Saturday, July 25, 2020

The Story Behind TIME's Commemorative John Lewis Cover

'It's a Picture of Someone Who Knows Who He Is.' 
The Story Behind TIME's Commemorative John Lewis Cover

By Okivia B. Waxman
July 21, 2020

In 1963, Steve Schapiro, then 28, was on assignment for LIFE magazine, photographing prominent civil rights activists, from James Baldwin to Fannie Lou Hamer. One day, while following Jerome Smith, a participant in the Freedom Rides that raised awareness of interstate bus segregation, he went to Clarksdale, Miss., to document one of the many training sessions that were taking place in church basements across the South. In those meetings, volunteers studied how to react to the racism they would encounter in their work. That day in Clarksdale, as Schapiro watched a line of ministers file into the church, he noticed among the group another well-known Freedom Rider, in a tie and button-down shirt: John Lewis. He asked Lewis if he could take his photo, and the young man agreed.

Weeks later, Lewis would become the youngest person on the speakers’ slate at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, addressing some 250,000 people from the Lincoln Memorial as the chairperson of the student arm of the 1960s civil rights movement, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Lewis, then 23, went on to represent Atlanta in Congress for three decades until July 17, when he died at the age of 80 after a battle with cancer. The picture Schapiro shot more than half a century ago is featured on the cover of the Aug. 3-10 issue of TIME, which dives into Lewis’s life, career and legacy.

“You can feel the determination in him to be who he is,” Schapiro tells TIME, reflecting on the photograph. “In this picture, you see he’s looking forward with an enormous amount of strength, in terms of how he sees the future. It’s a picture of someone who knows who he is, knows what he has to do, and for the rest of his life, after this picture, he did it.”

After that moment, Schapiro kept following the civil rights movement, too. He would go on to cover the March on Washington and voter registration efforts throughout the South. He covered the march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., photographing Martin Luther King, Jr., Ralph Abernathy, Andrew Young and Rosa Parks. LIFE also sent him to Memphis to cover the aftermath of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination on April 4, 1968. In recent years, Schapiro, now 85 and living in Chicago, has covered the Black Lives Matter movement.

Schapiro says Lewis saw the photo in 2014, after the Monroe Gallery exhibited it, and Schapiro sent Lewis a signed copy. Then, in 2015, Schapiro saw the Congressman in person for the first time since 1963. As the nation marked the 50th anniversary of the march from Selma to Montgomery, the two saw each other at different events where veterans of the 1960s civil rights movement gathered. Lewis told Schapiro that 1963 image was one of his favorite photos of himself; Schapiro says that earlier this year, aides to Lewis reached out to him requesting a version of the photo for a belated birthday party for the Congressman.

Schapiro hopes the TIME cover will inspire young people to pick up Lewis’ lifelong fight for racial equality and human rights.

“This is who he was in his time,” the photographer says. “Let’s see who you are in your time.”

Saturday, July 18, 2020

LIFE ON EARTH Exhibit in the News

We are grateful the current exhibition "Life On Earth" has received extensive coverage in the press:

The Eye of Photography: Monroe Gallery of Photography: Life on Earth

©Arthur Rothstein Legacy Project: Heavy black clouds of dust rising over the Texas Panhandle, April,1935

The Albuquerque Journal: Humanity’s footprint: Monroe Gallery photography exhibit “Life On Earth” a survey of environmental and climate issues

©Adam Karls Johansson: Greta Thunberg’s first school strike for climate outside the Swedish Parliament, 2018

The Santa Fe New Mexican: Life on Earth, a survey exhibition of work by photojournalists that spans more than 80 years 

Margaret Bourke-White/©The Life Picture Collection: Margaret Bourke-White, Louisville Flood Red Cross Relief Station, Kentucky, 1936

View the exhibit on-line here, and on our YouTube channel.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Gallery Photographer Ryan Vizzions Work Included in Magnetic West: The Enduring Allure of the American West at Figge Museum

Via The Figge Museum

Organized by the Figge Art Museum, Magnetic West features over 150 photographs by some of the most renowned photographers of the 19th and 20th centuries. Picturing the west as a metaphor for promise and peril, the exhibition explores issues of identity, implications of living in a changing landscape, and the centrality of Native and immigrant communities to the essential dynamism of the region. Including images made by artists from the U.S. and abroad, the exhibition expands the dialogue of how our view of the west has evolved from the 19th century to today.

