Friday, May 22, 2015

Sonny Liston landed on canvas below Muhammad Ali’s feet on May 25, 1965, and Neil Leifer snapped a photo

Muhammad Ali Knocks Out Sonny Liston, Lewiston, Maine, May 25, 1965

Via Slate

The photo languished unlauded—before it was (much later) recognized as one of the greatest sports photos of all time; Ali became the most hated figure in American sports—before he was (much later) named “The Sportsman of the Century”; and Liston was subjected to intense scrutiny—before (not much later) he fizzled into a mostly forgotten footnote.

Like many sports fans, I’d glimpsed this picture for years—in random Ali articles, atop “best of” lists, even on T-shirts—but it wasn’t until doing my own research, excavating layers, that I discovered its most astounding attribute:
Everything you’d initially imagine about the image is wrong.
But first, just look at that photo! It instantly hits your eyes haloed in a corona of potency—structured so soundly as to seem staged, this forceful frieze of physical dominance. The Victor yells, the Loser displays himself vanquished, and the Watchers are all caught in that moment. The kinetic poetry of moving bodies, momentarily frozen, such is the stuff of the best sports photos—this has that.
There are also the incongruities! The Victor, appearing to proclaim dominance, is in fact pleading for the bested man to rise; and, for that matter, there is secretly a second bested rival below Ali; and though this looks like the moment after a vicious put-down punch, the photo was actually preceded by the puniest of blows, a “phantom punch,” as it would later be known—a wispy, theoretical mini-hook that none in attendance even observed. That Crowd so multitudinous that it stretches beyond the horizon line? They were actually the smallest assembled crowd in heavyweight championship history—there to witness a bumbling conclusion, filled with calls that the fix was in. This bout: still boxing’s biggest unsolved mystery. This image: still iconic, even (especially) with the controversy, for a sport as mythologized as it is crooked. Click for full article.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Cassius Clay couldn’t sleep in Miami Beach after beating Sonny Liston there in the legendary 1964 bout

Black Muslim leader Malcolm X photographing Cassius Clay, Miami, 1964
Until recently, Bob Gomel remembered his photograph of Malcolm X and Cassius and Cassius  Clay as " It was February 26, 1964 in a Miami restaurant after Clay won the heavyweight championship from Sonny Liston. Howard Bingham, Ali's personal photographer is seen at the far right above Ali. Clay's brother Rahaman is seated to Cassius's left (only a fist is visible in the famous frame.) The name and exact location of the restaurant are paled into insignificance.” But now the location has been identified.

Via Miami Herald
May 8, 2015

When the rescue of Hampton House began six years ago, vagrants and drug addicts slept in the motel where Malcolm X once stayed. A tree grew out of the swimming pool where Martin Luther King Jr. swam. The walls were crumbling around the courtyard where Ebony magazine had photographed Muhammad Ali and his new wife and baby.

Amid the ruin, there was no hint of Hampton House’s heyday in the 1960s as the premier getaway for black Americans visiting segregated Miami, where beachfront icons like the Fontainebleau were off limits even to celebrities of color.

On Friday, the decay of Hampton House officially lifted as local leaders celebrated a $6 million rehab of the historic 1953 motel — a largely county-funded effort that’s been in the works for about 15 years.

“We got it done,” Miami-Dade Commissioner Audrey Edmonson told a crowd gathered for the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the motel at the corner of Northwest 27th Avenue and 42nd Street.
Facing demolition in 2000, the Hampton House is being relaunched as a community hub, with a museum, space for a restaurant and motel rooms being converted into office space for community groups, recording studios and rehearsal space for musicians.

Organizers hope to revive the Hampton House’s legacy of live entertainment, too. Its jazz club once drew evening crowds from throughout Miami, making Hampton a night-life hub for local African Americans. Traveling celebrities gave it star power.

Segregation meant Miami’s famous crop of luxury oceanfront hotels weren’t available for black people, so Cassius Clay couldn’t sleep in Miami Beach after beating Sonny Liston there in the legendary 1964 bout. The boxer went back to the Hampton House for a bowl of ice cream, and to celebrate with Malcolm X. A month later, Clay changed his name to Muhammad Ali.
“This was an oasis in a sea of racism,” Khalilah Camacho Ali said from the Hampton House’s new event space, an open-ceiling hall created out of the old jazz club and some motel rooms above.
On the wall hangs a photo of her leaning over Muhammad Ali as he cradles their infant daughter on a Hampton House pool chair. Ebony took the photo, and included it in a 1969 cover spread featuring the couple.

