Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Civil rights photo exhibit opens at Atlanta museum

An exhibition of civil rights era photos opened today at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, according to an article in Art Daily.

On view in Atlanta through October 5, 2008, "Road to Freedom: Photographs of the Civil Rights Movement, 1956–1968" is organized by Julian Cox, Curator of Photography at the High Museum of Art. This exhibition is supported by Sandra Anderson Baccus, The Atlanta Foundation, The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, Toyota, American Express, Turner Broadcasting and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art. The exhibition will be accompanied by a comprehensive catalogue and will travel to Washington, D.C. in November 2008, with additional venues to be announced.

"The photographs featured in 'Road to Freedom' have strong connections to Atlanta and the city's role as the cradle of the Civil Rights Movement," said Michael E. Shapiro, the High's Nancy and Holcombe T. Green, Jr. Director. "The High is committed to organizing exhibitions that are relevant to our community and representative of our unique role as the Southeast's premiere art museum. Thanks to the generosity of several Atlanta benefactors, the High is now home to one of the nation's most important collections of Civil Rights–era photography, and we're delighted to share these photographs with the world through this compelling exhibition."

Covering the twelve-year period between the Rosa Parks case in 1955–1956 and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination in 1968, "Road to Freedom" will follow key events such as the Freedom Rides of 1961, the Birmingham hosings of 1963 and the Selma–Montgomery March of 1965. The exhibition will feature work by nearly fifty photographers, with recognized names such as Bob Adelman, Morton Broffman, Bruce Davidson, Doris Derby, James Karales, Builder Levy, Steve Schapiro, and Ernest Withers. Also included will be the work of press photographers and amateurs who made stirring visual documents of marches, demonstrations and public gatherings out of a conviction for the social changes that the movement represented. Key images will include Bob Adelman's "Kelly Ingram Park, Birmingham," 1963; Morton Broffman's "Dr. King and Coretta Scott King Leading Marchers, Montgomery, Alabama," 1965; Bill Eppridge's "Chaney Family as they depart for the Funeral of James Chaney, Philadelphia, Mississippi," 1964; and Builder Levy's "I Am a Man/Union Justice Now, Memphis, Tennessee," 1968.

(Photo: Martin Luther King and his wife, Coretta Scott King, lead marchers in Montgomery, Ala. in 1965. Photo by Morton Broffman)