Assembled from many public and private collections, the exhibition includes important works by Robert Adams, Edward Burtynsky, Laura Gilpin, Zig Jackson, Elaine Mayes, Chandra McCormick, Cara Romero, Wendy Red Star, Victoria Sambunaris, Ryan Vizzions, Carleton Watkins, Wim Wenders and many others.  The exhibition will also appear at the Sioux City Art Center, Sioux City, Iowa October 24, 2020 to January 17, 2021.  A catalogue will be published in conjunction with the exhibition.

The exhibition features two of Ryan Vizzions iconic images from the NODAPL protest at Standing Rock. Please contact Monroe Gallery for print information.

“Defend The Sacred”: Standing Rock, Cannon Ball, North Dakota, 2016

Last Child Camp: Protesters face off with police and the National Guard on February 1, 2017,
 near Cannon Ball, North Dakota.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Monroe Gallery of Photography presents two exhibitions in the gallery concurrent with on-line viewing

Monroe Gallery of Photography presents two exhibitions in the gallery concurrent with on-line viewing at The exhibits are on view July 3 through September 13, 2020; the Gallery is open to the public with Covid-19 safe operating procedures. Private viewing appointments are available by reservation. 

Ryan Vizzions: : A church flooded by Hurricane Florence stands silently in its reflection
 in Burgaw, North Carolina, 2018


“Life on Earth” is a survey of 20th and 21st Century environmental and climate issues documented by photojournalists. Our world is changing faster – and in more ways – than we could have ever imagined. With social and economic disruption on a scale rarely seen since the end of World War II 75 years ago, the Covid-19 pandemic is also forcing us to completely rethink the notion of ‘business as usual’
The Earth’s climate is changing faster-and in more ways-than we previously imagined. This exhibit of climate related images hopes to promote awareness and motivate advocacy for the health of our planet. A narrated tour is available on our YouTube channel.

Tony Vaccaro: GThe Pink  Balcony, Puerto Rico, 1951


“Grit and Red Wine” is special exhibition of photographs by Tony Vaccaro which includes several new discoveries from his archive being exhibited for the very first time. Tony Vaccaro, now 97, is one of the few people alive who can claim to have survived the Battle of Normandy and COVID-19.  Tony was drafted into WWII, in June of 1944 he was on a boat heading toward Omaha Beach, fighting the enemy while also photographing his experience at great risk. After the war, Tony remained in Germany to photograph the rebuilding of the country for Stars And Stripes magazine. Returning to the US in 1950, Tony started his career as a commercial photographer, eventually working for virtually every major publication: Look, Life, Harper’s Bazaar, Town and Country, Newsweek, and many more. Tony went on to become one the most sought after photographers of his day. Tony attributes his longevity to “blind luck, red wine” and determination.

“To me, the greatest thing that you can do is challenge the world. And most of these challenges I win. That’s what keeps me going.” –Tony Vaccaro, May, 2020

Friday, June 26, 2020

Tony Vaccaro LIVE Saturday June 27 at the Virtual Collect and Connect Fair

Kiss of Liberation: Sergeant Gene Costanzo kneels to kiss a little girl during spontaneous celebrations in the main square of the town of St. Briac, France, August 14, 1944

Join us Saturday at 12 noon Pacific time for a live talk with the legendary Tony Vaccaro.

We are proud to represent Tony's vast archive and are exhibiting a selection of his photographs during the Virtual Collect and Connect fair hosted by photo la.

Tickets available here.

Tony Vaccaro, currently 97,  is one of the few people alive who can claim to have survived the Battle of Normandy and COVID-19. Tony Vaccaro survived WWII, fighting the enemy while also documenting his experience at great risk. Post war, he started his career as an editorial and commercial photographer and went on to become one the most celebrated photographers of his day.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Visit Us During Virtual Collect and Connect June 27-28

Monroe Gallery of Photography is pleased to exhibit at the Photo LA Virtual Collect and Connect Fair.

