Library of Congress Celebrates the Collection of Photographer Bob Adelman

Library of Congress Celebrates the Collection of Photographer Bob Adelman


SPEAKER: LADIES AND GENTLEMEN
WE INVITE YOU TO PLEASE TAKE YOUR SEATS.
OUR PROGRAM IS ABOUT TO BEGIN. OKAY.
CAN EVERYBODY PLEASE TAKE THEIR SEATS?
WELL, GOOD AFTERNOON TO ALL. AND WELCOME TO THE LIBRARY OF
CONGRESS. MY NAME IS ROBERT WULLEN AND I
HAVE THE PLEASURE OF SERVING AS DEPUTY LIBRARIAN OF CONGRESS FOR
INSTITUTIONAL ADVANCEMENT. YOU ARE SITTING IN OUR
MAGNIFICENT AUDITORIUM, A ROOM THAT I THINK BOB WOULD HAVE
APPRECIATED VERY MUCH. IT’S MY PLEASURE TO WELCOME YOU
TODAY TO THE EVENT ANNOUNCE THE GIFT OF THE BOB ADELMAN PHOTO
ARCHIVE IN THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS AND HONORING THE LIFE
AND WORK OF THIS INCREDIBLE PHOTOGRAPHER AND ARTIST.
IT’S WONDERFUL TO SEE SO MANY FAMILIAR FACES HERE THIS
AFTERNOON. ESPECIALLY THE MEMBERS OF BOB’S
FAMILY, HIS FRIENDS AND FELLOW ARTISTS WHO TRAVELED FROM ALL
OVER THE COUNTRY TO JOIN US HERE TODAY.
IN PARTICULAR, I WANT TO WELCOME BOB’S DAUGHTER SAMANTHA RAY AND
HIS COLLEAGUE STEVEN WATT WHO COLLABORATED WITH OUR STAFF TO
HELP CREATE AN EVENT THAT BOB WOULD BE PROUD OF.
THANKS TO HELENE AND ERICA WRITE FOR BRINGING US ALL TODAY.
TODAY’S GUEST SPEAKERS WILL BE SITTING IN ICON, LIKE BOB.
YOU WILL HEAR FROM THE LIBRARIAN OF CONGRESS, APPELLATE LAUREATE
AND NEW YORK TIMES WINNING PHOTOGRAPHER, NOVELIST AND
CURATOR OF Y PHOTOGRAPHY. AFTER THE PROGRAM, WE WILL
CONCLUDE WITH THE RECEPTION WHERE YOU CAN VIEW SOME OF THE
REMARKABLE IMAGES FROM THE ARCHIVES.
I WANT TO MENTION THAT TODAY’S PROGRAM IS BEING LIVE STREAMED
ON YOUTUBE AND RECORDED FOR A WEB CAST THAT WILL BE AVAILABLE
ON THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WEBSITE.
BEFORE I TURN IT OVER TO DR. HAYDEN, I WOULD WANT TO SAY
WHAT A GOOD FORTUNE IT WAS FOR ME TO SPEND TIME WITH BOB OVER
THE LAST YEARS. DURING A VISIT TO THE LIBRARY,
MY PARTNER AND I HAD A SMALL VISIT TO THE LIBRARY, AND HAD A
COCKTAIL IN HIS HONOR AND IN THE EVENING, BOB EXAMINED THE ART
ON MY WALLS AND RULED IN ON A SMALL WATER COLOR PAINTED BY
GLORIA VANDERBILT AND THIS LED TO THE MOST REMARKABLE AND I AM
GUESSING UNDOCUMENTED STORY ABOUT THIS COMMISSION.
BOB SAID THAT HE RARELY ACCEPTED PORTRAIT COMMISSIONS BUT HE
MADE AN EXCEPTION FOR VANDERBILT.
HE DID THE PORTRAIT AND IT WAS REALLY QUITE AN EXTRA ORDINARY
PORTRAIT. THE PRESS OF TIME STOPS ME FROM
ANNOUNCING THE WHOLE STORY. BUT I WILL LEAVE A VERY, VERY
WARM MEMORY OF BOB. NOW IT’S MY PLEASURE TO WELCOME THE
LIBRARIAN OF CONGRESS, DR. CARLA HAYDEN. [APPLAUSE].
SPEAKER: GOOD AFTERNOON. IT’S AN HONOR AND A PLEASURE FOR
ME TO BE HERE TODAY. I AM PLEASED THAT THE LIBRARY OF
CONGRESS IS NOW ENTRUSTED WITH THE PRESERVATION AND THE LEAD OF
THE COLLECTION OF PHOTOGRAPHY. IN HIS OWN WORDS, LIFE’S WORK IS
ABOUT THE WINNING AND THE DIVERSE SOCIAL CONCEIVED IN
AMERICA. POSITIVE AILMENTS, ALCOHOLISM
AND ADEQUATE COVER, THE IMMIGRANT EXPERIENCE.
AND THIS COLLECTION IS SO MARVELOUSLY DOCUMENTS THE
STRUGGLE TO OVERCOME RACIAL DISCRIMINATION AND LIKE SO MANY OTHER AMERICANS, I WAS IN
BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA IN 1963, WHEN THE POLICE TOOK THE FIRE
HOSES TO PUSH BACK AFRICAN AMERICANS AND DENIED CIVIL
RIGHTS. AND THE SIGNIFICANCE THAT WAS
THE FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN TO READ THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS.
AND AS I SAID, THE FIRE HOSES WERE BRUTAL.
THEY RIPPED THE BARK FROM THE TREES.
AND NEVERTHELESS, THE PEOPLE HELD ONTO ONE ANOTHER AND WERE
ABLE TO RESIST. AND IMAGES WERE USED TO PROMOTE
AND DIDN’T THINK ABOUT DR. KING AND THE MESSAGE THAT IT’S NOT IN
A WORLD BUT COME THROUGH. I WAS PERSONALLY STRUCK BY HIS
OWN MESSAGE THAT PHOTOGRAPHY, AND HIS PHOTOGRAPHY WAS NOT ONLY
QUOTE TELLING THE TRUTH. BUT DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
AND IN HIS OWN WORDS, IT WAS A CONSTANT EFFORT, NOT ONLY TO
DOCUMENT WHAT I WAS SEEING, BUT TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO CHANGE IT.
THE MAN’S CONSTANT EFFORT AND DILIGENCE WHICH IS WHY THE
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS IS SO PROUD TO PRESERVE HIS WORK AND
COLLECTION FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS.
AND THANKS TO YOU, THE LIBRARY HAS
600 THOUSAND PRINTS, NEGATIVE SLIDES AND OTHER DOCUMENTS NOT
ONLY THE AFRICAN AMERICAN RIGHTS MOVEMENT BUT THE CHANGES IN
AMERICAN CULTURE BROUGHT ABOUT BY REMARKABLE INDIVIDUALS LIKE
HIM. FAMILY WHO PASSED AWAY LAST
MARCH. AND I WAS NOT ABLE TO MEET HIM.
BUT I HAVE HEARD MANY STORIES FROM STAFF MEMBERS IN PARTICULAR
MR. NEWMAN WHO LEFT OUT A LITTLE SOMETHING BEGINNING WITH
THE RECEPTION. HE MIGHT TELL YOU THE TRUE
GLORIA VANDERBILT STORY THAT SHE HAS ACTUALLY MENTIONED TO ME.
WAS A GRADUATE OF RUTGERS UNIVERSITY AND COLOMBIA, UNIVERSITY SCHOOL FOR
SOCIAL RESEARCH, VISUAL ARTS, STAMFORD UNIVERSITY, OHIO STATE
UNIVERSITY AND UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA.
HE ALSO WORKED AT THE INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR
PHOTOGRAPHY FOR WORK AND THE MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS IN
MASSACHUSETTS. AND HIS PHOTOGRAPHY HAS BEEN
PUBLISHED BY TIME MAGAZINE, HARPERS MAGAZINE, NEW YORK TIMES
MAGAZINE, LIFE, PEOPLE AND ESQUIRE.
HE ALSO OFFERED OVER A DOZEN BOOKS INCLUDING CELEBRATIONS.
REMEMBERING JACK. AND PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY
AND OUT OF LEFT FIELD, LADY STARBURG AND PITTSBURGH PIRATES.
ADDITIONALLY, HIS PHOTOGRAPHY WAS INCLUDED IN THE BOOK “THIS
LIGHT OF OURS” AND PHOTOGRAPHERS OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT.
WAS AWARDED A FELLOWSHIP AND WON A UNIVERSITY
OF MISSOURI JOURNALISM AWARD AND WORK WAS INCLUDED IN THE
AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF GRAPHIC ARTS 50 MOST NOTABLE BOOKS.
AND NOW WE ARE HONORED THAT HIS COLLECTION WILL BE PRESERVED AND
EXHIBITED BY THE PRINTS AND PHOTOGRAPHS DIVISION OF THE
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS. AND WITH THE HELP OF DEPUTY
LIBRARIAN, ROBERT MULLEN, IT’S NOW MY HONOR TO PRESENT THE
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS’S LATEST ACQUISITION AND IN CASE YOU
REMEMBER, TO REALLY UNVEIL WHAT IS UNDER THIS CLASP. [APPLAUSE].>>GOOD AFTERNOON, EVERYONE.
