Monday, December 29, 2008


We are delighted to participate in Photo LA 2009. Photo LA continues to be one of the most prestigious photography fairs in the country, bringing together over seventy galleries and private dealers from around the globe. We are excited to have expanded the size of our booth, allowing for a much larger exhibition of photographs from the gallery’s collection. Monroe Gallery of Photography will be located at Booth # D 20. We will be exhibiting many rare and historically significant photographs; including selections from the recent major exhibitions "It Was Forty Years Ago Today" and "Stephen Wilkes: China".


Barker Hangar

3021 Airport AvenueSanta Monica, CA 90405


To benefit the Photography Department of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Thursday, January 8th, 6-9 pm

Click here to purchase opening night tickets.


Friday, January 9th, 12pm - 8pm

Saturday, January 10th, 12pm - 8pm

Sunday, January 11th, 12pm - 6pm

Monday, December 22, 2008

LIFE Magazine Photographer Bob Gomel to Appear in Santa Fe

Public invited to view a special selection of photographs and meet Bob Gomel

Santa Fe--Monroe Gallery of Photography, 112 Don Gaspar, is pleased to announce an opportunity for the public to meet legendary LIFE magazine photographer Bob Gomel on Saturday, December 27, from 1 to 3 in the afternoon. A special selection of legendary Gomel's photographs will be on exhibition.

Bob Gomel worked extensively during the Kennedy administration as a photojournalist for LIFE magazine. He was frequently assigned to photograph political events, although he perhaps most remembered for his photograph of then 8 - year old John F. Kennedy Jr. standing solemnly at the funeral of his uncle, Robert Kennedy, in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York. This photograph appeared in a two-page spread in the June 1968 “Special Kennedy Issue” of LIFE magazine.

Gomel has said "“Mr. Fields was my grade school science teacher. His classroom was decorated with beautiful sepia-toned examples of his photography. The image closest to me was a back-lit nightview of a manhole cover on a cobblestone street. It was irresistible. I joined his photography club. I was hooked. WWII ended and I delivered groceries to pay for the first post war camera: a Ciroflex. In no time I took over a closet/cum darkroom in our apartment and began a great adventure which was to last the rest of my life. The French have a expression “joie de vivre”. For me that includes the thrill of making a compelling photograph. That has not diminished over time. I suspect it never will'.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


From Alaska to Maine, farmers and ranchers are celebrated in a major new book

Monroe Gallery of Photography, 112 Don Gaspar, is pleased to announce a special book signing by Paul Mobley of his new book, “AMERICAN FARMER: The Heart Of Our Country". The book signing includes a reception at the gallery for Paul Mobley on Saturday, December 20, from 5 to 7 PM. Paul Mobley will also be signing books on Saturday, from 9 – 12 noon at the Santa Fe Farmer's Market in conjunction with Monroe Gallery. Selected photographs from the book will be on exhibition through January 11, 2008.

In the photographic spirit of Richard Avedon’s In the American West comes Paul Mobley’s American Farmer: The Heart of Our Country with stunning interviews by Katrina Fried. Featuring more than 200 full-color and black-and-white portraits of farming families across the United States —from cattle ranchers to avocado growers— and including farmers from New Mexico, American Farmer tells the inspiring story of our heartland through the faces and voices of the people who live and work it.

Paul Mobley began his training as a photographer at Detroit’s Center for Creative Studies, and continued in the New York studios of Annie Leibovitz and David Langley, where he apprenticed for many years before embarking on his own career. Mobley has successfully worked with a broad range of corporate, advertising, and editorial clients.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Mrs. Cheney and young Ben, James Cheney Funeral
Bill Eppridge

As James Chaney's family awaited the drive to his burial, 12-year-old Ben gazed outward
Bill Eppridge

The Lasting Impact of a Civil Rights Icon's Murder

One of three civil rights workers murdered in Mississippi in 1964 was James Chaney. His younger brother, Ben, would never be the same
By Hank Klibanoff

