Joe Munroe Archives
Provenance: The Ohio Historical Society acquired the Joe Munroe Archives from doe Munroe
in May 1997. Jennifer Songster processed the photographs, transparencies, and negatives in July
and August of 1997.
Proper@ rights: The Ohio tlistorical Society owl~tsh e property rights to the collection.
Copyrights: Copyrights have not been dedicated to the public. Consideration of the
requirements of copyright is the responsibility of the author and publisher. Permission to
publish images from the collection must be secured in writing from Joe Munroe during his
Citation: Researchers are requested to cite collection name, collection number, and the Ohio
Historical Society in all footnote and bibiiographic references. The photograph credit must read:
Plzotograph by Joe Munroe/Ohro Nlstorrcal Soclety
Biographical sketch: Joe Munroe is a photojournalist, film maker, and environmental activist.
He began working as a photographer in 1939 at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield
Mills, Michigan, though he had been involved with photography as a hobby and as a darliroorn
technician for several years prlor to that. At Cranbrook, in addition to teaching, he served as the
staff photographer, creating images of the faculty, st~~dentasn,d activities of the institution. He
left Cranhrook during World War I1 to enlist in the United States' Air Force where he worked as
a public relations photographer.
After his stint in the military, Munroe was employed by Farm Quurterly Magazine, a new
publication based in Cincinnati, Ohio, photographilig farm and rural life subjects. This was an
important time in his career and by the 1950s, he had estabiished himself as a premier
agricultural photographer. Ultimately working primarily as a freelance photographer, Munroe
began expanding his subjects and interests with clients such as Life, National Geogruphic, Time,
Fbr-tune, and Ladies Hor~zeJ ournal. Two of his icon images are the L$e picture assignment
from i 959 of twenty-one young men stuffed into a phone booth on a California coliege campus
and the 1969 Farm Quarterly cover of the two nuzzling piglets which circulated internationally
as a poster.
In 1942, while at Cranbrook Academy, he also made his first film: an abstract, black and white
film in which lights and shapes move with contemporary jazz music. Me resumed film making
in the 1960s for corporations s~rcha s Pioneer I-LiBred international and for public broadcasting.
Elis film career also coincided with his interest in rafting the river3 of the western United States.
While malting two of his films about the Grand Canyon, Showcase ojthe Ages and Dare the
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