I’M HELENA ZIMCAMP.
CHIEF OF THE PHOTOGRAPH DIVISION AND I AM DELIGHTED FOR THE TURN
OUT TODAY. AND I’M A MODERATOR AND YOU WILL
SEE ME COMING UP AND DOWN FREQUENTLY.
THE POET LAUREATE HAS WRITTEN A SPECIAL POEM IN LIGHT OF BOB
ADELMAN. [APPLAUSE].
SPEAKER: THANK YOU SO MUCH. IT’S AN HONOR TO BE HERE AND I
WANT TO THANK THE FAMILY, THE ADELMAN FAMILY FOR THIS MOMENT
PROVIDED TO ME. AND EVERYONE.
SUCH A BEAUTIFUL EXPERIENCE TO SEE AND TO NOTICE THE
PHOTOGRAPHS AND I WAS VERY MOVED WHEN I LOOKED AT THE VARIOUS
BOOKS THAT BOB PUT TOGETHER AND HIS PHOTOGRAPHS.
IT WAS SOMETHING THAT MADE MY LIFE WHEN I WAS A CHILD.
AND WE HAD A SMALL BROWNIE. AND MADE HER LIFE MOST
INTERESTING AND CREATIVE. AND GAVE US ALL SOMETHING THAT
WE CAN STILL LOOK AT. AND RETURN TO.
AND CONTINUE. THIS IS A PARTIAL AMERICAN
ALPHABET. THE POEM FOR BOB ADELMAN.
YOUNG, STOP, MEDITATE INSIDE THE CARDBOARD BOX SIMILAR FOR A
DAY. AND BOB ADELMAN FOLLOWS AND THEY
PLAY. AND THEY HAVE THE PREMISES AND
BLAST THEMSELVES ON THE CONCRETE AND HUG WITH A KITE.
BIGGER THAN THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING DANNY DAYS, SMILE ANGELIC.
I DON’T WANT TO BE ON TEAM VINCENT.
B IS FOR BLACK. W IS FOR WHITE.
I IS FOR I’M SORRY I SAID THAT. J FOR JEALOUS.
W IS FOR WHEN WE ARE TOGETHER IT IS ALL RIGHT.
BRICKS AND RAMBLES, CONCRETE AND WIPING, WIPING BLACK AND WATER.
IN TIME, SOMETHING THAT CUTS THIS IN HALF AND SOMETHING THAT
PUTS US BACK INTO ONE. AND S IS FOR SINGING FOR THE
CONGRESS OF RACIAL EQUALITY. S IS FOR STUDENT ON THE
COORDINATING COMMITTEE. J IS FOR JIM CROW.
WE SEE, WE NOTICE, WE ENTER. WE ARE THE PEOPLE.
EVEN THOUGH WE ARE FAR FROM THE CAMERA.
ADELMAN SAYS BREAK THROUGH. ADELMAN SAYS BREAK THROUGH.
A MOMENT, A HALF MOMENT IS ENOUGH TO GET FREE.
F IS FOR A FERRY BOAT IN MISSISSIPPI.
O IS FOR OVER IN ALABAMA. AND B IS FOR BB KING.
AND C IS FOR COOKING. AND CLONKING YOUR HEAD TO MAKE
ITS WAY IN THE WHITE WORLD. THIS YOUNG MAN, BARKA IN THE
BLACK ARTS MOVEMENT AND SPOKEN SCHOLARS THAT COME AT YOU IN A
VOICE. SAYS ADELMAN, DON’T YOU COME UP.
SAYS BOB ADELMAN. OPEN IT UP UNTIL IT’S JUST
BREATH INTO BREATH. AND HE CAN BREATHE INTO FREEDOM.
SO YOU CAN BREATHE INTO FREEDOM. AND NEXT THE UMBRELLA THE STORM
HITS AND UNRAVELS. AND P IS FOR PICKING COTTON IN
ALABAMA. CAN YOU SEE IT AMERICA?
YOU HAVE GOT ONE MINUTE TO WEIGH IN THE COTTONS.
DOESN’T MATTER. AND M FOR MACHINES.
THE FUN TIMES FOR MADNESS. AND MAKE SURE EVERY PART OF OUR
FACE IS IN THE PICTURE. MAKE SURE YOUR EYES IS LESS FLAT
AND COVERS TEARS INTO YOU. M IS FOR MARCHING BETWEEN
MONTGOMERY. T IS FOR TENANTS AND SOCIALITES.
TIME FOR REFLECTION IN THE LENS. GIVE YOUR LIFE IN THE FIELD.
YOU VANISH AND NOT IN ADELMAN’S BLACK AND WHITE EXPOSURE.
THERE IS A WOMAN WITH PIT WAY WITH PAPERS IN THE WOOD BURNING
STOVE AND THE KING IN MIND. YES, SIR.
YES, SIR. P IS FOR P.
AND BASKET MAKERS MAKING WEAVE BY WEAVE, NEEDLE BY NEEDLE.
J IS FOR JUST. AND H IS FOR HORSE RIDERS.
IT’S NOT AS SIMPLE AS YOU THINK. THERE IS A WAY THROUGH TO
FREEDOM. YES, INDEED.
YES, SIR. YES, MA’AM.
THERE IS A WAY THROUGH TO FREEDOM.
BAPTISMS IN THE WATER AND JAMES BROWN ALL AROUND.
M FOR WHITE MEN IN ALABAMA. A IS FOR AMERICA.
I’M NOT LEAVING. I’M NOT GOING BACK TO JIM CROW.
F FOR THE FIELD, IN THE BACK WHERE YOU HOLD ONTO CHILDREN.
AND YOU HOLD ON IN ADELMAN’S CAMERA.
A IS FOR ADELMAN AS HE HOLDS YOU AND HOLDS ON TO YOU AND INTO
YOU AND YOU HOLD ONTO HIM AND THE NEXT STOP OF 550 THOUSAND
EXPLOSIONS. NOT HIDDEN.
NOT ON PAGE 12. NOT SILENT.
NOT INVISIBLE. A IS FOR AMERICA.
A IS FOR ADELMAN. PUT THE ALPHABET TOGETHER.
PUT FREEDOM TOGETHER. EVERYBODY SAY FREEDOM.
EVERYBODY SAY ADELMAN. EVERYBODY SAY FREEDOM AGAIN.
NOT SILENT. NOT INVISIBLE.
BUT FREEDOM TOGETHER. S FOR SEGREGATION, SEPARATION
BETWEEN YOU AND YOURSELF. I IS FOR INNOCENT.
T IS FOR THREE GENERATIONS OF TENANT FARMERS AND S IS FOR
SQUIRREL. YOU HAVE TO GET CLOSE.
EVERYONE SAYS YOU HAVE TO GET CLOSE.
EVERYONE SAY YOU HAVE TO GET CLOSE.
YOU HAVE TO GET CLOSE. THAT’S WHAT THE CAMERA IS FOR.
THAT’S WHAT THE LENS IS FOR. AND THAT IS WHERE WE GET
RESPECT. THREE GENERATIONS OF TENANT
FARMERS AND YOU GET TOO CLOSE BUT YOU HAVE TO.
YOU HAVE TO GIVE CLOSE. C IS FOR COLOR ONLY.
REMEMBER, 1961, IN MEXICO CITY WITH MY MOTHER ELLA.
WAS BROWN, TIME IS BLACK. BLACK IS BROWN.
AND ROSA PARKS SITTING ON A BUS IN THE BUS.
NOT GIVING UP HER SEAT. W IS FOR WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED.
AND EVERYONE SAY W.
W IS FOR WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED. SHALL NOT BE MOVED.
IN ADELMAN’S CAMERA IS FOR LAY DOWN.
LAY DOWN IN FRONT OF THE TRACTOR.
L IS FOR LAY DOWN. LAY DOWN IN FRONT OF THE TRACTOR
SO YOU CAN STOP UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICES AT THE DOWNSTATE
MEDICAL CENTER. ADELMAN KEEPS MOVING.
ADELMAN KEEPS AMERICA MOVING IN FRONT OF YOUR EYES.
H IS FOR HOLDING HANDS IN TIMES OF TROUBLE.
LIKE MANY AT A CONGREGATION IN WEST LOUISIANA PARISH, LOUISIANA.
EVERYONE SAY O.
O. O.
O IS FOR OUT OF CHANGE. EVERYONE SAY MARCHING.
MARCHING. COME SINGING.
COME HOLLOWING. COME RESISTING.
COME TALKING. COME SAYING.
COME SPEAKING. COME ON UP TO THE FRONT SEAT
WITH YOUR GOOD FITTING AND MARCH UNTIL RACE DISAPPEARS.
CAN YOU SEE IT IN THE CAMERA? M IS FOR MEMORIAL SERVICES FOR
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JUNIOR. M IS FOR MEMORIAL SERVICES FOR
MALCLOM X AND LGBT GAY BASHING.
AND IN VIETNAM, YOU CAN TOUCH AND CONSIDER ALL OF THOSE THAT
GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR YOU AMERICA.
