Haggerty Museum hosts collection of candid photos of radical '60s group
Aug. 22, 2010
Mary Louise Schumacher
J. Edgar Hoover called it the country's greatest domestic security
threat. The Black Panther Party emerged in California in 1966 in the
midst of an otherwise largely nonviolent civil rights movement. Their
direct and confrontational methods were polarizing and controversial.
At the height of the movement, photographer Stephen Shames had
unprecedented access to the group, both in its public and private
moments. So, in addition to the street protests, demonstrations and
militant posturing for social change and racial justice, Shames
captured the group's leaders in unscripted circumstances, too, from
intimate parties to jail cell chats.
A collection of Shames' photographs will go on view Wednesday at the
Haggerty Museum of Art at Marquette University. The exhibit "The
Black Panthers: Making Sense of History" is described as a more
nuanced look back at a frequently misunderstood, complex group of
people who helped define the turbulent '60s in America. The show was
organized by Aperture, a nonprofit devoted to photography and visual
art. It will remain on view at the Haggerty, N. 13th and W. Clybourn
streets, through Jan. 2. For more information: (414) 288-1669.