The day Einstein died

LIFE.com has an article about a photographer and his pictures on the day that Albert Einstein died in Princeton.

Einstein desk
Albert Einstein, the genius physicist whose theories changed our ideas of how the universe works, died 55 years ago, on April 18, 1955, of heart failure. He was 76. His funeral and cremation were intensely private affairs, and only one photographer managed to capture the events of that extraordinary day: LIFE magazine’s Ralph Morse. Armed with his camera and a case of scotch — to open doors and loosen tongues — Morse compiled a quietly intense record of an icon’s passing. But aside from one now-famous image (above), the pictures Morse took that day were never published. At the request of Einstein’s son, who asked that the family’s privacy be respected while they mourned, LIFE decided not to run the full story, and for 55 years Morse’s photographs lay unseen and forgotten. Pictured: Ralph Morse’s photograph of Einstein’s office in Princeton, taken hours after Einstein’s death and captured exactly as the Nobel Prize-winner had left it.

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The Scream: A radar image shows the crater of Eyjafjallajokull in southeast Iceland

Volcano face

A radar image of the volcanic crater appears to show a nightmarish face, which is reminiscent of Edvard Munch’s painting ‘The Scream.’ Coincidentally, it is thought that the masterpiece was inspired by the blood red skies caused by the powerful volcanic eruption of Krakatoa in 1883.

In his diary Mr Munch wrote: ‘I was walking along a path with two friends – the sun was setting – suddenly the sky turned blood red – I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on the fence – there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the city – my friends walked on, and I stood there trembling with anxiety – and I sensed an infinite scream passing through nature.’

The picture was taken by the ELTA radar from an Icelandic Coast Guard airplane.

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