Monday, April 27, 2009


Michigan Central Train Depot, Arrival and Departure Area, 2008
The Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago is proud to present The Edge of Intent, an exhibition looking at the utopian aspirations of urban planners, and how their idealistic visions sometimes become static and incapable of adapting to changing environments and systems. The works in this exhibition warn us of the hazards of “thinking big,” while urging us to consider the centrality of dynamism in successful urban design.

The exhibit opening on May 1, 2009 includes a 5:00 pm tour of the works on view by curator Natasha Egan and artists Christina Seely, Tim Long and Andrew Harrison.

This exhibition coincides with the centennial celebration of Daniel Burnhamʼs 1909 plan for the city of Chicago. The exhibition will reflect the centennial celebrationʼs statement of “advancing bold new plans” by encouraging and inspiring viewers to look at the ways urban planning has been instituted in a variety of settings and to learn from the past successes or failures in implementing these plans. By looking through the unique lens these artists provide in their work, the exhibition will challenge the audience to see beyond existing notions of a cityʼs layout and to consider the effects a working plan can have upon an areaʼs inhabitants, and vice-versa. The exhibition includes photographs by Eric Smith, and continue through July 5.

Eric Smith’s (American, b. 1947) photographs record the Michigan Central Train Station in Detroit, once a vibrant hub of transportation, but now an abandoned, neglected, and graffiti-strewn monument to Detroit’s past. Built in 1913 in the Beaux Arts Style and closed in 1988, the building’s marble walls and Doric columns are solidly intact and the space retains its majestic scale. Smith uses digital techniques to depict the station with a sensuous, intensified luminosity, until the photographs resemble meticulously painted illustrations. On a cursory view these photographs can easily be taken for inventive depictions of a mythical setting, similar to Piranesi’s subterranean prisons. The station conjures Liset Castillo’s deteriorating sand castles, perhaps projecting the fall of both the Roman and the American empires.

"Cities can be tenuous places. As Marco Polo describes the city of Thekla to Kublai Khan:
Those who arrive at Thekla can see little of the city, beyond the plank fences, the sackcloth screens, the scaffoldings, the metal armatures, the wooden catwalks hanging from ropes or supported by sawhorses, the ladders, the trestles. If you ask, “Why is Thekla’s construction taking such a long time?” the inhabitants continue hoisting sacks, lowering leaded strings, moving long brushes up and down, as they answer, “So that its destruction cannot begin.” And if asked whether they fear that, once the scaffoldings are removed, the city may begin to crumble and fall to pieces, they add hastily, in a whisper, “Not only the city.”
— Natasha Egan, Associate Director and Curator

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Mark Shaw: A Retrospective, opened Friday night with a gala reception with the photographer's son, David Shaw, Friday evening. David signed copies of the new book, "Charmed By Audrey", photographs by Mark Shaw. This is the first retrospective exhibit of photographs by Mark Shaw, who died in 1969 at the age of 47. Featured in the exhibition are photographs from every facet of Mark Shaw's remarkable and distinguished career.

The exhibition continues through June 28.

Friday, April 24, 2009


A Dior gown photographed for LIFE in 1960 in the 17th century home of Suzanne Luling, then directrice of Dior.

Santa Fe - Monroe Gallery of Photography, 112 Don Gaspar, is pleased to announce a major retrospective exhibition of photographs by Mark Shaw, concurrent with the publication of the new book "Charmed By Audrey". The exhibition opens with a reception with the photographer's son, David Shaw, on Friday, April 24, from 5 to 7 PM. "Mark Shaw: A Retrospective" will continue through June 28.

Mark Shaw lived from 1922-1969. As a photographer he is perhaps best known for his images of Jacqueline and John F. Kennedy and their family which he originally photographed on assignment for LIFE magazine, and later as their family photographer.

