A Letter From the Publisher: Mar. 30, 1987

As New Yorkers darted past one another in Rockefeller Center last week, many halted at the street-level windows of a camera gallery to gaze at a striking array of photographs: fireworks, an athlete in pain, the rings of Saturn, one space shuttle lifting off, another disintegrating in the air, a laughing Ronald Reagan, a gyrating Madonna, a city in flames. These and other dramatic images make up a new exhibit whose theme is TIME photojournalism of the 1980s.

"Recapitulating seven years in 26 pictures isn't really possible," observes TIME Picture Editor Arnold Drapkin, who helped set up the presentation, which was...