Reconnect with the iconic images of Monitor photographer Gordon Converse

We're bringing back the work of our eminent photojournalist Gordon Converse from the depths of our photo archive

"Running to the light," by Gordon Converse

“Good photographs, like good writing, are very personal statements,” Gordon Converse once said. “A set of photographs reflects the artist's interests and feelings. They register an intimate relationship between the photographer and his subject.”

During his tenure with The Christian Science Monitor, Converse revolutionized the Monitor's approach to photojournalism, producing a number of now-iconic images and winning many awards and accolades from his peers. 

A documentary about his life and work titled “Illumine All Mankind – The photojournalism of Gordon Converse," will premier in Boston at The Christian Science Publishing Society (210 Massachusetts Ave, Boston) on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 at 7:00 pm.  If you'd like to attend, please RSVP.

The documentary will be followed by a casual Q&A with Linda Converse Bloom, Converse's daughter, Alfredo Sosa, the Monitor's director of photography and Mark Sappenfield, the Monitor's editor.

Concurrently with the documentary, the first public exhibit of a selection of Converse's photos will be taking place at Heritage Galleries in New York City (445 Park Avenue, New York, NY) from May 12, 2017 through May 17, 2017.

This exhibit will be followed by a signature auction of first edition prints that Converse printed himself. The bidding has already started online, hosted by Heritage Auctions, and will conclude on May 18 in the ballroom of the Double Tree Metropolitan Hotel in New York. Limited edition exhibit-quality reprints of all first edition Converse prints sold at auction will also become available from an online photo store that will be hosted by the Monitor.

“We're delighted to be bringing our photojournalism collection, starting with Gordon's body of work, back to life for the global audience we can now reach electronically,” says Sappenfield.

As a US Navy combat photographer in the Pacific theater during World War II, Converse sent a photo to The Christian Science Monitor for publishing. Something about it rang true, and he continued to send them images of the war for the next several years.

In 1946, on the same day he was discharged from the Navy, Converse joined the Monitor’s staff as a photojournalist, eventually becoming the paper’s chief photographer.

In a career spanning 40 years, Converse crisscrossed the US and the globe, traveling to 120 countries for the paper. His work won accolades from his peers in the industry, including the Newspaper-Magazine Photographer of the Year award in 1959.

During his tenure, his photo essays transformed the Monitor’s approach to photojournalism and cemented the newspaper a leader in photojournalism publication.

Today, these photos are being brought out from storage through a joint project between The Christian Science Monitor and Bob Pokress of Image Fortress Corp. Mr. Pokress produced the documentary about Converse as well.

“It's a professional thrill to be able to restore and bring these great works of photojournalism to a global audience. Each of the photos in [The Monitor’s] exceptional archive tell moving stories, grip your attention, and ask you to think about what you are seeing better than any words might convey,” Pokress says.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to Reconnect with the iconic images of Monitor photographer Gordon Converse
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today