King stayed at the Hampton House often enough that one ground-floor room came to be known as his suite. A photographer snapped King in swim trunks from the pool. And he is said to have delivered an early version of his “I Have a Dream” speech during an event at Hampton House before it made history on the National Mall in 1963.

Historic Hampton House Motel reopens in Miami

The historic Hampton House Motel in Miami reopened Friday, May 8, 2015, with a ceremony to mark the occasion. The motel was frequented by black celebrities and civil rights activists such as Cassius Clay, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. in the middle part of the last century.

A white Jewish couple presided over the Hampton House’s golden years. Harry and Florence Markowitz owned land and apartment buildings in Miami’s Brownsville neighborhood, including what would later become the Hampton House location. In 1954, they leased the land to the Booker Terrace Motel and Apartments.
That venture floundered, and the Markowitzes decided to make it a more upscale destination and renamed it the Hampton House after a neigborhood naming contest. They brought in the jazz club to the 50-room motel, started a popular restaurant with late-night fare, and began pursuing black conventions and church groups to boost business. Baseball great Jackie Robinson used Hampton House for a golf tournament he held each year in the Miami area, and the two-story motel marketed itself as the “Social Center of the South.”

The motel closed in the 1970s, and the Markowitzes sold it before the building slipped into disrepair through the 1980s and ’90s. Sons Bob, 74, and Jerry, 66, attended Friday’s ceremony. Bob was asked how his parents would have reacted to seeing Hampton House restored. “I’m getting choked up to even say it,” he replied. “They would be overwhelmed.”

Integration is mostly blamed for the motel’s decline: With black residents and visitors able to frequent beach hotels, the Hampton House lost its edge.

Hampton House had thrived as a gathering spot for local African Americans in the 1960s. At the time, Overtown was fading as the heart of black Miami’s middle class, with more families moving into the new Liberty Square housing complex that sits about 35 blocks from Hampton House.

Edmonson, the county commissioner whose district includes the motel, recalls her mother and friends gathering at Hampton House for their regular tea parties. A young Edmonson was occasionally called on for the afternoon’s entertainment, and she was too nervous to look at anyone but her mother while reciting the poem Trees before the ladies decked out in white gloves.

“I remember the Hampton House,” Edmonson told Friday’s crowd assembled on folding chairs in the motel’s parking lot. “I am so proud to say I grew up in this community.”

The Hampton House’s neighborhood in Brownsville now includes some of the poorest stretches of Miami. Miami-Dade wants to raze and rebuild the Liberty Square complex in an effort to root out crime there and revitalize the neighborhood. Census figures from 2010 show Brownsville’s population growing for the first time in 40 years. About 15,000 people live there.

Hampton House organizers hope there will be enough interest in the area that they can generate revenue by renting out the old coffee shop as a restaurant. It’s been restored with a new version of the original mural from somewhere in the Caribbean, and yellow-vinyl stools along the lunch counter. It was the site of perhaps the most famous photo ever taken at Hampton House: Malcolm X, having gotten himself behind the counter, snapping his own photo of Clay after his victory against Liston.

For Enid Pinkney, founding president of the Historic Hampton House Community Trust and long-time champion of the restoration effort, the building’s return offers another chance to link prosperity with Hampton House.

“We’ll have a place in Miami,” she said in a trust video released last year, “where we can go and be proud of the effort that went into bringing that back as an economic engine in the community.”

This article was updated to correct the distance between the Liberty Square housing complex and Hampton House.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Margaret Bourke-White: Pioneering Photojournalist

Via Photograph Magazine

Margaret Bourke-White: Pioneering Photojournalist

Monroe Gallery of Photography, Santa Fe

Margaret Bourke-White, Buchenwald Prisoners, 1945. Courtesy Monroe Gallery of Photography ©Time In.

Referring to the French Impressionist painter Claude Monet, fellow painter Paul Cézanne famously quipped to art dealer Ambroise Vollard: “Monet is only an eye, but my God what an eye!” The same could be said for American photographer Margaret Bourke-White (1904-1971). Examining Bourke-White’s work, from the late 1920s through the 1950s, one quickly senses her complete command of the photographic tools at her disposal that resulted in compositions filled with formal elements of design that were part and parcel of narratives that documented times of significant events. Soaring heights of urban construction, extreme poverty in the South, and World War II are only a few of the historic moments captured in photographs by Bourke-White – many of which are iconic in American photography.