c. Smithsonian magazine, December 2008

Bill Eppridge, a Life magazine photographer, arrived in Neshoba County shortly after the bodies of James Chaney, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman were pulled from the muck of an earthen dam on August 4, 1964. Inside the Chaney home in nearby Meridian, Eppridge felt that Ben was overwhelmed, "not knowing where he was or where he should have been," he recalls. "That draws you to somebody, because you wonder what is going on there."
On August 7, Eppridge watched as the Chaney family left to bury their eldest son. As they awaited a driver, Fannie Lee Chaney and her husband, Ben Sr., sat in the front seat of a sedan; their daughters, Barbara, Janice and Julia, sat in the back with Ben, who hunched forward so he'd fit.
Eppridge took three frames. As he did so, he could see Ben's bewilderment harden into a cold stare directed right at the lens. "There were a dozen questions in that look," Eppridge says. "As they left, he looked at me and said, three times, 'I'm gonna kill 'em, I'm gonna kill 'em, I'm gonna kill 'em.' "
The frames went unpublished that year in Life; most news photographs of the event showed a sobbing Ben Chaney Jr. inside the church. The one on this page is included in "Road to Freedom," a photography exhibit organized by Atlanta's High Museum and on view through March 9 at the Smithsonian's S. Dillon Ripley Center in Washington, D.C., presented by the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Chaney, now 56, cannot recall what he told Eppridge in 1964, but he remembers being livid that his mother had to suffer and that his father's generation had not risen up years before so that his brother's generation wouldn't have had to. "I know I was angry," he says.
Ben had lost his idol. Nine years older, James Earl Chaney—J.E., Ben called him—had bought Ben his first football uniform and taken him for haircuts. He had taken Ben along as he organized prospective black voters in the days leading to Freedom Summer. Ben, who had been taken into custody himself for demonstrating for civil rights, recalls J.E. walking down the jailhouse corridor to secure his release, calling, "Where's my brother? "
"He treated me," Ben says, "like I was a hero."
After the funeral, a series of threats drove the Chaneys from Mississippi. With help from the Schwerners, Goodmans and others, they moved to New York City. Ben enrolled in a private, majority-white school and adjusted to life in the North. But by 1969 he was restless. In Harlem, he says, he was elated to see black people running their own businesses and determining their own fates. He joined the Black Panther Party and the Black Liberation Army.
In May 1970, two months shy of 18, Chaney and two other young men drove to Florida with a vague plan to buy guns. Soon, five people, including one of their number, were dead in Florida and South Carolina.
Chaney said he didn't even witness any of the slayings. He was acquitted of murder in South Carolina. But in Florida—where the law allows for murder charges to be brought in crimes that result in death—he was convicted of murder in the first degree and sentenced to three life terms.
One of his first visitors in jail was Bill Eppridge. Before setting up his cameras, Eppridge fired off a quick Polaroid. His editor liked the Polaroid best. Life readers saw Ben Chaney with his eyes framed by prison bars. "He just looks scared," says Eppridge, who, after the weekly Life folded in 1972, went to work for Sports Illustrated.
"I can imagine I was afraid," Chaney says. "I was in jail."
He served 13 years. Paroled in 1983, he started the James Earl Chaney Foundation to clean up his brother's vandalized grave site in Meridian; since 1985, he has worked as a legal clerk for former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, the lawyer who secured his parole. He envisions creating a Chaney, Goodman, Schwerner Center for Human Rights in Meridian.
In 1967, eighteen men faced federal charges of civil rights violations in the slayings of Chaney, Schwerner and Goodman. Seven were convicted by an all-white jury, eight were acquitted and three were released after jurors deadlocked. The state of Mississippi prosecuted no one for 38 years. But in 2005—after six years of new reporting on the case by Jerry Mitchell of the Jackson Clarion-Ledger—a sawmill operator named Edgar Ray Killen was indicted on charges of murder.
On June 21, 2005, exactly 41 years after the three men were killed, a racially integrated jury, without clear evidence of Killen's intent, found him guilty of manslaughter instead. Serving three consecutive 20-year terms, he is the only one of six living suspects to face state charges in the case.
Ben Chaney sees it this way: somewhere out there are men like him—accomplices to murder. He did his time, he says, they should do theirs. "I'm not as sad as I was," he adds. "But I'm still angry."
Hank Klibanoff is the author, with Gene Roberts, of The Race Beat, which received the Pulitzer Prize for history last year.
Monroe Gallery of Photography is honored to represent Bill Eppridge's photography.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Documentary film on Eddie Adams at Santa Fe Film Festival

Documentary film on life of photojournalist Eddie Adams to Show at Santa Fe Film Festival Film Festival

Kiefer Sutherland narrates “An Unlikely Weapon” a Morgan Cooper Productions

NEW YORK – The documentary film “An Unlikely Weapon” featuring the life of world-renowned photojournalist Eddie Adams will show at the Santa Fe Film Festival on Friday, December 5, 2008 at 7:30 p.m. at DeVargas #3,564 N. Guadalupe St., DeVargas Mall, Santa Fe. A second showing will air on Sunday, December 7 at 1:30 p.m.
Eddie Adams photographed 13 wars, six American presidents, and every major film star of the last 50 years. In 1968, in 1/500th of a second Eddie Adams photographed Saigon police chief, General Nygoc Loan, shooting a Vietcong guerilla point black. Some say that photograph ended the Vietnam War. The photo brought Eddie fame and a Pulitzer Prize, but Eddie was haunted by the man he had vilified. He would say, 'Two lives were destroyed that day, the victim's and the general.' Others would say three lives were destroyed.

