This exhibition presents a selection of civil rights-era photographs from an extraordinary gift to the Menil Collection by Adelaide de Menil and Edmund Carpenter. The work, by Dan Budnik, Danny Lyon, Bruce Davidson, Leonard Freed, Bob Adelman, Charles Moore, and Elliott Erwitt, captures the profound changes taking place in the United States beginning in the 1960s. It includes a wide variety of striking images that deal with race and politics: marchers on the road from Selma to Montgomery, Dr. Martin Luther King in protest, cotton workers in the Mississippi Delta, prison labor camps in Texas, and the Ku Klux Klan.
The photographers in the show were involved with showing the world both the struggle and the victories of those fighting for civil rights. As artists, their work is not only important photojournalistic documentation, but the photographs are also extraordinary works of art. With complex formal compositions and masterful plays with light and framing, they are indelible statements.