W IS FOR WOMENS LIBERATION. SAY IT.
EVERYONE SAY WOMENS LIBERATION. W IS FOR WOMEN’S LIBERATION.
SAY IT AS IT UNFOLDS. C IS FOR C RIGHTS.
L IS FOR LET THE CIVIL RIGHTS GO.
C IS FOR CAMERA. ADELMAN’S CAMERA AND A C FOR
COMPASSION ACTION. AND L FOR LOVE AND ARRIVE.
AND YES, IT IS POSSIBLE. IT IS THE ENGINE THAT USES
TOGETHER WITH DANNY AND VINCENT WALKING DOWN THE CONCRETE ROAD.
AND W FOR WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?
WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO? BECAUSE YOU ARE IN THIS PICTURE
BECAUSE S IS FOR SAYING GRACE AT DINNER SOMEWHERE IN SOUTH
CAROLINA. AND Z IS FOR ZEN MEDITATING IN
ROCHESTER, NEW YORK. H IS FOR HUMANITY.
HUMANITY. IT’S CLOSE.
AMERICA. THANK YOU SO MUCH.
[APPLAUSE]. SPEAKER: THAT WAS REMARKABLE.
THANK YOU. AND I DON’T KNOW I DON’T KNOW IF YOU VISIT THE PHOTOGRAPH OR THE
BOOKS THIS AFTERNOON, I THINK YOU WILL SEE THE WHOLE ALPHABET
COMING TO LIFE VISUALLY. WE HAVE THREE OTHER SPEAKERS
THAT AFTERNOON. I’LL ASK IF YOU CAN COME UP ON
THE STAGE AND EACH TAKE A CHAIR.
BEGINNING WITH JIM ESTRIN. AND I’M GOING TO TAKE CARE OF
ALL OF THE INTRODUCTIONS IN ONE FELL SWEEP.
AND THEN WE CAN SETTLE IN TO HEAR THE TALKS.
SO JIM ESTRIN IS A PHOTOGRAPHER HIMSELF AND BEGAN WORKING WITH
THE NEW YORK TIMES IN THE 1980s AND HE ALSO FOUNDED THE NEW YORK
TIMES PHOTOGRAPHY BLOG WHICH IS CALLED “THE LENS” SO WE’RE
GOING TO GO BACK AND FORTH THIS AFTERNOON.
IN 2014, ACTUALLY EARLIER, BUT THEN IN 2014, INTERVIEWED BOB ADELMAN AT LENGTH AND IT
WAS PUBLISHED AS A BLOG POST AND IT WAS CALLED PHOTOGRAPHS THAT
MAKE A DIFFERENCE. JIM IS GOING TO TALK ABOUT US
ABOUT BOB’S CAREER AND WORK IN RELATION TO AMERICA’S SOCIAL
JUSTICE AND PHOTOGRAPHY OVERALL. VERNA CURTIS WILL SPEAK SECOND.
RETIRED LAST YEAR AS A WONDERFUL CURATOR PHOTOGRAPHY IN PRINTS
AND PHOTOGRAPH DIVISION HERE AT LIBRARY OF CONGRESS.
HE NOT ONLY FOUND BOB ADELMAN IN WASHINGTON BUT ALSO THROUGH
HOMETOWN TERRITORY IN MIAMI BEACH FLORIDA.
WITH MORE THAN 30 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE IN THE FIELDS OF BOTH
ART AND DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHY, VERNA IS IDEAL TO
HELP DIG DEEP INTO BOB’S IMAGES AND SHOW HOW THEY FIT WITH OTHER
COLLECTIONS AT THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS.
THE THIRD SPEAKER IS ANN BEATTIE, AUTHOR OF NOVELS AND
SHORT STORIES AND I HAVE READ THAT SHE HAS BEEN A PAL OF BOBS.
I WILL MAKE THAT MORE FORMAL, A LONG-TIME FRIEND.
AND ANN IS HERE TODAY AS ONE OF BOB’S CLOSE FRIENDS.
SHE REJECTED BOB’S REQUEST TO PHOTOGRAPH PEOPLE IN HER OWN
PLACES AND STORIES. BUT HAS WRITTEN ABOUT HIS
AMAZING WORK WITH LOVE AND AFFECTION.
AND JIM, YOU’RE UP. SPEAKER: WHEN I WAS ASKED —
EXCUSE ME. WHEN I WAS ASKED TO SPEAK ABOUT
BOB ADELMAN, MY FIRST THOUGHT WAS I DIDN’T REALLY KNOW HIM
THAT WELL. I HAD MET HIM A FEW TIMES.
AND I HAVE INTERVIEWED HIM TWICE.
BUT THE TOTAL REFLECTION, I REALIZED THAT I DID KNOW HIM
WELL. AND IT WAS MAINLY THROUGH HIS
PHOTOGRAPHS. HIS IMAGES AFFECTED ME AS A
YOUNG CHILD LOOKING AT THE PAGES OF LIFE MAGAZINE.
THEY AFFECTD ME AS A YOUNG PHOTOGRAPHER FORMING MY OWN PATH
IN THE FIELD. AND THEY CONTINUE TO AFFECT ME
TODAY AS A TESTAMENT TO WHAT COULD HAPPEN WHEN WHEN PEOPLE STAND UP AGAINST INJUSTICE.
BOB’S PHOTOS WERE ALWAYS HONEST AND PASSIONATE.
AS A PHOTOGRAPHER, HE WORE HIS HEART ON HIS SLEEVE.
AND PHOTO THE SIDE OF THE ANGELS.
AS A JOURNALIST, I ALWAYS WANTED MY IMAGES TO AFFECT THE SITUATIONS
I DOCUMENT. AND WHEN I GOT OLDER, BECAME
MORE HABITIOUS WITH THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION.
AND I BELIEVE THERE ARE FEW SITUATIONS WHERE A PHOTO MAKES A
DIFFERENCE THAT IS MEASURABLE. PHOTOS OF YOUNG CHILDREN THAT
HELPED CHANGE LABOR LAWS. AND PERHAPS EDDIE ADAMS PHOTO OF
THE EXECUTION HELP GALVANIZED FOR THE VIETNAM WAR.
A FEW PHOTOED S IN MY CAREER DREW ATTENTION.
NOT SO MUCH. COVERED MORE FAMINE AND
INJUSTICE AND THERE WAS STILL AS MUCH FAMILIES IN JUSTICE THAN
WHEN WE STARTED. SO I HAVE COME TO THE
CONCLUSION, THAT FOR ME IT IS ENOUGH THAT IF I DOCUMENT THOSE
TERRIBLE THINGS AND PEOPLE SEE THEM, AT LEAST THEY CANNOT SAY
THAT THEY DIDN’T KNOW WHAT WAS HAPPENING.
AND CAME WITH THAT. MOST OLDER PHOTOGRAPHERS I HAVE
INTERVIEWED FOR THE LENS BLOG HAVE THE LACK OF AFFECT THAT THE
PHOTOS HAVE. IMAGES WERE SEEN AROUND THE
WORLD AND SAID TO ME FLAT OUT, HE FEELS HE WASTED HIS LIFE.
AND WHEN I SPOKE WITH BOB ADELMAN, HE SAID OF COURSE PHOTOS CHANGE THINGS.
HE NOTED THAT GARY WILLOWGRAD THE STREET
PHOTOGRAPHER ONCE SAID THAT FOLKS DON’T CHANGE THINGS.
BOB WHO WAS IN THE 80s AT THE TIME SAID QUOTE THAT’S THE THE
THE SILLIEST THING HE HAS EVER HEARD.
BOB’S PHOTOS SHOWED CIVIL RIGHTS.
OKAY. OKAY.
BOB’S PHOTOS AND THOSE OF HIS FELLOW CIVIL RIGHTS
PHOTOGRAPHERS CLEARLY DID HELP STATUTES.
THEY HELPED CHANGE THOSE LAWS BY EXPOSING THE HIDEOUS NATURE OF
RACIAL SEGREGATION AND TURNING AMERICAN OPINION AGAINST IT.
HE TOLD MAGAZINE IN 2014, IN THE PROFOUND SENSE WE DON’T REALIZE
HOW SEGREGATION WAS UGLY AND UN-AMERICAN.
THE PHOTOGRAPHS WERE THE EVIDENCE.
BOB’S IMAGES WERE BORN OUT OF AN OPTIMISM.
THEY ARE THE BELIEF THAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WERE CONFRONTED
WITH THE SCOPE OF RACIAL INJUSTICES AND WOULD SUPPORT THE
MOVEMENT’S GOALS. IT’S AN OPTIMISM THAT BOB
CONTINUED TO DISPLAY IN HIS LATER WORK IN COMMUNITIES IN
NEED. AND BOB WAS NOT JUST A
DOCUMENTARIAN OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT.
IT WAS A PASSIONATE PARTICIPANT. HE WAS A VOLUNTEER FOR CORE.
THE CONGRESS OF RACIAL EQUALITY.