Eddie was comfortable with kings and coal miners and won hundreds of awards for his photography. During his time with Parade magazine, he photographed Clint Eastwood, Louis Armstrong, Mother Teresa, and Pope John Paul, and he carved out many careers shooting covers for Life, Time, and even Penthouse.

Eddie's 1977 photo-series of "The Boat People", refugees escaping Vietnam, persuaded Congress to admit two hundred thousand Vietnamese into America. "It was the only good thing I did in my life," Eddie said, "but I am not a good guy."

The film, produced by Susan Morgan Cooper and narrated by Kiefer Sutherland and a score by Kyle Eastwood and Michael Stevens (Letters from Iwo Jima), and appearances by Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings, Morley Safer, Gordon Parks, Peter Arnett and many others, is a retrospective on an incredible photojournalist that was never satisfied with himself, but others knew the good he did and how he changed their
lives forever. The films has been shown in prestigious festivals internationally during 2008, and was winner of Best Documentary at the Avignon Film Festival

For more information on Eddie Adams, the film, “An Unlikely Weapon", visit

Eddie Adams' photography is represented by the Monroe Gallery of Photography in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

LIFE Magazine photographer John Dominis

The Albuquerque Journal
Friday, November 28, 2008

A Natural Shooter
c. Albuquerque Journal

"LIFE magazine was a great success,” 87-year-old John Dominis reminisces. “If a man hadn't seen a picture of a native in New Guinea, well, we brought him a picture of a native of New Guinea. We went into the homes of princes and presidents and showed the public how they lived. The great thing about working with LIFE was that I was given all the support and money and time, whatever was required, to do almost any kind of work I wanted to do, anywhere in the world. It was like having a grant, a Guggenheim grant, but permanently.” Dominis took full advantage of that “permanent grant” for as long as it lasted and produced some of the finest photography that has been seen. An unprecedented exhibition of more than 50 of his photographs — some of them famous images and some that have rarely been seen — is opening today at Monroe Gallery of Photography on Don Gaspar. Included are historic vintage photos, the actual prints used for LIFE magazine stories with archive information inscribed and stamped on the back. Although a major exhibition, it is only a microcosm of a lifetime's work by a consummate professional, and artist. Teacher's influence Dominis was born June 27, 1921, in Los Angeles and attended the University of Southern California, majoring in cinematography. It was his high school teacher, C.A. Bach at Fremont High, that Dominis credits with his skills. Fremont High School offered a three-year course in photography, and Bach taught all three years. He was demanding of his teenage charges. “He'd give assignments, bawl you out, make you reshoot,” Dominis remembered. The tough taskmaster trained top shooters. Eight of Bach's students went on to become staff photographers with LIFE, considered the most prestigious job for photographers. Dominis, who served in the U.S. Air Force from 1943 to 1946, was a second lieutenant in the USAF photographic department. After he was discharged in Japan in 1946, he freelanced for the Saturday Evening Post, Colliers and LIFE. A dream job The title LIFE was first used by a humor and general interest magazine modeled on the British weekly Puck and published from 1883 to 1936. TIME magazine founder Henry Luce bought all rights to this magazine for $92,000 just so he could use the name. Luce's creation in 1936, LIFE was designed to highlight photojournalism. It was a weekly until 1972, after which it appeared as an irregular “special” until 1978 and as a monthly until 2000. The Time Corp. also issued a weekly newspaper supplement by the name LIFE from 2004 to 2007; it was included in some U.S. newspapers. In its heyday, selling as many as 13 million copies per week, LIFE was the sine qua non by which photojournalism was judged, and Dominis was right in the thick of things. While freelancing, Dominis worked for LIFE in New York City, San Francisco and Atlanta. When he volunteered to cover the Korean War in 1950, LIFE put him on staff. A natural photojournalist, Dominis covered the Korean War and the firing of Gen. Douglas MacArthur. He covered President John F. Kennedy's emotional “I am a Berliner” speech. In 1972, he traveled with the New York City Ballet, photographing George Balanchine and principal dancer Jacques D'Amboise. He worked in Dallas and Chicago and was then assigned to Singapore and Hong Kong. Among his memorable essays, Dominis covered the 1956 Olympics in Australia — the first of six he photographed; it was he who captured the now-famous “Black Power Salute “ of Olympians Tommie Smith and John Carlos in Mexico City. He shot water buffaloes and their boy keepers in Thailand; the celebrations for Buddha's 2,500th birthday in Burma; Laotian troops, and the early years of the Vietnam War. Along the way, he shot Woodstock; President Nixon's trip to China; and entertainers such as Frank Sinatra, John Wayne, Steve McQueen, Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford and Pearl Bailey. He was good at getting candid shots, even in arranged photo sessions. He attributed it to the same patience he had shown on two long trips to Africa in 1966, when he returned with remarkable picture essays on the big cats — leopards, cheetahs and lions — that later became the basis for a book. The project resulted in several awards for Dominis, including Magazine Photographer of the Year for 1966. He showed the same patience with his human subjects. “That's my technique with people,” he said. “I'm sort of a fly on the wall. You try not to interfere, hang around, hope that they don't even notice you, and if they do, they don't care.” After LIFE ceased weekly publication, Dominis became photo editor of People magazine from 1974 to 1978, and then Sports Illustrated from 1978 to 1982. Returning to freelance photography, Dominis went on location to Italy to shoot the luscious photographs for five Italian cookbooks, authored by Giuliano Bugialli, food writer and teacher. The Monroe Gallery was founded by Sidney S. Monroe and Michelle A. Monroe, who were building on more than four decades of collecting experience. Their gallery specializes in classic black and white photography, with an emphasis on humanist and photojournalist imagery. The gallery also represents a select group of contemporary and emerging photographers. The Dominis show will be up through Jan. 25.