Also leading fashion photographer, Mark Shaw worked for Harper's Bazaar, Mademoiselle, and a host of other fashion magazines. He started working for LIFE magazine in 1952 and in 16 years shot 27 covers and almost 100 stories. Throughout the 1950's and 1960s' Mark Shaw shot the European fashion collections for LIFE, and was one of the first photographers to shoot fashion on the runways and "backstage" at the couture shows. He covered Audrey Hepburn extensively for LIFE during the making "of Sabrina". His photographs of Audrey Hepburn had been lost after Mark Shaw's death, and were only found in 2005. Featured in the exhibition are photographs from every facet of Mark Shaw's remarkable and distinguished career.

For further information, contact Monroe Gallery of Photography: 505.992.0800,, .

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Bill Eppridge
Apollo 11 Roll Out, Cape Canaveral, Florida, May 20, 1969

This July 20 will mark the 4oth anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission that placed man on the moon. Monroe Gallery is currently assembling a special collection of photographs related to the Apollo 11 mission, including several key vintage prints from NASA.

Apollo 11 flew 3 astronauts a total of 953,700.41 miles (appx.), and put Neil and Buzz on the Moon, and brought them back . This event was a sort of upbeat finale to the end of the 60's - Charles Manson, Woodstock, and the Lt. Calley murder charges and Altamont all happened later in the year.

Follow this blog and our Twitter page for more information this summer. And visit our exhibition from last year, "It Was Forty Years Ago Today: Photographs From 1968".

Friday, April 17, 2009



Friday, April 17, 2009

By Kathaleen Roberts

Journal Staff Writer

Audrey Hepburn, her head caved into a sink on the set of “Sabrina,” giggling, her hair soft peaks of shampoo. Coco Chanel, sprawled languidly across a couch, a cigarette dangling from tight lips, still in her pumps. Jackie Kennedy swinging curly haired Caroline over the Hyannis Port surf.

Mark Shaw's name lacks the instant recognition of other stars in the pantheon of great photojournalists — Capa, Eisenstaedt, Burke-White. That oversight is due largely to his work being buried for nearly 50 years. The release of “Charmed by Audrey,” (2008, Insight Editions, $18.95) concurrently with a retrospective at the Monroe Gallery of Photography, aims to lift the veil.

Perhaps best known for his candid shots of John and Jacqueline Kennedy and their children, Shaw started as a commercial and fashion photographer before graduating to celebrities and Camelot in the 1950s and '60s.

Shaw met Hepburn on the set of the classic film “Sabrina” during a two-week assignment for LIFE in 1953. His son David and daughter-in-law Juliet Cuming had no idea the photographs existed.

David Shaw was 8 years old when his father died at 47. His memories are sketchy at best, Cuming explained. The couple learned of the photographs' existence when Shaw's second wife, Geri Trotta, died in 2005. She had stashed the black and white treasures — 60 rolls of film — buried beneath papers and photographs in the bottom of a box in her house.

“Audrey was a bit of a workaholic,” said Cuming, who also serves as the collection's archive director, “and she recognized Mark as a workaholic. So she respected him.

“These are very relaxed, candid photos,” she continued. “He was with her for two weeks. He took thousands of shots. Of course, Audrey looks beautiful in every frame. She looks great at 4:30 in the morning being driven to the set.”

Because neither Shaw nor Hepburn are alive to tell the tale, Cuming pieced together reminiscences from a 1955 book called “How LIFE Gets the Story: Behind the Scenes in Photojournalism.”

Shaw apparently called Hepburn “The Monster” because of her rigid devotion to her work. She was shy at first, trying to evade his lens. But when she realized he was as devoted to photography as she was to acting, she dropped her guard. The series of the actress talking on the phone were taken when her agent called her at home. By the end of the shoot, the stylish young ingénue was treating Shaw like a member of the family.

The only son of a Lower East Side seamstress and an unskilled laborer, no one is sure how Shaw grew interested in photography. An engineering student at Pratt Institute, he became a highly decorated World War II pilot. After the war, he freelanced for LIFE magazine, becoming one of America's top fashion and celebrity photographers and a close confidant of President John F. Kennedy. A charming, erudite character who could fly himself to assignments, he was soon living the glamorous life.

