ArtStories

15 best LIFE magazine covers

2 Mins read

LIFE magazine coversOldpics continues to be of the view that almost all pictures from LIFE Magazine covers are iconic. Here’s why we selected photos for this publication with special attention. After all, it’s not an easy task to choose just 50 photos from the endless archive (10B of images inside of it) and numerous amazing LIFE magazine covers.

Why LIFE magazine covers were so important

The stunning covers were one of the reasons why LIFE magazine gained its popularity. Excellent cover images emphasized the unique design and overall visual approach of this publication. Beautifully illustrated photographs accompanied any events, news, magazine reviews. LIFE’s illustrations were close to perfect, and they dominated the public imagination in the pre- and early TV era. Can you imagine that watching and reading LIFE was much more fun for Americans than watching television news in the 1940s? The best masters contributed their photographs to the magazine. Then editors selected the best of them for the LIFE magazine covers.

Read more: 100 most important pictures in history

Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock

Audrey Hepburn posed at home for the 1953 LIFE magazine covers

Audrey Hepburn posed at home for the 1953 LIFE magazine cover.

Bill Murray on the LIFE magazine covers

Bill Murray

Saipan photos be Eugene Smith

Cover of LIFE 1945. The magazine actively covered the events of the war. This photo of Eugene Smith is perhaps one of the most heartbreaking images of WWII.

John and Jacqueline Kennedy resting on a yacht, 1953 cover

John and Jacqueline Kennedy resting on a yacht, 1953 cover

Artists behind LIFE magazine covers

All photographers’ names in this list are legends for Oldpics. Leonard McCombe, J.R. Eyerman, John Bryson, W. Eugene Smith, Lennart Nilsson, Ralph Morse, Margaret Bourke-White, Ed Clark,  Ralph Morse, Leonard McCombe, Philippe Halsman, Mark Shaw, Alfred Eisenstaedt, and many others. We’ve dedicated a separate publication at Oldpics to some of the most prominent photographers from this list. But all of them are genius, and we promise to cover their photography (both the best images and the stories behind the selected ones) in the future.

LIFE magazine April 8, 1946 is dedicated to the circus.

LIFE magazine, April 8, 1946, is dedicated to the circus.

Marilyn Monroe, 1959

Marilyn Monroe, 1959

Marlon Brando

Marlon Brando, 1972

Neil Armstrong LIFE magazine covers

Neil Armstrong

Pablo Picasso on the Life magazine covers

Pablo Picasso

Sunbathing girls in bikinis on the cover of LIFE 1956.

Sunbathing girls in bikinis on the cover of LIFE 1956.

Read more: Idealized American lifestyle of the 1950s by Nina Leen

The Beatles on their first US tour. Cover of LIFE, 1964.

The Beatles on their first US tour. Cover of LIFE, 1964.

The Jackson Family, 1971

The Jackson Family, 1971

USA Water Polo Team, 1996.

USA Water Polo Team, 1996.

Victorious Yank, 1945

Victorious Yank, 1945

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