Why Am I Showing This Picture?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My friend the super-agent Mark Reiter (he got Jack Welch $7 million for one book so I think that qualifies him as super) is in his spare time a master bracketologist. For those not in the loop, a bracketologist is a maker of lists of 32 items in a given category that go up against each other tournament-style to determine who is the champion of the field. Of course it helps if the list-maker has some credibility and so in his latest book “The Final Four of Everything” Reiter has everyone from film critic Manohla Dargis on the best Clint Eastwood films (Million Dollar Baby) to New York Times court reporter Adam Liptak on the best Supreme Court Decision (Brown v. Board of Ed). As a friend of the family I was asked to do "Iconic American Photographs" on which more later. But my advance copy of the book just arrived and I was pleased to see a number of other photo related lists.

The picture above, the famous shot of Raquel Welch from "One Million Years B.C." was the runner up to Rita Hayworth (below) in American Pinups as bracketed by Gregory Curtis, former editor of Texas Monthly.

Photo by Bob Landis.

Then there’s Celebrity Mugshots by Willie Geist – co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe – resulting in a showdown between Nick Nolte and James Brown.

While not included, this earlier mugshot of Brown from 1988 probably deserves an accolade for the most suave mugshot!

Anyway, back to my category – Iconic American Photographs. I’ll give you my final four and you can let me know which you would pick.

In alphabetical order:

Ansel Adams – Moonrise, Hernandez.

Diane Arbus – Twins

Richard Avedon – Dovima with Elephants

Dorothea Lange – Migrant Mother.

The book comes out next week at which point you can join the debate over Best American Wine, Best Political One Liners, Best Motherly Advice, Best Celebrity Baby Name, and 146 other bests (or worsts).


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