AND SNICK, THE STUDENT NON-VIOLENT COORDINATING
COMMITTEE. HE WON THE TRUST OF MOVING AND
GAVE HIM A CERTAIN KIND OF ACCESS THAT RESULTED IN KNOWING
AN INSIDER VIEW OF THE MOVEMENT. HIS INTIMATE IMAGES WERE
INSTRUMENTAL IN PUTTING THE MESSAGE OF EQUAL RIGHTS FOR ALL
FORWARD AT THE TIME. TODAY THEY’RE USEFUL FOR
UNDERSTANDING THE COMPLEXITIES OF WHAT MADE THE MOVEMENT TICK
AND HOW THE LEADERS PRESENTED THEMSELVES PUBLICLY.
HAS TASKED ME WITH TRYING TO LABEL BOB’S PHOTOS IN THE
PHOTOGRAPHY WORLD IN A COMPREHENSIVE MATTER.
AND I THINK WHAT SETS HIM APART IS THE RESPECT THAT BOB HAD FOR
HIS SUBJECTS. MANY OF THE OTHER WHITE
PHOTOGRAPHERS WHO MADE IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE
DOCUMENTATION OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS RIGHTS MOVEMENT, BUT TOO
MANY OF THEM PORTRAYED THEIR SUBJECTS
AS SYMBOLS OF OPPRESSION OF HUMAN BEINGS.
SOME PHOTOGRAPHERS FETISHIZED THE BLACK AMERICANS THEY WERE
PHOTOGRAPHING AND OTHERS FOCUSED ON IMAGES OF VIOLENCE AND BLACK
BODIES BEING VIOLATED. BUT IN BOB’S IMAGES, THE PEOPLE
IN THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT WERE TREATED WITH RESPECT AND
PORTRAYED THE MOST DIGNIFIED WAY WHETHER THEY WERE
FAMOUS LEADERS OR SOLDIERS. HE PORTRAYED EVERYONE WITH EQUAL
RESPECT THROUGHOUT HIS CAREER. AND NOW THIS IS WHAT I NOTICED
IN HIS IMAGES WHEN I STARTED AS A YOUNG PHOTOGRAPHER AND THIS IS
WHAT INFLUENCED ME PROFOUNDLY. LIKE BOB, I STRIVED TO ENCOUNTER
ALL PEOPLE IN THE SAME LEVEL. AND WHETHER THEY ARE THE RICHEST
AND MOST POWERFUL PERSON OR THE POOREST AND MOST VULNERABLE.
ENCOUNTER EVERYONE ON YOUR LEVEL AS EQUALS.
THAT’S WHAT I LEARNED FROM BOB’S WORK.
BOB MADE THE CRITICALLY IMPORTANT HISTORIC PHOTOS OF THE
REVEREND MARTIN LUTHER KING JUNIOR GIVING HIS I HAVE A DREAM
SPEECH AT THE MEMORIAL. NOT FAR FROM WHERE WE ARE TODAY.
MOST OF THE PRESS WAS STUCK IN A FAR AWAY PIN, BOB WAS ABLE TO
GET A CLOSE UP PHOTO BECAUSE EVERYONE KNEW HIM AND EVERYONE
TRUSTED HIM. BOB HAD A MASTER’S DEGREE FROM
COLOMBIA PHILOSOPHY. AND TOLD ME SOMETHING I DIDN’T
KNOW ABOUT DR. KING SINCE BOB HAD SEVERAL OPPORTUNITIES TO
SPEND TIME WITH HIM. AND APPARENTLY BETWEEN JOKES
THEY DISCUSSED PHILOSOPHY. BOB TOLD ME, AND I QUOTE, HE WAS
A PERSONALIST IN HIS RELIGIOUS VOCATION.
HE BELIEVED THAT EVERYONE WITH AN ASPECT OF GOD AND THAT REALLY
SPOKE TO THEM, THEY DESERVE THE ATTENTION AND CONCERN AS IF HE
WAS DIRECTLY TALKING TO GOD. AND WHILE BOB WAS MUCH, MUCH
LESS CERTAIN TO BE DISTANT OF GOD AND DR. KING, THE APPROACH
OF THE PEOPLE THAT HE PHOTOGRAPHED ECHOED THAT
SENTIMENT. LOOK AT THE PHOTO OF REVEREND
JOSEPH CARTER ON HIS FRONT PORCH HOLDING A RIFLE AGAINST A
POSSIBLE KLU KLUX KLAN AMBUSH AFTER HE WAS THE FIRST BLACK IN
LOUISIANA PARISH. AND BOB WAS THERE LATER WHEN A
MULTITUDE OF SHOTS WERE FIRED THROUGH THE HOUSE.
THIS WAS JUST ONE OF MANY TIMES WHEN BOB ENCOUNTERED VIOLENCE
AND GUN SHOTS DURING THE STRUGGLE OF CIVIL RIGHTS.
HE TOLD ME, MY INVOLVEMENT WOULD BE VERY DANGEROUS.
BUT I HAD TO THINK WITH MYSELF. AND DECIDED THAT THIS WAS
SOMETHING WORTH RISKING YOUR LIFE FOR.
IN THE LAST INTERVIEW, HE TOLD ME THAT HE HAD FOUND WORKABLE
ANSWERS IN HIS PHILOSOPHY STUDIES BEFORE TURNING TO
PHOTOGRAPHY. I ASKED HIM WHAT THOSE ANSWERS
WERE. BECAUSE IF YOU NEED A MEANING OF
LIFE, I WANTED TO KNOW HIM. HE SAID THAT IN THE SENSE OF THE
MIDDLE AGES, HE DIDN’T THINK THAT THERE WAS ANY GREAT FOCUS
TO LIFE. OR THAT THIS WORLD WAS A DRAMA
OF SALVATION PREPARING US FOR THE NEXT LIFE.
HE DIDN’T THINK THERE WAS ANY OVER ARCHING PURPOSE TO LIFE BUT
WE HAVE BEEN GIVEN MEANING THROUGH FAMILY, EXPERIENCES THAT WE HAVE
AND VALUES THAT WE CARE DEEPLY ABOUT.
AND HOLDING PROJECTS WOULD REMAIN FAITHFUL TO THE VALUES
AND THAT WOULD BE AS MUCH PURPOSE AS HE COULD FIND.
AND I QUOTE FOR ME, IF I GOT INVOLVED IN SOMETHING, IT HAD TO
MEAN SOMETHING AND I HAD TO SEE SOME PURPOSE TO IT AND THAT IT
WOULD BE SOMETHING THAT I CARED ABOUT.
SO BOB STUDIED PHILOSOPHY PRIMARILY TO FIND HIS WAY IN THE
WORLD. BUT IT WAS THROUGH PHOTOGRAPHY
THAT HE DISCOVERED THE MEANING THAT HE WAS SEARCHING FOR.
AND HE SAID I REALIZED I WANTED TO GET INVOLVED IN A WORLD TO
MAKE A DIFFERENCE. AND HE HAS.
THANK YOU. [APPLAUSE]. SPEAKER: THANK YOU HELENA AND
ALL OF THE LIBRARY STAFF FOR THEIR SUPPORT OF THE ACQUISITION
AND FOR ORGANIZING THIS LOVELY AND SIGNIFICANT OCCASION.
I THINK IT’S APPROPRIATE TO REALLY LOOK AT BOB’S CAREER
VISUALLY. SO THAT’S WHAT I WILL BRING TO
YOU THIS AFTERNOON. IN FACT, YOU MAY BE SEEING HIS
IMAGES IN MANY PLACES AND NOT EVEN BE AWARE OF IT. WHAT IS A POSTER FOR RECENT ACADEMY AWARD FILM, BY WRITER JAMES BALDWIN.
EYES IN BOB’S PHOTOS. BOB GOT TO KNOW HIM DURING THE
CIVIL RIGHT’S MOVEMENT AND PHOTOGRAPHED HIM DURING THE
PLAY, MR. CHARLIE. IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN, IT IS IN
FACT LIKE THE AUTHOR’S EYES. IT FILLS INTO THE ESSENCE OF THE
MAN. AND DOES THIS IN A VERY CREATIVE
WAY. COVERED AN UNCOVERED MANUSCRIPT
OF BALDWIN AND USED THOSE WORDS FOR LIFE AND TIMES AND OFFERING
AN UNUSUAL AUTHENTICITY. THE QUALITY OF AUTHENTICITY ALSO
DISTINGUISHES BOB’S WORK AND MAKES IT SO VERY APPROPRIATE FOR
THE LIBRARY’S PHOTOGRAPHIC
COLLECTIONS. BOB CAME TO THE ATTENTION OF THE
LIBRARY STAFF ABOUT TEN YEARS AGO WHEN HE ARRIVED TO EXAMINE
POTENTIALLY FOR A BOOK PROJECT. NEGATIVES MADE BY RALPH ELLERSON
ARCHIVED IN THE MANUSCRIPTS DIVISION AND RELATIVELY UNKNOWN
PHOTOGRAPHIC WORK RESIDES IN THE PRINTS AND PHOTOGRAPH DIVISION.
MY COLLEAGUE MET BOB AND SUBSEQUENTLY VISITED HIM TO
ACQUIRE A COLLECTION OF CIVIL RIGHTS PHOTOGRAPHS.
AND THIS ICONIC IMAGE WE ARE LOOKING AT IS DR. KING.
