Thursday, July 30, 2015

Review: The Long Road: From Selma To Ferguson

Image result for THE magazine santa fe
THE Magazine
August, 2015

“There is no scientific or anthropological basis for race.”
  –Maya Angelou

The is only one race: human. Being a bigot based on any other concept of so-called “race” is similar to being a climate change denier. Both are premised on what could be called belief-desires on the part of the willfully ignorant, rather than on any sort of scientifically, empirically, or reality based truth.

The Long Road: From Selma to Ferguson—an elegant exhibition of fifty-five photographs documenting the faces and places of America’s Civil Rights era alongside today’s rising BLACK LIVES MATTER movement is a timely contribution to the local cultural scene by the Monroe Gallery. The curation of the prints is thoughtful, and rich in response to the face-to­face with the ethnically biased police brutality that is confronting the nation. Whitney Curtis’ image of a twenty-three-year-old African-American activist backing away from three heavily armored St. Louis County cops with large weapons drawn, makes an iconic, Leon Golub­like, presentation of the point. A 1961 LIFE magazine image by Paul Schutzer of Freedom Riders on an interstate bus escorted by National Guardsmen with rifles and bayonets carries the tension of violent possibility held at bay, and echoes of the future found in the sign of one protester on the 1965 Selma March preserved by legendary LIFE photographer Steve Schapiro, that reads simply “Stop Police Killings.”
Relevant today, because the domestic terrorism of African-Americans hasn’t ceased since they were forcibly enslaved and brought in chains to this continent by Euro-American colonizers. A uniquely American ethnic hate and systematized terrorism campaign has been carried out ever since. For centuries now, law enforcement, judges, the Klu Klux Klan, skinheads, and Nazi-wannabes have conducted a long brutal pogrom of slavery, lynchings, scape-goating, church burnings, and institutionalized hatred against African-Americans. This was tragically capped most recently by the nine murders of Reverend Clementa C. Pinckney and eight parishioners at the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina by a twenty-one-year-old white supremacist espousing the belief-desires of a “black and white races” ideology of “racial hierarchy” woven into a hate and anger fueled action based on nothing but differences in skin tones. Children, when your ideology drives you to kill, the first thing to kill is your ideology.

The point of color in painting or people is visual pleasure and UV protection. The late, satirical Klan paintings of Phillip Guston are more relevant than ever today. Women of the Klan Bow Their Heads in Prayer, taken in South Carolina by Charles Moore and Segregationists, (again by Steve Schapiro) from a 1964 gathering in St. Augustine, Florida have a similar sense of the bleak stupidity of bigots on the wrong side of history. The exhibition does a great job of branching out to include images connecting the Selma March with anti-war, gay rights, labor, and feminist actions, making it clear that the crux of the matter is not the distraction of an erroneous race concept, but rather the still unattained dream of a reality based upon the self-evident and scientific truth that all people are created equally and are endowed with certain inalienable human rights and liberties that they must not be denied. Images of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. and his courageous entourage figure prominently. Pinckney joins him, now. Photographer Bill Eppridge’s moving image of activist James Chaney’s mother and younger brother at Chaney’s funeral is a study of dignity in grief that hits a universal human note far beyond any individual ancestry.

As King knew, no people holds a monopoly on evil or good. There are no fine hierarchical lines to be drawn between races because there is no place to draw them. Our homeland is the planet. We are all relatives in one species, and our major differences across ethnicities are simply cultural. Ancient tribalism is real, for sure, in fanatics’ belief-desire systems, but is based on nothing actual. Worldwide, it is supported most evilly by cultural ideologues and used in contemporary times, along with poverty and terrorism by a multi-ethnic cabal of nationalists and other politicians in collusion with banksters and financiers to divide and conquer various populations, and to enforce strict differences in access to wealth, resources, and territory. Economic differences (and growing disparity) are what they’re trying to hide.
It’s as ugly a situation as the eight shots to the back at short range that an unarmed Walter Scott took as he fled a now-indicted police officer, or the scenes of the crazed cracker cop in McKinney, Texas tackling an unarmed fourteen-year-old African-American girl to the ground at a pool party, and pointing his gun at her unarmed friends. Or Mike Brown’s body lying dead on the ground in the middle of the street for hours, or Freddie Gray’s severed spine. Nina Berman’s chilling Will I Be Next glimpses a black-haired boy looking out of the doorway next to the title text on a placard placed at the site of the Eric Garner strangulation in 2014. It’s a good question, unfortunately. —Jon Carver

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Monroe Gallery in "Best of Santa Fe" 2015

Image result for santa fe reporter
Arts & Culture
Best of Santa Fe 2015
July 29, 2015

Best Blast from the Past

Monroe Gallery
112 Don Gaspar Ave.

