Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    JOHN FLOREA (American, 1916-2000)
    Ingrid Bergman
    Gelatin silver, printed later
    Paper: 20 x 16 inches (50.8 x 40.6 cm)
    Image: 19-1/2 x 15-1/2 inches (49.5 x 39.4 cm)
    Verso: Time Inc. stamp
    State: unmounted

    Please see the web site description of this lot for more information about this important American photographer.

    More Information:

    John Florea enjoyed a varied and significant photographic career, but his work remains largely unknown to many collectors because most of his original images have been closely held by his estate. His career began in the 1930's when, before he was old enough to vote, Florea served as a Hearst staff cameraman. He was the youngest "Life" photographer in World War II, covering both Pacific and European theaters.


    Travelling with the First Army, he was the first photographer to enter Buchenwald, and his images were so graphic and disturbing that Life's  publishers declined to run them until they received independent confirmation of their accuracy. Sent to the Pacific, he recorded the aftermath of Hiroshima, and shot Life's photographic record of Japan's surrender on the deck of the Battleship Missouri. Over 100 of his photos were published in "Time" or "Life" over the course of World War II.


    After the War he covered the civil war in China, the Russian occupation of Manchuria, and other "gritty" subjects. He spent time in the Indonesian jungle with ragtag rebels led by a man named Sukarno, who would ultimately prevail to become president of the country. Sukarno was so grateful for the positive coverage of his revolution inspired by Florea's photos that upon becoming president he actually presented the cameraman with an Indonesian island as a token of his appreciation.


    Florea was one of Douglas MacArthur's favorite photographers and  shot some of the best known images of the General, including one for a "Time Magazine" cover. Florea spent time photographing MacArthur in post-War Japan, where his daughter was privately tutored along with two other students: MacArthur's son, and the future Emperor of Japan.


    Eventually he returned to the States, spending time photographing Harlem life before finally settling in Los Angeles, where he quickly found his niche as an entertainment photographer. A friendship with Marilyn Monroe led to more than ten magazine cover images shot by Florea. As a "Collier's Magazine" contributor he also found time to fly alongside the pioneering pilots seeking to break the sound barrier,  so that he could record the pilots' reactions.


    One of his projects was the photographic documentation of the infant television industry. Florea became so taken with the medium that he became an Emmy Award-winning director with over 600 shows to his credit.


    Florea's photographs have been displayed at the New York Museum of Modern Art and were published in Winston Churchill's autobiography. Steichen's renowned "Family of Man" also contains Florea images.

    More information about Florea, John.

    Condition Report*: Condition report available upon request.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. Heritage does not guarantee the condition of frames and shall not be liable for any damage/scratches to frames, glass/acrylic coverings, original boxes, display accessories, or art that has slipped in frames. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2010
    9th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,289

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    This item cannot be shipped using standard methods. Please contact us for more information. Sales Tax information

    Important information concerning Sales Tax and Resale Certificates. Learn More

    Terms and Conditions  |  Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments |  Glossary of Terms

    Sold on Jun 9, 2010 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2021 December 2 Ethnographic Art American Indian, Pre-Columbian and Tribal Art Signature Auction.

    Learn about consigning with us

    The high price received is a direct reflection of your hard work and integrity.
    Richard B.,
    Ogden, UT
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search