Art and Journalism, Past and Present: Eugene Richards, Sam Stephenson, and Arezoo Moseni
Where: New York Public Library—Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
476 Fifth Ave.
917-275-6975 Price: Free
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Explore the work of two seminal documentary photographers, captured in two beautiful new books: Gene Smith’s Sink, the new biography by Sam Stephenson on photography’s most celebrated humanist, W. Eugene Smith; and The Run-On of Time, the first comprehensive and critical look at the work of Eugene Richards, a photographer following in Smith’s tradition. Stephenson and Richards will speak with Arezoo Moseni to explore the tensions and overlaps of art and journalism, and the relevance and necessity of both to our time more than ever.
W. Eugene Smith was photography’s most celebrated humanist. As a photo essayist at LIFE Magazine in the 1940s and ’50s, Smith established himself as an intimate chronicler of human culture. His photographs of war and disaster, villages and metropolises, doctors and midwives revolutionized the role of images in journalism and transformed photography for decades to come. When Smith died in 1978 at the age of 59, he left behind eighteen dollars in the bank and forty-four thousand pounds of archives. Sam Stephenson has been tracing Smith’s footsteps for twenty years and has published two previous books on him: Dream Street and The Jazz Loft Project. Gene Smith’s Sink is the culmination of his two decades of searching.
For fifty years, Eugene Richards has traveled the world making records of racism, poverty, drug addiction, cancer, aging, war, and the erosion of rural America. The Run-On of Time is the first publication to situate Richards’ work in the tradition that merges personal artistic vision with documentary practice laid down by artists such as Eugene Smith and Robert Frank. The book was published in conjunction with a retrospective exhibition of the same title on view at George Eastman Museum in Rochester from June 10 – October 22, 2017 and at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City from December 9, 2017 – April 15, 2018.
Copies of both books will be available for purchase and signing at the end of the event.