The best concert I ever went to was a BB King concert.  I've seen him several times, but this time was different.  It was in a small, intimate venue and before almost every song, BB would tell a little story about the origins of the song or what it meant to him.  It... was... awesome!  This was an experience I will never forget, and am so glad I got to see--nay, be a part of--because that's how it felt.  I wasn't just a casual observer of some great blues, BB was talking to me and everyone in that room that night.

 

It's not often you get to meet an icon. Someone who was positioned perfectly in space and time to document a culture in flux. And, someone with the talent to do it well.  That's who eighty-seven year old Lee Marmon is.  And, although I haven't met him yet, I, like you, will have the opportunity to do so the evening of March 1st, at the Albuquerque Photographers' Gallery in Old Town.  Although I personally have not met Lee, several of my colleagues have, and they tell me he is a warm, delightful, unassuming story-teller of a man.  This is not something I want to miss.  Meeting Lee will be something I will remember fondly and his opening at APG will be something I know I will be glad to be a part of.

 

So, why is this guy so special?  If you are not familiar with the name, I'd be surprised if you're not familiar with his work.  Born in Laguna in 1925, Lee's signature image "White Man's Moccasins" (1954) is only one of many images of tribal elders and life to be globally recognized as a visual documentary of cultural change throughout the Southwest in the mid-twentieth century.  His collection of images has been deemed of such significance that the University of New Mexico purchased his negatives in 2009.
 
 
Photo by Tom Corbett (2006)
 
Lee's photographic career includes service as the official photographer for the Bob Hope Desert Classic Golf Tournament (1967-1973), publication in books and magazines such as Time, The New York Times Magazine, Aperture, the Saturday Evening Post, the Los Angeles Times, New Mexico Magazine, Native Peoples, and Southwest Art.  His works were also featured in the Peabody Award-winning PBS series, "Surviving Columbus".  His 2004 book "The Pueblo Imagination", written in collaboration with Joy Harjo, Simon Ortiz, and Leslie Marmon Silko is award-winning.  And, in June 2006, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts for the "legacy of integrity" his works have inspired during the 59 years Marmon has been practicing his craft.

 

If you're not sufficiently impressed enough yet, I'll let the imagery do the talking.

 

That's right boys and girls.  Lee Marmon is a photographic "rockstar".  And, you can meet him with me.  You don't want to miss this!

 

Lee will be at the Albuquerque Photographers' Gallery signing fine art posters of four of his images including a special edition of White Man's Moccasins (1954) on March 1st from 5-8pm.  His work will be on display throughout March and April, 2013.  The exhibit includes 21 signed silver gelatin prints which represent the last prints the artist will ever make of these images (as noted previously, the University of New Mexico purchased his negatives in '09).  All of the images linked above (including White Man's Moccasins) and many more will be on display and available for sale.  I've seen many of them.  They're fantastic.  (And no, "fantastic" doesn't even begin to capture how wonderful these images are.  You'll just have to come see for yourself.  You think you have seen someone's art, and then you see it in person, and everything changes.)  Hope to see you March 1st!
 
Lee Marmon- The Acoma Collection
March 1- April 30, 2013
Opening reception: Friday, March 1 (5-8pm)

 

At:

The Albuquerque Photographers' Gallery
Plaza Don Luis, Old Town
303 Romero Street NW
(upstairs) STE N208
Albuquerque, NM 87104
505-244-9195

 

For even more information about Lee, check out the Wikipedia article on him.

DCF Event Announcement

Lee Marmon-- The Acoma Collection-- Facebook Event Page

Views: 273

Comment by tomas on February 4, 2013 at 6:57am

I have had the privilege to meet him recently. Lee is still quite the interesting and charming character at 87. His work is timeless. This is a great post about him and the show.

Comment by Gale Sutton on February 8, 2013 at 6:02pm

His portraits of the elders are magnificent ~~ and all the more interesting because they were primarily taken outdoors, without special lighting and very quickly!  Lee says that most of the elders told him he could take the picture if he did it fast ~ no lengthy photo sessions here.  Great to hear him talk about background behind his photos.  Good post about Lee and upcoming show.

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