In 1942, Portland-born photographer Victor Jorgensen enlisted in the Navy. Edward Steichen, the renowned modernist photographer and lieutenant commander who oversaw Naval photography during World War II, selected Jorgensen—a Reed College attendee and editor at The Oregonian newspaper—to serve with his elite Naval Aviation Photographic Unit. Between 1943 and 1945, Jorgensen photographed on board the aircraft carriers USS Lexington and USS Monterey, the destroyer USS Albert W. Grant, and the hospital ship USS Solace, which served in the Pacific during the world-altering conflict.
The works in this exhibition draw from a recent acquisition of vintage prints gifted to the Museum by Victoria Jorgensen Carman and Lee Jorgensen, the photographer’s daughters. The exhibition commemorates the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II and Jorgensen’s significant contribution to the field of documentary photography.
Organized by the Portland Art Museum and curated by Julia Dolan, Ph.D., The Minor White Curator of Photography.