In 50 photographs on view at Monroe Gallery of Photography through June 28, Margaret Bourke-White: Pioneering Photojournalist gives a brief, yet fine overview of her prolific career.
Margaret Bourke-White, Fort Peck Dam, Fort Peck, MT, 1936. Courtesy Monroe Gallery of Photography  ©Time Inc

Included are instantly recognizable images such as At the Time of the Louisville Flood, Louisville, Kentucky, 1937, where people are queued in a bread line below a billboard exuding the good life, as well as Buchenwald Prisoners, Germany, 1945, in which prisoners confined behind barbed-wire await liberation -- the latter taken when Bourke-White was on assignment for Life Magazine traveling with Patton’s army. In one of her most artistic images, Patterns Made by Steel Liners for Diversion Tunnels, Fort Peck Dam, Montana, 1936, geometric patterns fill the frame composed of various machine-hewed disks with radiating spokes. Bourke-White, whose career was cut short by Parkinson’s disease in 1956, once said, “To understand another human being you must gain insight into the conditions which made him what he is.” She was tenacious in her pursuit of photographs that conveyed truths about the human condition, as well as the beauty in things produced by humankind. 

— By Douglas Fairfield  05/04/2015

Friday, May 1, 2015

World Press Freedom Day May 3

World Press Freedom Day is Sunday, May 3. Join us in remembering journalists who have died while bearing witness. Change your social profile picture to our black press ribbon and post your support using ‪#‎remembering‬ on May 3 between 6 and 9 p.m. (local time).

Learn more at

United Nations:  World Press Freedom Day 

UNESCO: World Press Freedom Day

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Manifest Exhibit: Manifest Justice May 1 - 10

Join us for a large-scale pop-up art exhibition, cultural convening, and community organizing event. Together, we will lift our voices, assert our power and identify solutions to build healthy and safe communities worldwide.
(310) 779-6090
Monroe Gallery of Photography is honored to present a very special collection of Civil Rights photographs at the Manifest Justice exhibit in Los Angles May 1 - 10.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Trailblazer: Monroe Gallery tips artistic hat to Margaret Bourke-White

©Time Inc. Courtesy Monroe Gallery
Image result for santa fe reporter

Via The Santa Fe Reporter
April 22, 2015
As a symbol for globetrotting photojournalism, Margaret Bourke-White’s brand in the field is still felt today. Born on June 14, 1904, in New York City, she soon would become a beacon for editorial photography, focusing on subjects both live and inanimate, and securing the first cover image for LIFE magazine—an iconic study of the dams in the Columbia River basin.

“There is so much to talk about Margaret Bourke-White,” Monroe Gallery of Photography’s Michelle Monroe muses. “Her vision directed LIFE. It was her global look at why things mattered; why the Russian Revolution was going to affect ours; why man’s industry and this sort of race toward that conclusion mattered; why humans in India who were trying to gain independence from Britain mattered to America. It was a really sophisticated worldview for that time.”

Monroe continues, “America was largely illiterate in 1936, and this woman met [LIFE editor] Henry Luce and was the first person hired for his magazine, which is also extraordinary—because she’s a girl,” she says, with a playfully scandalized tone.
The Don Gaspar gallery showcases 54 of Bourke-White’s emblematic images, starting this Friday and going through June 28.

Before her death of Parkinson’s disease in 1971, Bourke-White managed to stamp her unique perspective on historic events like Gandhi’s release from prison in 1946, the ripple of the South African labor exploitation during the 1950s and the liberation of German concentration camps by General Patton.

The breadth of Bourke-White’s oeuvre as well as her approach, Monroe stresses, far surpasses whatever labels one might want to stick on her based on gender.

“I try not to talk about ‘female artists’ or ‘female gallerists’ because that puts us in a kind of margin,” Monroe says. “You have to think that in 1936, it was extraordinary that this woman was hired as the first journalist in what would become Henry Luce’s magnum opus.”

