Life Magazine and Twentieth-Century America | Newberry

Life Magazine and Twentieth-Century America

Friday, April 16, 2021


The Newberry

Newberry Teachers' Consortium

After its appearance in 1936, Henry Luce’s photographic pictorial weekly––the first all-photographic American news magazine––became wildly popular and was found in nearly every home. It documented important world events, cultural news, sports, and daily life with the help of often-brilliant photographers, incisive writers, and perceptive editors. Today, Life is a rich and entertaining primary document, one which also reveals the gender, racial, and class biases of its time. Even the copious advertisements say much about modern life and current styles. Using text and images from Life from the Newberry’s own collection, this session examines all aspects of this seminal American publication as well as its reception and place in the popular culture of this country. We will engage topics involving history, literature, journalism, photography, and social issues. Narrated PowerPoint lectures, discussion, and activities will give us a comprehensive understanding of a magazine that promised to document American “life” itself.

Cost and Registration Information 

Newberry Teachers’ Consortium participants may register for this seminar through their designated school administration contact, as space permits. Individual educators without a subscription package at their home institution may register for this seminar by purchasing an individual seminar slot at the time of registration. Registration for all NTC seminars opens Friday, September 11, 2020. For more information about NTC subscription packages, please contact Cate Harriman, Teacher & Student Programs Coordinator, at

A link to the assigned pre-readings for the seminars, as well as instructions for logging onto the Zoom session, will be distributed to participants via email.

If you believe you are registered for this seminar but have not received an email confirmation or reminder, please contact Teacher Programs staff at