A FIRE THAT NO WATER COULD PUT OUT: CIVIL RIGHTS PHOTOGRAPHY
NOVEMBER 4, 2017–MAY 27, 2018
Taking its title from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s final speech before his untimely assassination in 1968, this installation of photographs will reflect on the 50th anniversary of this tumultuous year in American history. The more than 40 prints on view in the Museum’s Bunnen Gallery for Photography are drawn in large part from the Museum’s collection of photography documenting the Civil Rights Movement, which is among the most significant in the world. Iconic historical images will be presented with works by contemporary photographers that illuminate the legacy of the movement.
Through some of the most powerful images from the High’s Civil Rights collection, this exhibition underscores how photography can chronicle and even shape history. Historical works, including several recent acquisitions, are juxtaposed with contemporary photography that speak to the past’s reverberations into the present and future. The exhibition is arranged into three sections: the era of Dr. King’s leadership; the year of his death; and contemporary reflections on the Civil Rights Movement’s enduring legacy. Artists featured include renowned 20th century photographers like Gordon Parks, Danny Lyon, Charles Moore, Roy DeCarava, James Hinton, Steve Shapiro, Diane Arbus, Ernest Withers, Doris Derby, and Burk Uzzle and notable contemporary photographers David Alekhuogie, Dawoud Bey, Jason Lazarus and Sheila Pree Bright. These artworks demonstrate the wide-range of artistic responses to the movement, from the photojournalistic to the poetic, from tender portraiture to conceptual landscapes.