AND WE ORGANIZED THE PHOTOGRAPHIC EXPEDITION CUMMERATING THE MARCH IN
WASHINGTON IN JANUARY OF 2013 AND THE FOLLOWING JANUARY, THE
SYMPOSIUM WHO WITNESSED THE MARCH.
AND BOB WAS ONE WHO SPOKE. AND WAS INVITED TO GIVE SEVERAL
LECTURES ABOUT HIS WORK IN THE LIBRARY.
HE WAS ASKED TO TAKE ON A ROLE OF PHOTOGRAPHER IN RESIDENTS, IN
HOPES THAT SOME DAY SUCH POSITION MIGHT OFFICIALLY BE
DESIGNATED. HERE IS AN ENERGIZED BOB WHO HAS
HIS CIVIL RIGHTS WORK IN THE 1960s.
IN THE MOVEMENT THAT HE FOUND THAT CAUSE THAT JIM JUST
MENTIONED. HE SAW OTHERS GIVE THEIR LIVES.
THEIR LIVES. AND HE FELT THEIR LIVES.
AND HE FELT HE COULD DIE FROM THE SAME CAUSE.
AND SPOKE A CAMERAMAN. ONE OF HIS PHOTOGRAPHS WERE ON
THE COVER OF NEWS WEEK IN THE SPRING OF 1965.
AND WE HAVE ALREADY SEEN HIS MOST FAMOUS PHOTOGRAPH IN
BIRMINGHAM SPRINGS, 1963. AND HE WAS THERE.
AND HE WITNESSED HOW THE STUDENTS WOULDN’T RUN AWAY AND
HOLDING ONTO EACH OTHER FOR DEAR LIFE.
BOB’S TEACHER ALEXAY BRADOVICH CLAIMED THIS IMAGE QUOTE FEARED
ITSELF INTO HIS MEMORY. BOB DID NOT HAVE MUCH FORMAL
TRAINING IN PHOTOGRAPHY AND HIS REAL INTRODUCTION WAS THROUGH
HIS FATHER WHO WAS A SERIOUS AMATEUR WITH A DARK ROOM AT
HOME. BOB ATTENDED MANHATTAN
STUYVESANT HIGH SCHOOL AND WAS IN COLOMBIA AND MASTERED IN
PHILOSOPHY AND CONTINUED STUDYING IN ARTS.
HE RETURNED TO LAW SCHOOL IN HARVARD AND RETURNED TO NEW YORK
CITY. AND BEGAN TALKING HIS WAY INTO
PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIOS. EVENTUALLY IN 1959, ENROLLED IN BRADOVICH’S FAMOUS DESIGN
LABORATORY AT THE SCHOOL FOR SOCIAL RESEARCH.
FOR THE ASSIGNMENT TO SHOOT IN TIMES SQUARE, BOB SETTLED ON
SOMETHING DIFFERENT. HE TOOK A LOOK DOWN UPON A GROUP
OF SAILERS FROM THE HOTEL AFTER.
AND PHOTOGRAPHED AND RESEARCHED WHAT EDWARD STIFER HAD DONE AND
PERSEVEING UNTIL HE CAN FIND SOMETHING OF HIS OWN.
THIS IMAGE OF A HARD COOKED EGG. BOB BELIEVED THAT BESIDES
QUALITIES OF DESIGN, HIS ACTIVITIES IN PHOTOGRAPHY NEEDED
TO HAVE PURPOSE. AND THE PURPOSE HE FOUND WAS TO
FIGHT FOR EQUAL RIGHTS, SUPPORT JUSTICE AND HELP MAKE CHANGE IN
PEOPLES’ LIVES FOR THE BETTER. AND HE FIRST GOT INVOLVED WITH
THE BROOKLYN CONGRESS OF RACIAL EQUALITY AND BECAME THEIR
PHOTOGRAPHER. BROOKLYN WAS WHERE THEY BEGAN
THE FREEDOM RIGHTS. AS YOU CAN SEE, PEOPLE HERE WERE
PICKETING FOR EDUCATION, AS WELL AS THE LIVABLE COMMUNITY
AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY. IT SEEMS THAT BOB WOULD LATER EXPAND
UPON. IN THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT,
BOB MET MANY GREAT PEOPLE, BALDWIN, A BILL THINKER AND
MICHAEL HARINGTON AND CLOSE HE FELT TO DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING
JUNIOR THAT BOB ALWAYS REFERRED TO HIM AS DOC.
HE ATTENDED KING’S FUNERAL IN 1968 AND TOOK INTIMATE
PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE FAMILY WHICH HAVE A PERMANENT PLACE IN IF THE
HISTORIC SITE IN ATLANTA. BOB’S MAGAZINE WORK BEGINNING IN
1960 OFTEN DOES TELL WITH HIS CIVIL RIGHTS PHOTOGRAPHY WHICH
SHOWS VOTER DRIVES IN THE SOUTH, OF A MAN REGISTERING IN SOUTH
CAROLINA. FOR EBONY, HE FOLLOWED THE
REVEREND JOE CARTER, THE FIRST BLACK MAN TO REGISTER AND VOTE
IN WEST LOUISIANA. AND IN FACT, I THINK HE TOLD
YOU, JIM, THAT THIS WAS THE MOST DANGEROUS SITUATION HE HAD EVER FACED.
AND BOB WAS AWARDED A DEGAN HINES FOUNDATION GRANT IN 1964.
AND HERE ARE TWO EXAMPLES OF THAT WORK.
HIS PROPOSAL WAS TO QUOTE CONTINUE HIS WORK ON THE EFFORTS
OF NEGROS TO ACHIEVE EQUALITY IN AMERICA AND TO BEGIN A STUDY
OF POVERTY IN THE CONTEXT OF CONTEMPORARY AFFLUENCE.
HIS APPLICATION WAS SUPPORTED BY EDWARD STIKEN WHO THOUGHT BOB
WAS SERIOUS. HIS TEACHER POINTED TO BOB’S
INTEGRITY AND COURAGE. AND THE VITALITY AND NECESSITY
OF THE PROJECT. DR. MORMON, TEACHER AND
BIOGRAPHER CONCURRED THAT BOB WAS QUOTE DEDICATED AND
SELF-LESS. A PERSON OF INTEGRITY AND SHOWS
PROMISE AS ONE OF THE MOST AFFECTIVE PHOTOGRAPHERS IN THE
AMERICAN SOCIAL SCENE. END QUOTE.
ON ASSIGNMENT, BOB WAS UNAFRAID. WITH A GIFT, HIS EDITORIAL WORK
FOR NEW YORK MAGAZINE WE HAVE HEARD INCLUDED TIMES MAGAZINE,
AND TOO MANY TO SAY. THE ASSIGNMENTS WERE VERY
VARIED. AND THESE ARE FROM A STORY ABOUT
THE DAILY LIFE OF SOUTH CAROLINA SHERIFF JAY BIRD
DARNELL. AND BOB DOCUMENTED THIS DRUG RAID IN NEW YORK.
HE MET AND PHOTOGRAPHED MANY PEOPLE SUCH AS SYDNEY PROPIER, MILES DAVIS, TINA
TURNER. ONE OF THE CROWDS HE MOST
ENJOYED HANGING OUT WITH WERE THE POP ARTISTS, JAMES
ROSENHURT, ANDY WARHALL AND OTHERS, BEING REPRESENTED BY ART
GALLERY. FOR A MAGAZINE ARTICLE, BOB
CLEVERLY DECIDED TO TAKE ANDY WARHALL GROCERY SHOPPING.
AND STEIN BECAME A CLOSE FRIEND. AND BOB COMES THROUGH HERE.
IN THE PORTRAIT IMAGE, POSITIONED AS THE SCULPTURE BASE
AND HIS OWN REPRESENTATION OF VANCOUSEN’S 1910 SLEEPING NEWS.
BOB WAS A PROLIFIC PRODUCER OF MORE THAN 60 BOOKS AS WELL AS
MANY BOOKS CONTINUING AFTER HE MOVED FROM NEW YORK TO MIAMI
BEACH. SOME WERE HIS OWN.
OTHERS WERE WITH AND FOR OTHER PEOPLE.
THIS COLLAGE GIVES YOU AN IDEA OF THE RANGE OF THE PROJECTS.
SOME UNUSUAL. AND EVEN BODY AS THE BIBLE, THE
BOOK ABOUT THE UNDER GROUND COMICS IS A FORM OF FOLK ART.
BOB AND THE INFLUENTIAL EDITOR STEVEN HAD DONE IS THE PROJECT ABOUT THE BILL
OF RIGHTS WITH THE HEAD OF AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION
WHO IS HERE TODAY. BOB’S LINE WAS CONCERNED FOR
EQUALITY AND EDUCATION AND ABOUT POVERTY WHICH ALLUDED PEOPLE FROM THOSE
AMERICAN VALUES. HERE IS AN EXAMPLE OF THE
GRAPHIC ART LAYOUT THAT CHARACTERIZES BOB’S BOOK
PROJECTS. AN ASSIGNMENT LOOKING AT
CHILDREN GROWING UP WITHOUT THEIR FATHERS IN THE 1970S TO A
SERIES OF SMALL BOOKS FOR AND ABOUT CHILDREN.
