Monroe Gallery of Photography
Titled "American Edge," this survey brought together 57 photographs taken primarily in the 1960s, highlighting Steve Schapiro's many iconic images from the apex of the civil rights movement. There is a cinematic quality to the handheld camera work featured in his slightly grainy black-and-white prints.
Images like On the Road, Selma March, 1965 and Summer of 1964 Freedom Bus convey the restlessness of the time. Martin Luther King Jr's Motel Room Hours After He Was Shot, Memphis, Tennessee,1968 is particularly penetrating and mournful. The photograph shows an open suitcase on the floor next to a television set tuned to the local news. The TV announcer is frozen in time with a picture of King (and the dates 1929-1968) floating just above and to the right of his head.
Schapiro photographed many of the seminal political events of the decade, receiving his assignments through the legendary Black Star agency. which sent him to cover Robert F. Kennedy's successful 1964 run for the New York Senate seat.
Several candid and nostalgic photographs of the young senator were featured in the show.
A respected and sought-after portraitist, Schapiro also photographed numerous celebrities of the day, including Allen Ginsberg, Ray Charles, Andy Warhol, and Muhammad Ali. Yet, the photographs of RFK and MLK held real sway here. They have the emotional power and documentary immediacy to place us in the midst of those turbulent and crucial years. - Darius Himes
See the exhibit on-line here.