This weekend in Los Alamos, Calif., Newsweek senior writer Alexander Nazaryan will be part of the opening festivities for “Ed Wergeles on Assignment,” an exhibit honoring the 1959 work of the late photographer. Wergeles passed away in 2013 and spent his final years in Solvang. His daughter Wendy, who lives in central California and works as a horse trainer-in-residence at Cottonwood Ranch, organized the exhibit.
From a write-up in the Santa Ynez Valley News:
Born and raised in New York City, Ed always knew he wanted to be a photojournalist. He worked for the New York Journal American before going off to war where he was often in harm’s way photographing the troops. On his return, he was hired by Newsweek magazine where he stayed from 1946 to 1961, working his way up to cover editor and then senior editor of covers. …
“He was always gone,” Wendy recalled. “My mom had him trained to buy us clothes wherever he was. We had lederhosen from Austria and felt outfits from Germany. When he came back, we all went to the Overseas Press Club in Manhattan for dinner. He’d put my sister and I in the cloak room with the cloak person. They’d teach us to speak French or play the guitar while mom and dad had dinner.”
Dad moved on to Forbes in 1961 and also taught at Columbia University. He was a jokester. In the article, Wendy recalls that he would tell her, upon his death, that he wanted to be cremated and have his ashes productively used by means of a pepper mill.
Addendum (April 18):
The Santa Ynez Valley News followed up with a report about the Saturday library event. From the piece:
Nazaryan spoke with insight and humor about the importance of cover art in presenting an article, and how Ed impacted not just Newsweek and magazine cover design, but also history.
The original version of this item incorrectly listed the location of the exhibit as Los Alamos, N.M. Fishbowl apologizes for the error.