SOME ELEVATING PLAY. AND MANY FINDING A WAY TO IMPROVE READING SKILLS.
DOWN HOME PHOTOGRAPHED FROM 1965 TO 1970 AND PUBLISHED IN 1971
WAS BOB’S FIRST MAJOR BOOK BOOK PROJECT.
IT IS A SOCIOLOGICAL STUDY OF PEOPLE LIVING IN CAMDEN,
ALABAMA. BOB CONTINUED PHOTOGRAPHING THE
SAME PEOPLE FOR OVER 30 YEARS. HE INTENDED TO PUBLISH HOME
AGAIN. IT HAD BECAME AN UNFINISHED
PROJECT. TWO OF THE YOUNG FOLKS THAT BOB
MET IN 1965 ARE SHOWN ON THE BOOK PAGES ON THE LEFT.
AND ON THE RIGHT IS HOW HE FOUND THOSE SAME TWO GIRLS TEN YEARS
LATER. BOB WAS WORKING FOR POSITIVE
RESULTS FROM THE KIND OF CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIONS HE HAD
PARTICIPATED IN. IN GENERAL, HE IS THE KING
OBSERVER OF PROCESS. THERE WOULD BE MORE OF THIS KIND
OF PHOTOGRAPHY. THE BETTERMENT OF AMERICA WAS
BOB’S FOCUS. THE NEXT AMERICA IN 1974 WAS A
PROJECT THAT BOB DID WITH MICHAEL HARINGTON THAT HE HAD
MET THROUGH WORK IN CORE. HAD AN IMPACT ON THE KENNEDY
ADMINISTRATION. THIS TIME, HE AND BOB WOULD
UPDATE THAT BOOK WITH THE DECLINE AND RISE OF THE UNITED
STATES. BOB WAS ALWAYS SHOWING AMERICA
HOW HE SAW IT. AND THEN ATTEMPTING TO DO
SOMETHING ABOUT MAKING LIFE IN AMERICA BETTER.
HE WAS PUTTING HIS PHOTOGRAPHS TO USE FOR SOCIAL CAUSES AND HOW
THE OTHER HALF STILL LIVES WAS A PETITION FOR CARTER TO PAY
ATTENTION TO THE SOUTH BRONX UNDER THE SCOPES FOUNDATION.
THE LIBRARY BORROWED A COPY OF THESE PHOTOGRAPHS FOR THE RECENT
EXPEDITION HIGHLIGHTING THE BREAKING JOURNALISM OF JACOB
REESE. “HOW THE OTHER HALF LIVES” GAVE
THOUGHT TO THE U.S. 1880s. YOU CAN SEE THAT BOB WAS ALL
ABOUT AMERICA. A GLANCE AT THE GREAT AMERICAN
PAST TIME. BOB’S STUDY OF THE PITTSBURGH
PIRATES FOLLOWING THE DEATH OF ROBERTO CLEMENTE KILLED IN A
PLANE CRASH IN 1972. IT FEATURED THE ALL STAR PLAYER
AND LEFT STARTLED DURING THE 1973 SEASON.
BUT YOU CAN SEE THAT BOB GOT INTO THE GAME HIMSELF.
BOB’S OWN INVOLVEMENT IN THINGS IS MOST CLEARLY SEEN WHICH
EXAMINED OBESITY. AND WOULD DO PHOTOGRAPHS ON THIS
SUBJECT FOR THE CHOIR AND THE SUNDAY TIMES IN 1979 TO 80.
HE TOOK ON AN EXPERIMENTAL DIET HIMSELF.
HE EXERCISED AND UNDER DOCTOR’S CARE, LOST 100 POUND IN A YEAR. HE WAS NEVER MORE PROUD OF
ANYTHING THAN THIS GROUP OF PHOTOGRAPHS HE MADE OF HIMSELF.
AS YOU CAN SEE, BOB LIKED TO OBSERVE PROCESS.
HE FOLLOWS HOW ARTISTS WORK. WITH CLOSE FRIEND, STEIN, HE WAS
ALL SET. THE ARTIST SUPPLIED COLOR,
OUTLINE, FOR AN ICONIC OVAL OFFICE AND WAS DELIGHTED.
PRODUCED IN 1990, IS THE UNIQUE INDIVIDUAL BIOGRAPHY OF THE
SHORT STORY RAYMOND CARTER. CARTER’S LETTERS AND POEMS
PROVIDE THE TEXT AND BOB’S PHOTOGRAPHS HELP MATCH THE
GRITTY WORDS WITH THE BLUE COLLAR TOWNS IN THE NORTHWEST.
DIVISIONS OF LIBERTY FROM THE EARLY 1990s DERIVE WHAT BOB
STOOD FOR, IN THE BODY OF THE PHOTOGRAPHS THAT HE LEFT US.
MADE OF AMERICAN CHILDREN IN THE SOUTHWEST.
OR THE WOMEN’S MARCH IN NEW YORK CITY.
A PROTESTOR HAD AN ANTI-VIETNAM WAR RALLY.
A FAMILY SUPPORTING GAY RIGHTS.
ONE OF BOB’S MOST POPULAR IMAGES IS THIS ONE TAKEN AT THE
PEOPLE’S WALL IN THE IBM PAVILLION IN QUEENS IN 1964.
IT’S A STATEMENT ABOUT RACE AND CLASS IN AMERICA.
ACTUALLY THIS IMAGE — I SHOULD SAY BOB’S DELIGHT IN TECHNOLOGY
AND HUMANITY. HE HAS MANIPULATED HIS CAMERA,
WHEREAS TO FLATTEN THE SEATING FOR A RIDE.
IT WAS ACTUALLY ON AN INCLINE. THE PEOPLE APPEAR WEARY OR
EXCITED AS THEY ARE ABOUT TO BE SUCKED UP INTO A MULTI SCREEN
THEATER DESIGNED BY CHARLES WILLIAMS IN ORDER TO
VIEW A FILM ABOUT DESIGN IN THE TECHNOLOGICAL AGE.
BOB’S CAREER, WHAT RALPH ELLERSON SAID ABOUT HIS WORK.
QUOTE IT MOVES INTO THE RARE SMEAR WITH THE TECHNICAL ABILITY
AND SOCIAL VISION COMBINED TO CREATE A WORK OF ART.
AND HIS ARCHIVES NOW JOINED FORCES WITH THE LIBRARY OF
CONGRESS’S GREAT COLLECTIONS WHICH PRESERVE THE CONTRIBUTIONS
TO OUR SOCIETY OF ELLERSON, LEADERS OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS
MOVEMENTS AND THE DESIGNERS. AMONG SO MANY OTHER AMERICAN
CREATORS, HIS WORK WILL CONTINUE TO HAVE A PLACE IN AMERICAN
HISTORY ALONGSIDE HERE. WE CAN JUST IMAGINE THAT THE
EVER SMILING SERIOUS DEVILISH BOB WOULD BE JOYFUL NOW. [APPLAUSE [APPLAUSE]. SPEAKER: THAT WAS A REALLY
WONDERFUL TALK. I HAVE BEEN SITTING HERE SO LONG
THAT I FORGOT THAT I HAD A THIRD.
YEAH. WELL, BOB AND I MET IN NEW YORK
CITY, I BELIEVE IN 1981. I WAS LIVING THERE WITH MY DOG.
AND I DIDN’T KNOW BOB’S WORK. BUT I CERTAINLY DID GET TO KNOW BOB
AND HIS WORK VERY WELL INDEED. BUT HE CAME TO PHOTOGRAPH ME FOR
THE COVER OF A MAGAZINE THAT FOLDED OVER THE WEEKEND.
SO IT WAS A WONDERFUL COVER SHOT.
I CAN STILL SEE IT. I COULD HAVE BROUGHT IT TODAY.
BUT THAT IS SOMETHING THAT I LOST TRACK OF.
BUT THAT IS REALLY HOW WE GOT TO BE FRIENDS AND AFTER NEW YORK
CITY, WHEN OUR LIVES WENT DIFFERENT PLACES, WE WERE NEVER
OUT OF TOUCH. WE DID SOMETIMES STILL WORK
TOGETHER. WHEN I FIRST MET BOB, WE WORKED
A BIT MORE. HE WAS ALWAYS KIND ENOUGH TO
HAVE ME, YOU KNOW, A SUDDEN EE EEPIPHONY AND I KNOW YOU SHOULD
DO THIS WITH ME. AND AGAIN.
AND I MARRIED MY HUSBAND AND BECAME THE UNOFFICIAL DRIVER FOR
ALL OF THESE EVENTS. AND BOB WAS THE PHOTOGRAPHER AND
I WAS THE WRITER. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT REALLY
INTERESTED ME ABOUT BOB, WAS YEAH, I WAS A WRITER AND YOU
CAN’T BE THAT WITHOUT HAVING SOMEWHAT OF A VISUAL SENSE OF
THE WORLD EVEN IF YOUR TOOLS ARE WORDS.
