Sag Harbor Picture Gallery
Fifty Years Behind a Camera:
An unexpected, dramatic moment captured in the Museum of Modern Art: two nuns, their backs to the camera, dressed in black habits and standing before Ad Reinhardt's expressionist masterpiece, Black on Black, the fleshtone of the nuns' hands, hanging at their side, is the only color in the picture.
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This image, one of Burt Glinn's personal favorite, is only an example of the many and varied scenes in Sag Harbor Picture Gallery's latest exhibition, Fifty Years behind a Camera: The Photography of Burt Glinn. From Castro to the Kennedy’s, and from the snow country of Japan to the desert city of Jerusalem, Mr. Glinn has spent the past half-century traveling and world and capturing on film the grand social scene and great political events. The pictures in this show - both black and white and in color - reveal Mr. Glinn's huge range and impeccable eye.
Centerpiece of the show is a stunning selection of color photographs from Japan, including six shots of Mt. Fuji (inspired by Hokusai's 36 views of Mt. Fuji); another of two kimono-clad ladies greeting each other with a bow in the quiet of snow-covered hills; and a graphic, startling head shot of a Kabuki actor in full make-up, the illusion of mask-like inhumanness broken only by his eyes peering from beneath the layers of face paint.
Also included in the show are black and white portraits of Bobby Kennedy and Eisenhower family, the dancer Jacques Damboise as a teacher before his class, and the ballerina Bessmirtonva as a student. Also included is a poignant group of black and white pictures from photo essay Mr. Glinn did of students in a Hebrew school in the Jewish quarter of the divided city of Jerusalem in 1957.
Burt Glinn first made his mark in the photography world with a series of spectacular color photo essays on the South Seas, Japan, Russia, Mexico and California, each of which was published (in collaboration with writer Laurens van der Post) as an entire single issue of 'Holiday' magazine (a first for that magazine). An outgrowth of this effort was the publication of his two books, A Portrait of All the Russias and A Portrait of Japan. Mr. Glinn's reportage includes stories on such events as the Sinai War, the US Marine invasion of Lebanon, the Cuban Revolution, and the integration of the public school system in Little Rock, Arkansas, as well as personality profiles on such individuals as Sammy Davis, Jr. and the late Senator Robert Kennedy.
Mr. Glinn has been President of the American Society of Media Photographers and has served as both President and Chairman of the Board for the prestigious photojournalist agency Magnum. He is a recipient of Matthew Brady Award, and numerous other awards for both his journalistic and commercial photography, including the Best Book of the Photographic Reporting from Abroad from the Overseas Press Club and the Best Print Ad of the Year from the Art Director's Club of New York. Mr. Glinn is still very much involved with Magnum. As a raconteur in the truest sense of the word and a veritable historian on the agency, he is active on the lecture circuit, entertaining audiences with tales of the agency and informing them on the world of photojournalism at large.
Fifty Years behind a Camera: The Photography of Burt Glinn is Mr. Glinn's second exhibition of photographs at the Sag Harbor Picture Gallery. The show consists of black and white prints and of color prints. There will be a special opening reception October 16th at 6pm to welcome back Mr. Glinn, photographer for half a century, and the Sag Harbor Picture Gallery's special friend.