“Mark's whole M.O. was to be as unobtrusive as possible,” Cuming said. “He shot with a very small camera. He did not have a lot of lights and equipment that would intimidate people. He didn't have an entourage of 18 assistants. He was a small man: about 5-foot-6. And he called his photos 'snapshots.' ”

Those “snapshots” included intimate images of the Kennedys at play and relaxation. Shaw met Jackie Kennedy during an early photo shoot of senatorial candidates' wives. They struck up a friendship.

“Mark was a very well-respected fashion photographer,” Cuming said. “He knew how to make people look beautiful.”

“For Americans in the '50s, that was very glamorous,” gallery co-owner Michelle Monroe said. “He knew Grace Kelly. He was used by LIFE because he had access to all these people.” Shaw's A-list of subjects also included Cary Grant, Jackie Gleason, William Holden and Danny Kaye.

“It didn't hurt that he was very handsome,” Monroe added.

Jacqueline Kennedy was impressed that Shaw used a wide-angle lens, which rendered his pictures almost impressionistic, with a soft-focus patina. The technique looked both casual and artistic at the same time. Shaw was the photographer who took the famous 1959 photograph of Kennedy walking through the dunes, said to be the late president's favorite portrait. Historians credit him with being one of the few photographers to forge the visual myth of Camelot.

“Jack had to be away for Jackie to allow a photographer in the White House,” Monroe said. “She hated using the children as publicity.” “They always look so relaxed and beautiful,” Cuming said. “That was Mark's gift. We have correspondence between Jackie and Mark about Mark being about to become a dad,” she continued. “They were friends.” Afterward, Shaw was a regular White House visitor, taking family photographs forbidden to other photojournalists. He even helped Kennedy sort through satellite photos taken during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Cuming said.

Cuming and her husband didn't know the vast cache existed until the 1994 death of Jacqueline Kennedy; when people began calling them in search of “never before seen” Kennedy pictures. “Little by little, we realized there's a collection here and it's turning into dust,” Cuming continued. “We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into,” she continued. “For 10 years, we didn't make any money.” The couple built an archives in Vermont. Cuming still has no idea how many images it contains — “hundreds of thousands,” she guessed. Mark Shaw died of an amphetamine overdose administered by the Kennedy family doctor, who later lost his license after being implicated in Shaw's death, Cuming said. “It's one of those things everybody talks about but no one knows exactly what happened,” Cuming said. He died alone at his apartment. He was charming to people he needed to be charming to. He was also very strong-willed in other areas. “He actually died completely broke. His material possessions were all sold to pay his debts.”

If you go:

Mark Shaw: A retrospective

Reception with David Shaw, Friday, April 24, 5 - 7 PM

Exhibition continues through June 28

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Stephen Wilkes' photographs will be featured in the special "Green" issue of this Sunday's (April 18) New York Times Magazine, including the cover. Stephen Wilkes is one of the leading location photographers in the United States; recognized for his work in the corporate and advertising industries, for his fine art photography, and for his international documentary work. Monroe Gallery has featured several important exhibitions of his work, including Ellis Island, Bethlehem Steel, and, just last fall, China. His work was recently featured in the April issue of Vanity Fair.

Expect to see something exciting and different in this series of photographs.

Thursday, April 9, 2009



An Unlikely Weapon: The Eddie Adams Story
By Nick Pinkerton
©The Village Voice
April 7, 2009