BUT IF BOB AND I DID THE SAME THING IN AN EVENING, AND IT WAS JUST THE
MOST ORDINARY KIND OF THING, GOING TO A DINER AND GETTING A
BITE TO EAT OR SOMETHING, I WOULD SOMETIMES SAY TO HIM, WOW,
DID YOU SEE THAT SORT OF CHERUB UP THERE ABOVE THE
COATING? YEAH, I SAW IT BY YOUR BACK
SHOULDER. I SAW IT WHEN I WALKED IN AND
ANOTHER ONE ON THE BOTTOM RIGHT. AND HE WOULD SAY TO ME, DID YOU
HEAR THE DISCUSSION ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO ARE BREAKING UP?
AND I WOULD SAY NO. AND HE WOULD NARRATE ALL OF THAT
FOR ME, TOO. AND SO, IT DOES MAKE SENSE IN A
WAY BECAUSE HE WAS VERY MUCH KNOWN AND HUGELY TALENTED AS A
DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHER. BUT HIS INTEREST WASN’T WATCHING
THINGS ELAPSE IN TIME. THIS IS REALLY ANECDOTAL BUT YOU
WOULD GET NO RESPONSE. IT WAS ALMOST LIKE HE WAS
HOLDING THE CARDS CLOSE TO US. BECAUSE HE DIDN’T WANT TO SAY
ANYTHING THAT MIGHT, IN SOME WAY, TAKE AWAY FROM IT AS A
POTENTIAL IMAGE OR WHAT IT WAS TO HIM.
WRITERS KNOW IT, TOO. IT’S RIGHT AWAY.
WRITERS DON’T NECESSARILY LIKE TO PARAPHRASE THEIR WORK.
IS THAT ALL I WROTE? BUT GIVING THE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE
PLOT. I AM JUST CURIOUS TO KNOW HOW
MANY OF YOU IN THE AUDIENCE, ONE WAY OR ANOTHER, PROFESSIONALLY
OR PERSONALLY, HOW MANY OF YOU HERE ACTUALLY KNEW BOB?
OH, LIKE LOTS OF PEOPLE. YEAH, YEAH, OKAY.
WELL, IT IS A BIG GROUP. BUT THAT IS VERY INTERESTING.
I THINK THE THING THAT YOU KNOW, I WOULD SAY TO SOMEBODY WHO
DIDN’T KNOW BOB DIDN’T KNOW BOB WAS WHAT IS ABUNDANTLY CLEAR IN THE
WORK ANYWAY BUT I THINK SHOULD BE REMARKED UPON, AND THAT IS
HOW REALLY HARD HE WORKED. IF MY HUSBAND AND I WERE
VISITING BOB AND I WENT UP TO GO TO THE BATHROOM AT 4:00 IN THE
MORNING, THE COMPUTER SCREEN WAS GOING AND HE WAS SENDING
SOMETHING SOMEWHERE AND HE WAS UP AT NIGHT AND THAT WAS JUST
AROUND THE HOUSE. THAT WAS JUST WITH KEEPING UP
WITH A LOT OF THE WORK THAT HE HAD TO DO WITH HIS WONDERFUL
ASSISTANT. BUT UM, YOU KNOW, JUST THE SHEAR
VIGOR AND THE AMOUNT OF ENERGY THAT BOB EXTENDED WAS ABSOLUTELY
AMAZING. HE CERTAINLY COULD HAVE SAID
PLEASE COME TO MY STUDIO FOR ME TO MAKE A PORTRAIT OF YOU, DR.
KING. NO KIDDING.
IT DOESN’T MATTER HOW FAMOUS YOU WERE.
THAT IS PERHAPS WHAT A LOT OF PHOTOGRAPHERS DO.
DO WELL AND GET WHAT THEY WANT OUT OF THOSE THINGS.
BUT BOB ALWAYS WANTED CHANCE TO BE THE THING THAT INTERVENED AND
THAT IS NOT SO LIKELY TO HAPPEN IF YOU ARE SET UP IN YOUR STUDIO.
SOMEWHAT. BUT CERTAINLY NOT LIKE BEING IN
BIRMINGHAM. THAT IS JUST A VERY DIFFERENT
MATTER AND I THINK IT WAS ALWAYS THAT REFLECTIVE NEED THAT BOB
HAD TO BE SURPRISED. WHETHER FOR THE BETTER OR FOR
WORSE. IT REALLY THE GOT HIM LIKE OUT
ON THE STREET SO MANY TIMES WHEN HE WASN’T JUST DOING THE THINGS
THAT WE ALL HAVE TO DO TO FOLLOW THROUGH ON, YOU KNOW, THE
THINGS THAT WE HAVE GOTTEN IN THE SCENE OR REGISTERED IN OUR
MINDS AT THE MOMENT. SO HE WAS REALLY, AMONG MANY
HARD WORKING PEOPLE I HAVE I KNOW, I’M SURE WE ALL HAVE, HE
WAS REALLY ONE OF THE MOST HARD WORKING AND ALWAYS WITH SUCH A
SENSE OF GENEROSITY AND SINCERITY ABOUT HIM, TOO.
HE OF COURSE HAD HIS OWN COSMOS AND WE TALKED TO EACH OTHER IN
SHORTHAND OR JUST WENT LIKE THAT TO THE OTHER BECAUSE WE WERE SO
SICK OF EACH OTHER’S DIFFERING OPINIONS.
BUT IF YOU HEARD ABOUT SAMANTHA, DAUGHTER SAMANTHA OR JOHN,
THERE WAS ONLY ONE JOHN. IF YOU HEARD ABOUT IOWA, YOU
KNEW PERFECTLY WELL WHAT IT WAS. THESE PEOPLE WERE ALWAYS IN THE
BACK OF BOB’S MIND, THOUGH. AND I THINK THAT IS THE THING
THAT IS TRUE FOR VISUAL ARTISTS. YOU KNOW, THEY REALLY DO WANT TO
THINK OF THEMSELVES TOO AND CONTEXTUALIZE BY THE PEERS AND
WE SPOKE ABOUT BRADOVICH AND THAT WAS AN IMPORTANT THING FOR
BOB, TOO. AND I WANT TO SAY, IT SEEMS TO
ME, BUT I DON’T KNOW IF THIS WILL RING A BELL OR NOT FOR
THOSE WHO KNOW HIM, IT TOOK ME A LONG TIME TO REALIZE THE SIMPLE
TRUTH ABOUT BOB. HE WAS ONE OF THE THOSE GUYS
THAT ALWAYS KEPT YOU WAITING. HE CAN WEAR TEN WRIST WATCHES
AND A STOPWATCH AROUND HIS NECK, HE WAS ALWAYS LATE.
HE WAS NEVER ON TIME. HE CAN’T GET OUT OF THE HOUSE
ONTIME. IT TOOK ME A LONG TIME TO
REALIZE THAT PROFESSIONALLY HE WAS UP FOR ANYTHING.
A METEOR IS COMING DOWN IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PROTEST MARCH, HOW
CAN I PHOTOGRAPH THAT? PERSONALLY SPEAKING I THINK THE
WAY THAT HE TRIED TO KEEP A HANDLE ON THINGS, YOU KNOW, A
VERY STERN KIND OF GRIP THAT HE HAD, WAS THAT HE WOULD NOT BE
MADE TO CONFORM TO THE CLOCK. HE WOULD NOT BE MADE TO GET
GOING, EVEN IF HE MIGHT MISS WHAT HE NEEDED TO GET TO.
HE HATED TRANSITION. I JUST REALIZED THAT VERY
RECENTLY THAT HE WOULD DO ALMOST ANYTHING INCLUDE LOOK BAD, GET
YELLED AT BECAUSE HE SIMPLY DID NOT WANT TO TOLERATE
TRANSITIONS. I DON’T JUST SAY THAT
ANECDOTALLY BUT MAYBE THE THINGS THAT WE ALL DO AND NOT AWARE
OF. AND MAYBE NOT QUITE AS EASY TO
DISCERN ABOUT BOB. BUT WE ALL HAVE THESE THINGS
THAT WE DO TO GIVE US A LITTLE HANDLE ON THE WORLD AND TO FEEL
LIKE YEAH, THINGS ARE ALWAYS COMPLICATED.
BUT WE HAVE TO TAKE AND WE HAVE TO WATCH OURSELVES.
WE HAVE TO BE MINDFUL. AND HE WAS ALL OF THE THINGS IN
HIS WORK. AND WHEN HE GOT THERE, YOU
COULDN’T PRY HIM OUT. BUT TO GET BOB OUT THE FRONT
FRONT FRONT DOOR, IF YOU HAD BETTER HAD BETTER LUCK THAN I DID, CHEERS TO YOU.
HE WAS REALLY WELL WITH THAT. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I WANT TO
SAY THAT TRANSCENDS AS BEING JUST AN ANECDOTE, I WAS THINKING
WHAT WILL I SAY? I DID SPEND SO MUCH TIME WITH
HIM UNDER SO MANY DIFFERENT CIRCUMSTANCES.
BUT ONE TIME I WAS THE WRITER AND BOB WAS THE PHOTOGRAPHER OF
COURSE AND WE WENT OUT TO PHOTOGRAPH, YOU KNOW THE
PAINTING AMERICAN DOLPHIN. AND WE WENT OUT TO IOWA.