Charming and ethereal, powerful and thought provoking, no two visits to Monroe Gallery are the same. The product of owners Sid and Michelle Monroe’s love for great photojournalism of the Time/LIFE era keeps the inventory simultaneously pragmatic and poignant. “I just can’t think of anything more compelling or dynamic than chronicling our human history, our progress and our failures; our agonies of defeat and extraordinary moments of elevation,” Michelle says. Through Sept. 27, Monroe hosts The Long Road: From Selma to Ferguson, which began as a commemoration of the historic march. “We thought we had finished this show in 2013,” the gallerist continues. “Events started to unfold in Ferguson and Staten Island, in Cleveland with Tamir Rice, that presented such an extraordinary/terrible opportunity to make it a bigger conversation about how far we’ve come and what accomplishments have we let slip.” (EL)

photo by Enrique Limon

Friday, July 3, 2015

" documenting the history of the movement from the 1960s to the present day through more than 50 compelling images"

On the Road, the Selma March, 1965

The Santa Fe New Mexican: Pasatiempo

"The Long Road: From Selma to Ferguson couldn’t be more timely"

The Albuquerque Journal: Venue North

"Exhibit lays out emotional images from civil rights movement, along with some from today that are strikingly similar."

The Long Road: from Selma To Ferguson July 3 - September 27, 2015

The Fourth of July

Martin Luther King, Alabama, 1965

Martin Luther King Jr.: "You can get so busy in life that you forget holidays and other days, and it had slipped my mind altogether that today was the Fourth of July. And I said to him, "It is coincidental and quite significant, and I think when I get to Atlanta and go to my pulpit, I will try to preach a sermon in the spirit of the founding fathers of our nation and in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence." And so this morning I would like to use as a subject from which to preach: "The American Dream."

"The American Dream" Delivered at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia, on 4 July 1965

"It is found in those majestic words of the Declaration of Independence, words lifted to cosmic proportions: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by God, Creator, with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness." This is a dream. It’s a great dream.

The first saying we notice in this dream is an amazing universalism. It doesn’t say "some men," it says "all men." It doesn’t say "all white men," it says "all men," which includes black men. It does not say "all Gentiles," it says "all men," which includes Jews. It doesn’t say "all Protestants," it says "all men," which includes Catholics.  It doesn’t even say "all theists and believers," it says "all men," which includes humanists and agnostics"

Thursday, June 25, 2015

"how news coverage from Ferguson, Mo., ended up in one of the world's foremost art photography shows"

Rashaad Davis, 23, backs away as St. Louis County police officers approach him with guns drawn and eventually arrest him, Ferguson, Missouri, August 11, 2014
Rashaad Davis, 23, backs away as St. Louis County police officers approach him with guns drawn and eventually arrest him, Ferguson, Missouri, August 11, 2014
 ©Whitney Curtis

Via Full Frame
Global Images and the stories behind them
The Christian Science Monitor
By , Staff Photographer     

       Boston — It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the range of photo exhibits – from new experimental artists to historic documentary works – at the Association of International Photography Art Dealers show in New York City. What is harder to find at AIPAD are modern works of photojournalism. This is part of the reason that scenes from the racial turmoil in Ferguson by photojournalist Whitney Curtis stood out. Her work was exhibited by the Monroe Gallery of Photography there. To get a better sense of how images from Ferguson moved from the pages of a newspaper to a framed exhibit at an international art photography show, I caught up with gallery owner, Sid Monroe. Here are some excerpts.         

Whitney Curtis' photographs from Ferguson are featured in the exhibit "The Long Road: from Selma to Ferguson", Monroe Gallery, Santa Fe, July 3 - September 28, 2015

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Santa Fe Public Radio "At Noon" features Margaret Bourke-White exhibition

The exhibition Margaret Bourke-White: Pioneering Photographer was featured on "At Noon" June 15, 2015.

The work of trail-blazing photo-journalist Margaret Bourke-White is on display in downtown Santa Fe. The Monroe Gallery of Photography opened in Santa Fe in 2002, re-locating from Manhattan where it stood near the targeted World Trade Center towers on September 11th, 2001. The Monroe Gallery specializes in classic black & white photography with an emphasis on humanist and photojournalist imagery. Sid Monroe co-owns the gallery with his wife, Michelle. The Bourke-White exhibit at the Monroe Gallery runs through June 28th.