Join us online June 27th - 28th for our first-ever virtual photo fair. Photo LA has reimagined the traditional fair space to digitally connect galleries and private dealers, collectors, photographers and enthusiasts from around the globe.

No longer confined to four walls, the virtual photo fair will play host to over forty exhibitors via interactive, 3D booths accessed via the Whova app and on the photo l.a. website 

Monroe Gallery will exhibit an exciting range of classic and contemporary photojournalism. We will have live virtual meet the photographer events with Tony Vaccaro and Ryan Vizzions, including Q&A with your questions about their work and careers.

Full details can be found here. We hope to see you in our virtual booth!

UPDATE: We are pleased to have a limited # of FREE passes, first come, first served!

STEP 1. RSVP required: To claim VIP access to Collect+Connect, you must RSVP via photo l.a. Eventbrite page. 

STEP 2. Access virtual Collect+Connect through WHOVA app on June 27-28:
Follow Whova app download and access instructions in your Eventbrite confirmation email

Monday, June 1, 2020

NY Times Obituary: John Loengard, Life Photographer and Chronicler, Dies at 85

He shot compelling portraits of the Beatles, Georgia O’Keeffe and many others. He also celebrated photography, and Life magazine, in several books.

By Richard Sandomir
May 31, 2020

The longtime Life magazine photographer and photo editor John Loengard, as captured by his Life colleague Alfred Eisenstaedt in an undated photo. In 2005, American Photo magazine ranked Mr. Loengard 80th among the 100 most important people in photography  .Credit...Alfred Eisenstaedt/The LIFE Picture Collection, via Getty Images

When Life magazine sent John Loengard to Miami to photograph the Beatles in February 1964, he had a quirky idea: Pose them in a swimming pool, as a Fab Four of bobbing heads. But on a very chilly day, he could find only an unheated pool.

The Beatles were reluctant to take the dip, but their manager, Brian Epstein, urged them in, citing Life’s importance. “It was very, very cold, and they were turning blue, so after a minute or two we let them get out,” Mr. Loengard told The Guardian in 2005.

The picture caught John, Paul, George and Ringo smiling and singing in the water during their introduction to the United States. To Mr. Loengard, it was his most American picture in 11 years as one of Life’s leading photographers.

Mr. Loengard considered this 1964 shot of the Beatles (clockwise from back: George Harrison, Ringo Starr, John Lennon and Paul McCartney) his most American picture in 11 years as one of Life’s leading photographers.Credit...John Loengard

Mr. Loengard died on May 24 at his home in Manhattan. He was 85. His daughter Anna Loengard said the cause was heart failure.

From around age 11, when his father got him his first camera, a Kodak Brownie, Mr. Loengard (pronounced LOW-en-guard) understood that there was magic in photography, that images caught inside a box could endure forever.

At Life, where words were subservient to pictures, Mr. Loengard extended that magic and became one of the magazine’s most influential photographers, following in the path of Alfred Eisenstaedt, Margaret Bourke-White and W. Eugene Smith.

Working almost exclusively in black and white, Mr. Loengard photographed stars like Judy Garland and Jayne Mansfield, and heads of state like President John F. Kennedy, walking in Frankfurt with German officials in 1963, and Queen Elizabeth II on a trip to Ethiopia in 1965.

He captured Louis Armstrong spreading balm over his chapped lips. He created a portrait of grief in Myrlie Evers’s comforting of her 9-year-old son, Darrell, at the funeral in 1963 of her husband, the civil rights leader Medgar Evers, who had been murdered. He caught the poet Allen Ginsberg nearly hidden by a veil of cigarette smoke, its wisps seeming to extend from his hair.

In 1966 and 1967, Mr. Loengard went to New Mexico to photograph the modernist painter Georgia O’Keeffe. He did not want to depict her as other photographers had, among them her husband, Alfred Stieglitz, and Yousuf Karsh. He serendipitously found a new way to portray her when she told him about killing rattlesnakes on her property with a stick.