112 Don Gaspar Santa Fe, NM 87501

505.992.0800505.992.0810 (fax)

Stephen Wilkes "China" Exhibition review

The Santa Fe New Mexican's Weekly Magazine of Arts, Entertainment, and Culture
October 3

Douglas Fairfield c. The New Mexican

1.3 billion people (not pictured)

China is big — very big. But the enormity of its land­mass and its mind- boggling population was common knowledge long before multiple- gold- medal- winning swimmer Michael Phelps slipped into his Speedo at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. It would take years of travel and exploration for someone to fully grasp the expansive face of the country, from its most rural enclaves to its burgeoning industrial sector. Photographer Stephen Wilkes has done just that. Beginning in 2005, Wilkes traveled throughout China to photograph a nation rapidly transforming itself— for better or for worse. The result of that three-year undertaking is graphically and beautifully presented in his photographic exposé Stephen Wilkes: China, which opens Friday, Oct. 3, at Monroe Gallery of Photography. Wilkes is known, if not by name, by his photography, which has been reproduced in such notable publications as Time, Fortune, Vanity Fair, Sports Illustrated, and The New York Times Magazine. His color photographs documenting neglected buildings on Ellis Island were shown at Monroe Gallery in 2006. According to the gallery, those photos helped persuade Congress to set aside $ 6 million for the renovation of this once- prominent gateway to America. A landmark in late- 19th- and early- 20th- century American history, Ellis Island remains important to many people who immigrated to the United States, and its dilapidated condition was tragic. But Wilkes’ large- scale photo­graphs of its exterior and interior spaces transcended documentary photography and reached the realm of fine art. Such combinations of documentary and fine- art photography seem to be Wilkes’ forte; his eye for color, symmetry, and subject matter produces imagery that encompasses both genres. His mission of reportage coalesces with his artistic sensibility to generate pictures that are simultaneously instructive and aesthetically beautiful. His current exhibition showcases 20 color photo­graphs ranging in size from 20 inches by 24 inches to one mammoth print measuring 3 feet by 16 feet. That image, Grape Sheds, Turpan Region, China, was taken this year. It is monochrome in palette and Zen- like in its silent, sweeping juxtaposition of man- made structures and sand- blown peaks in the background. Although it is abstract on many levels, what grounds Wilkes’ photograph in reality is the lone male figure perched on a donkey- driven two- wheel cart. The man’s blue jacket provides the only trace of color in the composition, and he demands our attention, despite the panoramic vista before us. According to Wilkes, “ The Grape Sheds image was taken in the Gobi Desert. It took me eight hours to fly there from Shanghai and about a four- hour drive. I was trying to see a side of China untouched by modernization. … One of the fascinating elements in this scene is ... that each one of [the] grape sheds [is] built and owned by individuals. Yet they all look identical. It is the power of the collective, and it transcends old and new China.” Wilkes first visited China in 1978. By e-mail, he told Pasatiempo, “I was a junior in college at Syracuse University, [and] I had heard about a historic trip that the school of Visual and Performing Arts was planning to China. I was at a point in my photography where I was searching to create a body of work that would define who I was as a photographer, [but] I was unable to afford much of the trip, so I offered to document this historic trip for the university as a trade-off for much of the expenses.” That was two years after the end of China’s Cultural Revolution. “[ In 1978], the country was so backward in terms of products and technology … [it] seemed more like 1958,” Wilkes said. “ Civilians were in blue; the military in green. There were virtually no automobiles except for a few Russian- made diplomatic cars, circa 1940.” Despite