On View: February 23 – April 2, 2017
Opening Reception: Thursday, February 23 5-8pm
Peekskill, NY: The Field Gallery is honored to present the iconic civil rights photographs of Leonard Freed. The 22 works on display capture timeless American images: the 1963 and 1983 March on Washington, the birth of the Civil Rights Movement, and intimate moments of black history. Marching On is carefully curated from the personal collection of his widow and printer Brigitte Freed, who will also be at the opening reception to share memories of the now-famous portraits and how they were created.
Leonard Freed ( 1929- 2006) was a documentary photojournalist and longtime Magnum member. Born in Brooklyn to Jewish, working class parents of Eastern European descent, Freed began his career as a freelance photographer in 1954, basing himself out of Amsterdam and travelling widely throughout Europe. While on assignment in Berlin he photographed a black soldier standing in front of the newly erected Berlin Wall. The sight of the soldier defending the West while being denied basic rights at home led Freed to return to the U.S. to document the civil rights struggle. He produced more than a dozen books, including Black in White America (1968), on the civil rights movement, and Police Work (1980), on the realities of day-to-day life in the NYPD.
As well as his work in the United States, Freed shot continuously in Italy, France, Germany, Israel, and Turkey. He lived locally in Garrison, NY from 1980 until his death in 2006. Freed’s work is housed in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of the City of New York, The Tate Modern, and The Smithsonian Institute, among others.
The Field Library would like to thank Brigitte Freed for her generous gift of Leonard Freed’s signed and numbered Iris print of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. being greeted on his return to the US after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, Baltimore, MD. October 31, 1964, now on exhibit in the main room. This important photo, detailing Dr. King as he rides in a motorcade through the streets of Baltimore urging black voters to exercise their voting rights in the upcoming Presidential election, will now remain in the library’s permanent collection. In addition, Mrs. Freed will donate proceeds from the sale of the exhibit photos to The Field Library.