“As we were having lunch, she pulled out from the sideboard boxes of the rattles that she’d collected,” he recalled in “Life Photographers: What They Saw” (1998), a collection of 43 interviews he conducted (and one that someone else conducted of him). “I figured O’Keeffe would like to be known to the readers of Life magazine as a killer. I asked if I might take pictures at the table.

“‘Certainly,’ she said. “I photographed her hand moving the rattles around one of the little boxes, with a wooden match.”

The O’Keeffe photos, some of which appeared in Life, were included in a book, “Georgia O’Keeffe/John Loengard: Paintings and Photographs,” published in 2006.

Publishers Weekly said the side-by-side presentations of Ms. O’Keeffe’s paintings and Mr. Loengard’s photographs afforded “a rich viewing experience that elevates appreciation of both.”

After Life stopped publishing weekly in 1972, Mr. Loengard stayed at its parent company, Time Inc., with its magazine development group; he helped start People magazine in 1974 and served as picture editor for special editions of Life and of a monthly version of Life that began in 1978. He left in 1987 to freelance for various publications, including Life and People, and for corporate reports.

John Borg Loengard was born on Sept. 5, 1934, in Manhattan. His father, Richard, was an engineer and the president of United Chromium; his mother, Margery (Borg) Loengard, was a homemaker.

With his Brownie, young John took pictures of his family and friends and of local landmarks. With his father’s help, he developed his pictures in the bathroom.

“I’ve been hooked ever since,” he told Rfotofolio, a photography website, in 2016.

He took pictures for his high school newspaper. And while attending Harvard University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in American history, he got his first assignment from Life, to photograph a tanker that had gone aground on Cape Cod.

The pictures never ran, but he got more assignments. He was hired by the magazine in 1961.

At Carnegie Hall that year, he took a dramatic photo of Judy Garland as she bent over to touch the hands of audience members. All eyes were riveted on her, including those of one man who seemed rapturous. It is an emotional picture, but Mr. Loengard said it was not a good one.

“I fudged details and relied only on strong form,” like her back and head and the open mouth of her ecstatic fan, he wrote in “As I See It” (2005), a retrospective of his work. “The camera’s veracity was not needed.” It might as well have been a painting, he added.

After leaving Life, Mr. Loengard became as renowned for his books as for his photography. He wrote about his own work in “Pictures Under Discussion” (1987) and “Moment by Moment” (2016); commented on evocative Life pictures of human expression in “Faces” (1991); paid homage to the photographic process in “Celebrating the Negative” (1994); and compiled his portraits of Annie Leibovitz, Richard Avedon, Henri Cartier-Bresson and other photographers in “Age of Silver: Encounters With Great Photographers” (2011).

When American Photo magazine ranked him 80th among the 100 most important people in photography in 2005, it described him as a “wonderful photographer” who had “turned his intimate knowledge and passion for Life into a remarkable career as a writer.”

In addition to his daughter Anna, Mr. Loengard is survived by another daughter, Jenna Loengard; his son, Charles; three grandchildren; and two step-grandchildren. His marriage to Eleanor Sturgis ended in divorce.

One of Mr. Loengard’s photographic heroes was Mr. Cartier-Bresson, the master of street photography, who had done his best for many years to avoid having anyone photograph him.

When Mr. Loengard asked him to pose for pictures that would accompany a Museum of Modern Art exhibition of his early work, Mr. Cartier-Bresson asked, “Can you take all the pictures from behind?”

No, he said, he could not.

“I felt the most important thing was to nail him down, as quickly as possible — get that face — and then he started taking pictures of me, and he went click-click,” Mr. Loengard said on the PBS show “Charlie Rose” in 2011, “and I had a motor on my camera, so I went ‘zeep-zeep,’ and we sounded like two insects getting interested in each other.

“He thought this was amusing, and he giggled.”

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Bob Gomel : Eyewitness - When history was made, he was there

Via Bob Gomel Eyewitness

Bob Gomel and David Scarbrough share a love of storytelling through photography.

During the past decade, the two men and their spouses, Sandy Gomel and Mary Scarbrough, became friends. Bob’s shot of The Beatles in poolside lounge chairs hangs in the Scarbroughs’ home. It was Mary’s birthday gift to David for his 60th birthday.