Listen here.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Happy Birthday Margaret Bourke-White

Margaret Bourke-White working atop the Chrysler Building, NY 1934, Oscar Graubner

by Oscar Graubner

Margaret Bourke-White was born on June 14, 1904, in New York City, and graduated from Cornell University in 1927. Choosing photography as a profession, she immediately began her dramatic career by experimenting with industrial subjects.

The exhibition continues through June 28, 2015.



via New Kensington Camera Club

Please join us to celebrate the life and times of one of America's greatest photographers, New Kensington's own PULITZER PRIZE WINNER,

- 1969 Pulitzer Prize Winner for Spot News Photography -

Show Opening Saturday, June 13th, 2015
10:00am at the Alle-Kiski Valley Heritage Museum in Tarentum, PA. The program will include a Marine Color Guard, special guests, a display of 21 large Eddie Adams prints from his Paris Exhibition, a display of photos by Barry Lavery, and the Inspired by Eddie Adams Show by members of the New Kensington Camera Club. Light refreshments will be provided for guests at the Museum.
A screening of the Eddie Adams documentary,
"An Unlikely Weapon" will take place at 1:00pm
A dinner at the Clarion Hotel in New Kensington will follow at 6:00pm with special guest speaker,  Justin Merriman of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The photo exhibit will run throughout the month of June.
Proceeds from the show and dinner will be used toward the purchase of a Pennsylvania Historical Marker for Eddie Adams in his hometown of New Kensington, PA. Additional proceeds will be used toward the Eddie Adams, John Filo Scholarship fund and ƒ-Stop ALS/NKCC Cares.
Museum Admission is $5.00 (free to all paid members of NKCC  & Alle-Kiski Valley Historical Society)
Dinner Tickets are on sale for $25.00
Tickets for the EAD2015 Dinner may be purchased in advance from NKCC or  the Alle-Kiski Valley Heritage Museum. A limited number of tickets will be available at the door before the dinner.

Eddie Adams Day is an event held by the New Kensington Camera Club with the cooperation and sponsorship of the Alle-Kiski Valley Historical Society.
Visit and for further information.

Special Guests
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Photographer

Justin Merriman

Justin Merriman (b. September 28, 1977), an award-winning photojournalist with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, has spent more than a decade traveling the world to cover politics, wars, natural disasters and civil unrest. His work has appeared in leading national publications and he has received multiple top
journalism awards.

After covering the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks – including the crash of United Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania – Merriman committed to chronicling the U.S. military and its war on terror. He has followed this story across the United States and into the conflict zones of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq. He also has covered life in Fidel Castro’s Cuba in 2002, India’s efforts to
eradicate polio from its population, the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Pope Benedicts XVI’s visit to Cuba in 2012, the 2013 conclave and election of
Pope Francis in Rome, the second anniversary of Egypt’s revolution and subsequent unrest, Russia’s invasion of Crimea and the international political crisis that unfolded in Ukraine in 2014, and most recently, traveled the U.S. border with Mexico documenting issues on immigration.

Merriman has worked at the Tribune- Review since 1999, and his work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, American Profile Magazine, Time, USA Today, MSNBC, Sports
Illustrated and publications across the globe. He has been recognized with numerous regional, national and international awards from organizations including: the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Press Photographers Association, the Society for News Design, the Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar, the Northern Short Course, the Southern Short Course, the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, the Military Reporters and Editors Association, and the Western Pennsylvania Press Club. He was awarded Photographer of the Year by the News Photographer Association of Greater Pittsburgh four times.

In 2014, Merriman received awards for his work in Egypt including the top award in the International Photo Story category in the Northern Short Course contest and an award of excellence in the Pictures of the Year International Competition for News Picture Story.

Born in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, Merriman graduated from the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg in 2000 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Writing. In 2009, the university awarded him its prestigious Alumnus of Distinction award.

Currently Merriman lives in Oakmont with his fiancé, Stephanie Strasburg, also a photojournalist with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Justin is a Barnstorm XV alumnus and worked for the Valley News Dispatch.


Photographic work of Eddie Adams can be viewed at the Monroe Gallery of Photography.

