Activists and Icons: The Photographs of Steve Schapiro

Sunday, Oct 7, 2018 – Oct 27, 2019 11 am – 5 pm

For me, there’s no difference between photographing a celebrity and a migrant worker. You’re always looking for a picture with emotion, design, and information.” – Steve Schapiro

The exhibition’s 46 large-format photographs tell the story of seminal moments in history from the March on Washington (1963) to Robert Kennedy’s presidential campaign (1968). Schapiro’s documentary approach comprises emotional portraits of heroes ranging from Rosa Parks to a sanitation striker, and from Joan Baez to Rita Schwerner, widow of Michael Schwerner, one of the three activists killed by the Ku Klux Klan near Philadelphia, Mississippi in 1964. Other images suggest how martyrs become icons. In a haunting triptych of images, the subject is missing, as Schapiro’s camera surveys Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Memphis motel room the day after King’s 1968 assassination.

Renowned Chicago-based photographer Steve Schapiro has given history a human face throughout his career as a widely published photographer for Life, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, and numerous others. Visitors to this exhibit will experience the civil rights movement, as well as vivid portraits of celebrities who challenged—and changed—our cultural norms.