those conditions, his lasting memories of China were of its people, “ whether it was a dancer in a school for gifted children or an elderly man carving a cinnabar vase. Each [ person] had an extraordinary focus in [his or her] eyes and a deep dedication to be the very best.” According to gallery owner Sidney Monroe, a portfolio of work from Wilkes’ 1978 excursion to China will be available for review during the exhibit. Wilkes’ new show centers less on China’s people and more on the country’s dramatic transformation from an agrarian economy to that of an industrialized nation. That change is documented in pictures that are fascinating, disconcerting, and visually lovely. But what’s curious is Wilkes’ ability to photograph such remarkable scenes devoid of large numbers of people. It’s as if, moments before releasing the shutter, he tells thousands of people to vanish — except for those few he retains to provide human presence and scale. The shortage of people in Wilkes’ urban- based photographs recalls the photographic cityscape of Paris made by French painter and photographic pioneer Louis- Jacques- Mandé Daguerre ( 1787- 1851) in 1839. Paris Boulevard, photographed by Daguerre from a balcony window, depicts a main thoroughfare in the City of Light, but the scene is populated by only one man, his foot raised on a shoeshine stand. Why are there no other people? It’s a question put to many Photography 101 students. The answer is simple. Due to the long exposure time, anyone or anything that moved — Parisians walking, horses and buggies, even the busily working shoeshine boy — was not recorded by Daguerre’s camera.

An image by Wilkes that speaks directly to the old and the new in China is Three Gorges Dam at Yangtze River, Jui Li Village, Sandouping, Yichang, Humei, China, shot in 2008. The village is photographed from an elevated vantage point, and Wilkes’ perspective is revealing. Reading like a diptych, the image is bisected by a concrete barrier. On the right are multiple housing units and various businesses that have existed for some time; on the left, below the newly constructed dam, is part of a mountain that has been stripped away to accommodate a concrete tunnel that looks like it could be the entrance to Area 51. The village to the right seems doomed by development that will require the displacement of more of its people. Wilkes admits: “Cities I remember visiting 30 years ago are virtually unrecognizable today.” The amount of visual information in this photograph is remarkable. As Monroe points out, “There are at least five narrative vignettes going on in the picture.” It’s all in the details. Wilkes’ sense of symmetry comes through in Boy in Artspace, Beijing, photographed in 2007. The image presents a massive interior space with a wall of windows on the right and a buttressed curved ceiling that extends to the left. A beam with intermittent industrial lights runs down the middle of the ceiling. Disrupting Wilkes’ perspective of this cavernous building is a red partial wall that spans the entire width of the picture, greatly restricting our vision to the foreground. Standing at attention directly in the middle of the red wall, in front of a vertical concrete support, is a little boy who stares at the viewer. The singular human presence within this overwhelming construct is surreal. But the confluence of geometric forms with the vertical and horizontal elements in the picture make for one of Wilkes’ most dynamic bilateral compositions — which is fitting, given the country’s state of transition. “ China is changing at a speed that is unprecedented in modern history,” Wilkes said. “ I believe it will be the story over the next 25 years. I have tried to capture images which show not only the scale and magnitude of this change but [ also] its effect on the balance between the old China and the new.” ◀ details ▼ Stephen Wilkes: China ▼ Opening reception 5-7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3; exhibit through Nov. 23 ▼ Monroe Gallery of Photography, 112 Don Gaspar Ave., 992-0800


112 Don Gaspar Santa Fe, NM 87501

505.992.0800505.992.0810 (fax)