For more information visit

Thursday, May 28, 2015

REVIEW: Margaret Bourke-White: Pioneering Photographer

Fort Peck Dam, Fort Peck, MT, 1936 (Cover for first issue of LIFE magazine)
Margaret Bourke-White, Fort Peck Dam, Fort Peck, MT, silver gelatin photograph, 14” x 11”, 1936
THE Magazine
June, 2015


 of artistic documentation whose workings few understood. Imagine the United States in the first third of the twentieth century, with illiteracy and poverty key defining characteristics of the pitiable lives led by you and most everyone you knew. Images had nearly the power and drama, then, that they did during the Counter-Reformation in Europe, when the Catholic Church fought back against dull Protestantism with paintings as theatrical as opera sets, their shadowy depths filled with depictions of gruesome martyrdom—lit only at the moment of a would-be saint’s transmutation from agonizingly human into gloriously divine. Radiant sculptural forms of gold and silver reflected not merely the material wealth but the spiritual wealth of a religion that had dominated that part of the world for roughly a millennium. Bring yourself back now, from the seventeenth to the twentieth century and from Europe to the United States, populated by the shell-shocked heroes of the Great War dancing with pretty little flappers, their bobbed hairdos gleaming, and the gangsters, with their molls, who kept the country’s beak wet during Prohibition; imagine, finally, on a late fall day in 1929, stock-market millions vanishing within hours, heartlessly slamming shut the doors to the anything-goes twenties. (While you’re at it, imagine the unthinkable: Wall Street investors with such an overwhelming sense of responsibility that they jumped out of skyscrapers rather than face their own— and their clients’—financial ruin. Incomprehensible!) Meanwhile, the Great Depression loomed in the drought-stricken plains of America’s heartland. In the mind’s eye, these times could only have existed in grayed-out shades of black and white. Color, it seems, had been forgotten.
Unlike now, when anybody with a cell phone can, and unfortunately does, take pictures of everything from their breakfast to their genitalia—and makes them available to an unwitting public—only a very few of those initiated into the science of the lens and the alchemy of the darkroom were able to make photographs in the 1930s. Margaret Bourke-White was one of the few, and she led a charge of firsts: the first woman to photograph for LIFE magazine (for you post-Millennials, sort of the Internet of its time), the first accredited female war photographer (in World War II), and the first Western photographer allowed into the Soviet Union to record the proletariat’s triumph of mega-industry over the ease and comfort of privileged individuals.
In that heyday of pioneering photographers whom Bourke-White epitomized, black-and-white photography equaled photojournalism, which equaled truth with a capital T. This Truth was on a par with the same truth Americans revered in Norman Rockwell’s “real-life” scenes lifted straight out of a Mayberry without the laugh track, long before there was a Sheriff Taylor, Opie, Deputy Fife, or Aunt Bee. Or even television, for that matter. When images were few and far between, they had a credibility that is lost today in a thick overlay of irony and sheer disbelief. In the 1930s, if it appeared in LIFE magazine, or the Saturday Evening Post, or the newspaper, it was flat-out real.
Viewers lacked the objectivity to read meaning into a photograph as social commentary, for example, any more than the illiterate could read the black marks scratched into the white page.
The always-excellent Monroe Gallery presented their exhibition of silver gelatin photographs by Margaret Bourke-White as art, finding that, for her “as an artist,” photography served “as an instrument to examine social issues from a humanitarian perspective. She witnessed and documented some of the twentieth century’s most notable moments, including the liberation of German concentration camps by General Patton in 1945...” Bourke-White’s picture, “German civilians made to look at instruments of torture and execution at Buchenwald concentration camp, 1945,” is hardly an icon of objectivity. Nor should it be; some truths are beyond apprehension. Not to quibble with our dearly held ideals of photojournalism as an act of witnessing and documenting, but black-and-white imagery exists, among other reasons, when color cannot hold the entirety of its content. We demand this state of in-between-ness from art when what it depicts is too awful for mere reproduction.
While today you can find images of gore online anytime you choose to search for them, that they are not generally reproduced ad infinitum speaks to our understanding of the power of imagery. What Warhol repeated in a nightmarish grid (Jackie’s grief-stricken face on Air Force One en route from Dallas), and Picasso abstracted in his Guernica, Bourke-White reflected in the faces of her “German civilians” at Buchenwald.
Finally, when her country needed shoring up in 1936, during the height of the Depression, LIFE, a burgeoning publication that would become our society’s pocket mirror for at least a couple of decades, chose for its very first cover Bourke-White’s symbol of capitalism’s ultimate success. Her Fort Peck dam picture, all art-deco curves and fat-cat angles, describes more than the enormous potential for hydroelectric power: It is an image of America rediscovering her own righteous might, an America that, like the photographer “Maggie the Indestructible,” would liberate us from ourselves. There was the evidence, right in front of us in it-must­be-true black and white. —Kathryn M Davis
Margaret Bourke-White, Fort Peck Dam, Fort Peck, MT, silver gelatin photograph, 14” x 11”, 1936 ©Time Inc.
--The exhibition continues through June 28, 2015