AP Photo hall-of-famer Eddie Adams is a textbook immortal for one Pulitzer frame: his snap of South Vietnamese General Nguyen Ngoc Loan's expedient point-blank execution of a Viet Cong captive. Director Susan Morgan Cooper's tribute to Adams embellishes on original interview footage of the man, who died in 2004, seen here perambulating near his East Village studio. What comes across is a professional, self-effacing, and no B.S. guy. (Disappointed by a charity book collaboration with Caroline Kennedy: "Speak Truth to Power? What the fuck does that mean?") The shame is that there isn't enough candid Adams to quite fill out a film. Infinitely more interesting than listening to antiwar platitudes from the likes of Morley Safer is watching Adams negotiate with his own conscience and an empathy for cut losses that bypasses political righteousness—for the retired Gen. Loan, for the Vietnamese boat people of his 1977 photo essay, and so on. The drama, inevitably, slackens when documenting Adams's move off the war-of-the-week beat to paychecking for the likes of Penthouse and Parade. No slight to Cooper—aside from some misguided musical cues, this is solid work, if essentially PBS/American Masters material. That said, watching oblivious Lilliputian "rocker" Dave Nararro show off his mural of the famous execution ("a reminder of human suffering") for some Cribs cameraman is pretty priceless.

An Unlikely Weapon: The Eddie Adams Story

Directed by Susan Morgan Cooper

Opens April 10, Quad Cinema
(212) 777-FILM

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Pulitzer Prize Winning Rocco Morabito Passes Away

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Photographer Rocco Morabito, whose shot of a utility worker saving the life a fellow lineman who had been shocked by a high-voltage wire won a Pulitzer Prize in 1968, died Sunday. He was 88.
Morabito's health had been declining and he was in hospice care, the Florida Times-Union reported.
His dramatic photograph tagged "Kiss of Life" by a Jacksonville Journal copy editor, appeared in newspapers around the world in 1967. The photo showed an apprentice electrical lineman, who had come into contact with a 4,160-volt line, being resuscitated by a fellow lineman as he dangled from the top of the pole.
His Pulitzer Prize was for Spot News Photography.

"He was a brilliant, instinctive photographer," said Charlie Patton, a Times-Union staff writer who worked with Morabito at the Journal in the late 1970s.
Morabito worked his way into photography for the paper following his decorated service as a B-17 ball-turret gunner in World War II. He had an earlier job with the Journal as a 9-year-old newsboy, selling papers.
His famous photo was taken as he was returning from covering a railroad strike. Before shooting the pictures, he used his car radio to tell the paper to call an ambulance.
In 1958, Life magazine devoted a full page to another Morabito photograph that showed children in an elementary school reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag. Standing with those children, head erect, eyes forward, paws over heart, was a pet rabbit.
Morabito worked for the Journal 42 years, 33 of them as a photographer, until retiring in 1982.
Monroe Gallery is honored to represent several Pulitzer Prize winning photographers.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Monroe Gallery of Photography, 112 Don Gaspar, Santa Fe, NM, is pleased to announce a major retrospective exhibition of photographs by Mark Shaw, concurrent with the publication of the new book "Charmed By Audrey". His photographs of Audrey Hepburn, originally shot for LIFE in 1953, had been lost after Mark Shaw’s death, and were only found in 2005. (This May 4th would have been Audrey Hepburn's 80th birthday). The exhibition opens with a reception with the photographer's son, David Shaw, on Friday, April 24, from 5 to 7 PM. “Mark Shaw: A Retrospective” will continue through June 28.

Featured in the exhibition are photographs from every facet of Mark Shaw's (1922 - 1969)remarkable and distinguished career.

In 1953, Paramount was making a film with a new actress named Audrey Hepburn. Life magazine assigned one of its top young photographers, Mark Shaw, to shoot a feature, and he spent weeks with the star on and around the set. Shaw’s extraordinary level of access resulted in an amazing array of photos and over 60 rolls of film that captured the budding ingénue's charm and grace on set and in everyday life. The images chronicled Hepburn waking up at home, having her hair washed at the beauty parlor, reading, relaxing, studying the script, chatting with her costars and director Billy Wilder, and acting in one of her most famous roles. Through the handful of photographs published in Life for the Sabrina article have become iconic images of Hepburn, the majority of the negatives were misplaced and never published. Rediscovered 50 years later, these photographs offer a stunning visual biography of Hepburn’s youth and rising star.

Additional book events are scheduled in May at Barnes & Noble in New York and The Brattleoro Museum and Art Center in Vermont.
For further information, please contact Monroe Gallery of Photography: (505) 992 0800; info@monroe, .