Margaret Bourke-White
5-7 pm Friday, April 24
Monroe Gallery of Photography
112 Don Gaspar Ave., 
505 992 0800

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

AIPAD Photography Show 2015 Recap

"Monroe Gallery of Photography (here): Classics of photojournalism often quickly jump into the realm of fine art, and this recent image by Whitney Curtis from the Ferguson protests is memorably symbolic. It’s a modern version of Goya, with the compositional opposition of the hands up and the over-the-top riot gear. Priced at $2500"

Via Collector Daily

Every Booth at the 2015 AIPAD Photography Show New York, Part 1 of 4

Every Booth at the 2015 AIPAD Photography Show New York, Part 2 of 4
Every Booth at the 2015 AIPAD Photography Show New York, Part 3 of 4
Every Booth at the 2015 AIPAD Photography Show New York, Part 4 of 4

Via BWGallerist

On Site: The Best of AIPAD 2015, Park Avenue Armory

Via L'Oeil de la Photographie

AIPAD 2015 : Monroe Gallery of Photography

Saturday, April 18, 2015


That;s me: Ted Landsmark

That’s me in the picture: Ted Landsmark is assaulted in Boston, at an ‘anti-bussing’ protest, 5 April 1976 via The Guardian

View this photograph at the AIPAD Photography Show, Monroe gallery of Photography, Booth #119, April 15 - 19 2015

"38 years ago today I won my second Pulitzer. I recently found this clip (I have lots of clips but where they are nobody knows, including me). With the help of my friend Scott Ryder we copied a lot of stuff lately.

It was Marathon Day, April 18, 1977. The Marathon back then began at noon. I raced (by car) back to the finish line at the Prudential Building after covering the start in Hopkinton. The winners would start showing up around 2:10.

The Pulitzers were historically announced the first Monday in May so I had no clue why I was summoned back to the office immediately. It was a very exciting day."  --Stanley Forman

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Eye of Photography: Monroe Gallery at AIPAD 2015

Via L'Oeil de la Photographie

AIPAD 2015 : Monroe Gallery of Photography

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 c Whitney Curtis

Monroe Gallery of Photography specializes in classic black-and-white photography with an emphasis on humanist and photojournalist imagery. The gallery features work by more than 75 renowned photographers and also represents a select group of contemporary photographers. The gallery (booth #119) is exhibiting a specially curated collection of civil rights photographs at the AIPAD Photography Show 2015. Featured will be a variety of images from the history of civil rights, with prints including the 1965 Selma March to the recent protests in Ferguson, Missouri.

Of particular note are two prints by Whitney Curtis, photographed during the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri. One print titled "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" was published extensively in national newspapers and just was awarded First Place in Domestic News by the National Press Photographer's Association in the Best Photojournalism of 2015 Awards. Monroe Gallery of Photography is proud to debut Curtis' photography at the AIPAD Photography Show

Monroe Gallery's booth is also exhibiting the environmental documentary photography of Stephen Wilkes, specifically images from Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy; and one from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Of particular note is a large format (50 x 66") color print of a television set washed up on the beach of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina that is visually arresting.

Monroe Gallery of Photography was founded by Sidney S. Monroe and Michelle A. Monroe. Building on more than four decades of collective experience, the gallery specializes in 20th and 21st Century Photojournalism.

1. Stephen Wilkes
Hurricane Katrina: TV in Sand, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, June 12, 2006
Digital c-print, 50 x 66 inches, edition 2 of 8

2. Whitney Curtis
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

3. Whitney Curtis
A man raises his hands in front of a row of St. Louis County police armored personnel carriers, Ferguson, Missouri, Aug. 11, 2014
Archival pigment prints, 18 x 26 inches, edition 1/10

Sunday, April 5, 2015

April 5, 1976: "The Soiling of Old Glory"

The Soiling of Old Glory
Stanly Forman: The Soiling of Old Glory
April 5, 1976

Via Today in History

In 1976, during an outdoor demonstration against court-ordered school busing in Boston, a white teenager swung a pole holding an American flag at a black attorney  in a scene captured in a Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph by Stanley Forman of the Boston Herald American.

Monroe Gallery of Photography will be exhibiting this photograph at the AIPAD Photography Show in New York April 16 - 19, 2015, in booth #119.

The photograph depicts a white teenager, Joseph Rakes, about to assault black lawyer and civil-rights activist Ted Landsmark with a flagpole bearing the American flag. It was taken in Boston on April 5, 1976, during a protest against court-ordered desegregation busing. It ran on the front page of the Herald American the next day, and also appeared in several newspapers across the country. It won the 1977 Pulitzer Prize for Spot Photography.

"Louis Masur has written an indispensable history about an
unforgettable image. With admirable empathy and grace,
he reveals why racial conflict in modern America is both so
compelling and so difficult to resolve."