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Photographic Archives to exhibit celebrity images

by Janene Zaccone, communications and marketing last modified Jun 13, 2013 09:49 AM

Marilyn Monroe cuts her eyes at the camera while about to bite into a hamburger. Cassius Clay—not yet Muhammad Ali—stands in his robe, a telephone pressed to his ear while his mother looks on and smiles.

Photographic Archives to exhibit celebrity images

Marilyn Monroe at the Drive-In, 1952, by Philippe Halsman.

These photos by Philippe Halsman and Louisville photographer Lin Caufield, respectively, illustrate the consensual relationship between celebrities and photographers that has existed since the advent of the medium. Celebrity photos help photographers build careers and help the subjects create an image.

Monroe, Clay and others make up the new University of Louisville Photographic Archives exhibit, “Famous Faces: Picturing Celebrity in the Photographic Archives.”

Among some 40 subjects are:

  • Elvis Presley performing in Louisville months before the release of his debut album
  • Martin Luther King Jr. speaking at the 1964 March on Frankfort, Ky.
  • Helena Modjeska, namesake of Louisville’s original candy, “The Modjeska”
  • Richard Nixon on the Belle of Louisville steamboat in 1968
  • Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig posing with the Louisville Colonels baseball team in 1928
  • Duke Ellington signing records at Variety Record shop on South Fourth Street in Louisville in 1948

Besides Halsman and Caufield, photographers include, but are not limited to, Edward Steichen, Alfred Stieglitz, Garry Winogrand, Alexander Gardner, Mary Ellen Mark and Esther Bubley.

The show draws from Photographic Archives’ extensive collection dating back 170 years. It opens June 13 and runs through Sept. 27 in the Photographic Archives Gallery, lower level, Ekstrom Library. Hours are weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and admission is free and open to the public.

The Photographic Archives’ holdings of 2 million documentary images and fine art prints provide a resource for scholars, media, authors and filmmakers, as well as inspiration for photographers and other artists.

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