing re­cep­tion: 6-8 p.m. today) Where: Palm Beach Pho­to­graphic Cen­tre, 415 Clema­tis St., West Palm Beach Cost: Free Con­tact: 561-253-2600 or Work­shop.org

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