Steve Schapiro (b.1934) is an American photojournalist who has documented six decades of American culture, from the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and the presidential campaign of Robert F. Kennedy to Andy Warhol’s Factory and the filming of The Godfather trilogy. He has published a dozen books of his photographs, has exhibited his work in shows from Los Angeles to Moscow, and is represented in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Institution, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the J. Paul Getty Museum, among others.
Yes, ‘God gave Noah the rainbow sign, No more water, the fire next time!’ Half a century later are we now living in that time of fire, when innocence is overwhelmed by injustice, and humanity has become hardened against the truth? Are we ready yet? Have we suffered enough? Are we willing today to lay down the burden of separation and division and finally choose to love?
— Congressman John Lewis,
in his introduction to "The Fire Next Time: James Baldwin and Steve Schapiro," 2019
Sheila Pree Bright
Sheila Pree Bright (b.1967), is a nationally recognized, award-winning photographer. Portraying large-scale works that combine a wide range of contemporary culture, Bright is often described as a “cultural anthropologist.” Bright has created multiple renowned series, including 1960 Who, a response to police shootings in Atlanta, Ferguson, Baltimore, Washington D.C. and Baton Rouge, which involved a street art gallery showcasing epic-sized portraits of under recognized living leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. Additional series include, Invisible Empire, an exploration of the dichotomy that is Stone Mountain Park, and The Rebirth of Us, a memorial for the mothers of children whose lives have been stolen away.
"As major social movements have emerged in the past two years, I’ve […] documented the tensions, conflicts, and responses between communities and police departments that have resulted from police shootings in Atlanta, Ferguson, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. I’ve observed young social activists taking a stand against continued injustice that closely resembles that which their parents and grandparents endured during the era of Jim Crow."
- Sheila Pree Bright, 2018
"In 1963, Steve Schapiro, then 28, was on assignment for LIFE magazine, photographing prominent civil rights activists, from James Baldwin to Fannie Lou Hamer. One day, while following Jerome Smith, a participant in the Freedom Rides that raised awareness of interstate bus segregation, he went to Clarksdale, Miss., to document one of the many training sessions that were taking place in church basements across the South. In those meetings, volunteers studied how to react to the racism they would encounter in their work. That day in Clarksdale, as Schapiro watched a line of ministers file into the church, he noticed among the group another well-known Freedom Rider, in a tie and button-down shirt: John Lewis. He asked Lewis if he could take his photo, and the young man agreed."
- Olivia B. Waxman, TIME Magaine
In Sheila Pree Bright’s 2018 monograph #1960Now: Photographs of Civil Rights Activists and Black
Lives Matter Protests, Alicia Garza, founder of the international Black Lives Matter movement, notes: “the
Civil Rights Movement was not one period in history, but in fact, several periods.” The movement that has
been calcified by popular memory was in fact preceded by, for example, organized sharecroppers in the
Jim Crow south, and succeeded by the movements of today and those that will come tomorrow. In the
spirit of contemplation of this lineage, Jackson Fine Art is honored to exhibit Steve Schapiro’s civil rights
photographs from the 2019 Taschen publication of The Fire Next Time, an illustrated volume of James
Baldwin’s classic text, alongside Sheila Pree Bright’s photographs from #1960Now.
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