Monroe Gallery of Photography is pleased to present an exhibition celebrating the gallery's ten years in Santa Fe: "History's Big Picture"; July 1 through September 25, 2011
Over the past ten years and over more than 55 exhibitions, Monroe Gallery has consistently exhibited the masters of 20th and 21st Century Photojournalism.
"History's Big Picture" mines the depth and breadth of Monroe Gallery's archives and is combined with new, never-before exhibited photojournalism masterpieces, from the early 1920's to the present day. "History's Big Picture" highlights both the significant and the idiosyncratic and embodies how Monroe Gallery has helped shape the understanding and appreciation of photojournalism locally and worldwide. In March of 2011, the respected E-Photo Newsletter named Monroe Gallery "the most influential gallery devoted to photojournalism".
Photographers in this exhibition have captured dramatic moments in time and illustrate the power of photography to inform, persuade, enlighten and enrich the viewer's life. Universally relevant, they reflect the past, the present, and the changing times. These unforgettable images are imbedded in our collective consciousness; they form a sort of shared visual heritage for the human race, a treasury of significant memories. Many of the photographs featured in this exhibition not only moved the public at the time of their publication, and continue to have an impact today, but set social and political changes in motion, transforming the way we live and think.
Photographs in the exhibition relate to events that represent the culmination of a development or the eruption of social forces. Looking at the pictorial documentation of such revolutionary events we often get the impression that we are feeling the pulse of history more intensively than at other times. Although often not beautiful, or easy, they are images that shake and disquiet us; and are etched in our memories forever.
Among the exhibition’s many recognizable images:
Robert Capa: D-Day, Omaha Beach, Normandy, 6th June, 1944. Capa is perhaps the best known of all World War II combat photographers. For a split second this short exposure places us shoulder to shoulder with the soldiers of the 16th regiment landing at Omaha Beach. Epitomizing Capa’s remark that "...if your pictures aren't good enough, you aren't close enough” the photograph of the GI’s struggling through the churning surf has survived as the definitive image of the Normandy invasion.
Joe Rosenthal: Marines Raise the Flag on Iwo Jima, February 23, 1945: It had been four days since the AP's Joe Rosenthal landed on the Pacific island of Iwo Jima. The hail of Japanese fire had not let up. During one of the bloodiest battles of World War II, U.S. Marines captured Mount Suribachi, a volcanic peak on the southern tip of the island. Jubilant, they raised a flag and Rosenthal made a photograph that has been called "the greatest photograph of all time".
Robert Jackson: Jack Ruby Shoots Lee Harvey Oswald, November 24, 1964
When Oswald was brought out, Jackson raised his camera as Jack Ruby stepped in front of him. Jackson described the moment: “My first reaction was, ‘This guy’s getting in my way.’ Ruby took two steps and fired—and I guess I fired about the same time.”
Eddie Adams’ Execution in Saigon, South Vietnam, February 1, 1968
This is one of the most memorable images in the history of war photography. We are witnessing an individual’s fear a fraction of a second before the loss of his life. Adam’s photograph appeared on the front page of The New York Times the day after it was taken and was syndicated worldwide, mobilizing public opinion against the Vietnam War.
Eric Draper: Ground Zero, September 14, 2001
As the official White House photographer to President George W. Bush, draper documented President Bush as he has informed of the September 11 attacks and captured a dramatic moment during the President's bullhorn address during his visit to Ground Zero when the nation was in deep mourning.
Nina Berman's photo essay "Marine Wedding" is a series of unstaged photos of Sergeant Ty Ziegel, then 24, back home as he prepares for his wedding to his high school sweetheart Renee Klein, then 21. Ziegel survived a suicide bomber attack in Iraq, but was severely disfigured and needed 50 reconstructive operations. Exhibited at the 2010 Whitney Biennial, the photographs are a stark reminder that these wars have consequences and many of our sons and daughters are having their lives permanently altered in faraway lands. Berman has said in interviews that she started photographing disabled veterans soon after the war began mainly because she didn’t see anyone else doing so.