David said, “The history Bob witnessed is important. So are the effort and creativity necessary to make extraordinary images of these historic moments. Many of the images are made even more powerful by Bob’s perspective on how they were created.”

David convinced Bob to reflect on his work for LIFE magazine in the 1960s and his subsequent career. Over dinner one evening, the Scarbroughs proposed making a documentary of Bob’s career. Bob said, “David offered a compelling idea to consider. After a few days, I said, ‘Let’s do it.’”

The documentary project came together quickly. A small studio was set up in Scarbrough’s retail computer electronics shop in Houston. Sessions were shot on Sundays when the shop was closed and outside noise was minimal. As many filmmakers do now, David chose to record the videos in 4K on two iPhones in a two-shot setup. A MacBook Pro and Adobe Premier Pro would be used to edit the video.

The recordings began with a discussion of the Cassius Clay and Sonny Liston fights. The project quickly gained momentum, as David executed his vision for the project, and the stories of more of the epic photos came to life.

“The challenge was to balance Bob’s unique ability to talk about the images and history, and to ensure the viewer remained immersed in the image itself,” David said. “I hope the viewer can briefly live in the moment of the images.”

Bob said, “The decade of the 1960s was historically powerful. We witnessed so much — from the terrific to the terrible. I’m grateful that David remains interested in the history of the 1960s and that his documentary helped share my perspective on the extraordinary events of the decade and on my life as a photographer.”

Ray Macland, the LIFE Picture Editor in 1960, hired a group of young photographers he dubbed “The Young Lions”. There were 5 of us - 

Farrell Grehan, Ken Hyman, Bill Ray, John Loengard & myself.

"With John Loengard's passing on May 24, 2020, that leaves just me."

Monday, May 25, 2020

John Loengard 1934 - 2020

John Loengard: Brassai's Eye, Paris, 1981

LIFE magazine photographer John Loengard passed away May 24 in New York City at age 86.
John Loengard was born in New York City in 1934, and received his first assignment from LIFE magazine in 1956, while still an undergraduate at Harvard College. He joined the magazine's staff in 1961, and in 1978 was instrumental in its re-birth as a monthly, serving as picture editor until 1987. Under his guidance in 1986, LIFE received the first award for "Excellence in Photography" given by the American Society of Magazine Editors.
 After LIFE magazine suspended weekly publication in 1972, Loengard joined Time Incorporated’s Magazine Development Group as the picture editor of LIFE Special Reports. He was also picture editor of People magazine during its conception in 1973 and the first three months of its publication in 1974
In 2005, American Photo magazine identified Loengard as “One of the 100 most influential people in photography,” and in 2018 he was inducted into the International Photography Hall of Fame.
In 1996, Loengard received a Lifetime Achievement Award "in recognition of his multifaceted contributions to photojournalism," from Photographic Administrators Inc.

Loengard authored ten books, including: Pictures Under Discussion, which won the Ansel Adams Award for book photography in 1987, Celebrating the Negative, and Georgia O'Keeffe at Ghost Ranch. His book, LIFE Photographers: What They Saw, was named one of the year's ten top books for 1998 by the New York Times

John Loengard: Henry Moore's 'Sheep Piece", 1983

John Loengard: Georgia O'Keeffe with basket, 1966


Friday, May 15, 2020

Covid-19 Safe Operating Procedures

Monroe Gallery of Photography will reopen effective May 18, 2020 under state-mandated guidelines to ensure the safest gallery visit possible with your cooperation. The gallery will limit the number of visitors to approximately 10 people at a time. In accordance with mandated health guidelines face masks are required and visitors must maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet. The Gallery will be regularly cleaned and viewers will have a completely touch-free viewing of the exhibitions. The Gallery will provide hand sanitizer and all sales transactions will be contact-free.

In addition, we will be offering private access to the gallery for 30 minutes by reservation. You may optionally bring one additional guest to your private visit. Please reserve your private viewing request via email. All requests for private viewing will receive confirmation within 24 hours. Private appointments will have priority over our public access times.

These procedures may change at any time based on updated guidance from the state. We appreciate your patience as we all navigate this new situation. We extend our concern and gratitude to our community, near and far.

--Sidney and Michelle Monroe