I CAN’T REMEMBER. I WAS THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF
IT BEING PAINTED OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT.
BUT IT WAS SOME IMPRESSIVE OCCASION AND WERE DOCUMENTING
THIS. AND WE WENT OUT THERE.
AND BOB DECIDED THAT IT WOULD BE VERY AMUSING TO HAVE THE REAL
HOUSE IN THE BACKGROUND AND THEN A PHOTOGRAPH OF THE HOUSE AND
HE NEEDED SOMEBODY TO HOLD THIS PHOTOGRAPH OF THE HOUSE FOR HIM
NOT AT STREET LEVEL. THAT IS NOT WHAT HE WANTED AT
ALL. HE WANTED IT FROM UP HIGH.
BUT WE WERE IN ELDON, IOWA ABOUT AS FLAT AS THIS FLOOR.
NO PROBLEM WHATSOEVER. AND BOB SAYS, COME ON.
CLIMBS UP ON THE HUGE RENTAL CAR WITH THE HUGE TRIPOD AND
CAMERAS AND EVERYTHING. AND STANDING IN THE MIDDLE OF
THE CAR. AND SAID COME UP THERE.
SO GREAT. I’M STANDING UP THERE ON TOP OF
THE CAR AND HE HAS GOT ME HOLDING A PHOTOGRAPH THAT HE HAD
ALREADY TAKEN AND HE SAID PUT YOUR FINGERS LIKE THIS.
AND I AM REALLY HOLDING IT OUT AS MUCH AS I CAN.
AND BOB HAS GONE DOWN ON THE CAR.
AND HE AND THE TRIPOD, LUCKILY IF IT COMES FROM BEHIND, IT GOES
LIKE THIS. AND I’M LIKE BOB, BOB.
STANDING UP THERE, TOO. THAT’S NOT MY ANECDOTE BUT
ANOTHER DAY WITH BOB. HOWEVER, I WAS LEAVING IOWA TWO
DAYS BEFORE BOB. AND HE WAS LIKE THE LIFE CREW
CAN GIVE ME A RIDE TO THE AIRPORT.
BUT YOU JUST RETURN THE RENTAL CAR.
BOB, WHAT AM I GOING TO SAY? OH, IT’S THE RENTAL CAR.
YOU KNOW, IT’S A RENTAL CAR, YOU JUST DO YOUR BEST.
BUT I NEED MY LIFE HERE. I DRIVE THE CAR IN.
AND HE SAID OH, NO, THEY’RE NOT EVEN GOING TO NOTICE.
THEY LOOK AT THE ODOMETER ODOMETER ANDODOMETER AND THEY LOOK AT IF YOU LEAVE ANYTHING
IN THE TRUNK. HE COULD BE SO CONVINCING THAT
SOMETIMES I REALLY WANTED TO BELIEVE IT.
AND PEOPLE LOOK AS THE CAR IS COMING INTO THE LOT.
AND IT’S LIKE THE CAR COMES INTO THE LOT.
AND IT’S LIKE THIS. AND WHAT HAPPENS?
AND I SAID WHAT HAPPENED WITH THAT.
[LAUGHTER]. AND HE SAID, THE ROOF.
AND I WENT — I SAID I DON’T KNOW.
AND HE SAID, SAID, YOU WANT TO TAKE A GUESS.
AND I SAID A METEOR.
AND THEN OF COURSE IT ALL TURNED OUT ALL RIGHT, LEAST FOR ME.
BOB WOULD SAY, YOU KNOW, IT’S WORKING FOR THE MAGAZINE.
MAGAZINE. THEY UNDERSTAND YOU HAVE THESE
SORT OF SETBACKS ON ASSIGNMENT. AND YOU JUST DO THE BEST YOU
CAN. SO HE WAS REALLY AN ARTIST.
HE WAS NOT JUST OUT THERE. BELIEVE ME, HE WAS REALLY DOING
THE BEST HE COULD. AND HAVE SEEN SUCH ABSOLUTELY
AMAZING THINGS TODAY. AND JUST WANT TO LEAVE YOU WITH
ONE VERY BRIEF QUOTE THAT BECAUSE BOB WAS SO MODEST AND IF
ANYONE COMPLIMENTED HIM OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT, YOU WOULD
NEVER HEAR ABOUT IT. BUT IN THE FAMOUS PHOTOGRAPH OF
BIRMINGHAM WITH THE FIRE HYDRANTS AND THE PEOPLE AND SO
FORTH, WHAT BOB SAID ABOUT THAT DAY WAS THAT THERE WAS AS MUCH
WATER BEHIND THE CAMERAS AS THERE WAS IN FRONT OF IT.
AND IT’S JUST AN AMAZING PHOTOGRAPH.
AND HE HUNG IN THERE, TOO, TO GET THAT.
AND IT WASN’T LIKE HE STANDS THERE AND DIDN’T SEE THAT HE WAS
THERE. VERY BRAVE PERSON.
AND HE GOT THAT WONDERFUL PHOTOGRAPH AND WHICH I DIDN’T
KNOW UNTIL FAIRLY RECENTLY, HE PRINTED IT UP FAIRLY QUICKLY AND
GAVE IT TO DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING AND SAID ABOUT THAT
PHOTOGRAPH, I AM STARTLED THAT I HAVE SO MUCH PAIN AND BEAUTY.
AND WHEN YOU SAY IT DOESN’T DO ANY SOCIAL GOOD OR DOES IT NOT.
I’M SURE FROM TIME TO TIME, IF NOT CONSTANTLY TORTURED BY THIS,
YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE AN ARTIST TO BE TORTURED BY THAT.
WHAT I DO, DOES IT REALLY MATTER.
BUT I THINK IT WAS CERTAIN COMMENTS LIKE THAT THAT WERE
TREMENDOUSLY ENCOURAGING TO BOB AND RIGHT ON.
THANK YOU. [APPLAUSE]. SPEAKER: ALL RIGHT.
WE HAVE SOME TIME FOR QUESTION, ANSWER, OR IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO
HAVE A MIC AND ADD A MEMORY OF BOB TO OUR WEB CAST, WE WOULD BE
VERY PLEASED TO HEAR FROM YOU. AS IT COMES AROUND, I WOULD LIKE
TO ACKNOWLEDGE SAM RAY. PLEASE STAND UP.
THIS IS BOB ADELMAN’S DAUGHTER. [APPLAUSE].
AND I BELIEVE WE HAVE SISTERS AND GRANDCHILDREN AND OTHER
FAMILY MEMBERS. WOULD YOU MIND STANDING BRIEFLY?
DURING THE RECEPTION, YOU WILL KNOW WHO IS WHO.
[APPLAUSE]. AND A BEAUTIFUL DISPLAY OF
PHOTOGRAPHS IS BROUGHT TO US BY STEVEN WATT. [APPLAUSE].
AND DOES ANYONE HAVE A QUESTION? EITHER FOR THE PANELIST OR
STEVEN OR FAMILY MEMBERS? WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW
ABOUT MR. ADELMAN? SPEAKER: I WANT TO SHARE A
BRIEF STORY. SPEAKER: PLEASE WAIT FOR THE
HAND MIC AND THAT WAY CAN BE FOR EVERYONE TO HEAR US.
SPEAKER: MY NAME IS RICHARD MILLNER.
I MET BOB ON A TALK SHOW. WE WERE BOTH SPEAKING ABOUT
BOOKS WE HAD JUST WRITTEN THAT CAME OUT.
IT WAS IN 1971. I HAD DONE A BOOK ON BLACK PIMPS AND
THEIR WOMEN. IT WAS CALLED SECRET PLAYERS.
AND BOB HAD DONE A BOOK CALLED GENTLEMEN OF LEISURE WHICH WAS A
BEST SELLER. AND BOB’S BOOK SOLD MUCH BETTER
THAN MINE. FIRST OF ALL, MINE WAS MORE
ACADEMIC AND SECONDLY, IT HAD NO PICTURES.
AND WHEN I SUGGESTED TO THE PUBLISHER BROWN THAT WE SHOULD
HAVE SOME PHOTOGRAPHS, EVERYONE TOLD US IT’S ABSOLUTELY
IMPOSSIBLE TO DO A PHOTO ON BLACK PIMPS AND THE WOMEN AND IT
WAS A SECRET WORLD. AND YOU DIDN’T GET INTO THAT
WORLD. WELL, OF COURSE ONE MAN DID GET
INTO THAT WORLD. BOB, AND HE DID A FANTASTIC
PHOTO ESSAY OF A MAN CALLED SOKEY AND HIS WOMEN.
AND UM, IT WAS INCREDIBLE AND INTIMATE LOOK.
AND THE WORLD, BOB AND I WERE BOTH SORT OF UM — NOT ONLY TO
UNDERSTAND ACROSS THE RACIAL DIVIDE, THE FINE FINE PEOPLE LIKE DR. KING, DR. KING, BUT ALSO THE ORDINARY PEOPLE LIKE
THE ONES YOU SEE IN THE MARCHES. AND EVEN MAYBE THE BAD PEOPLE,
BECAUSE A ROUNDED VIEW OF HUMAN BEINGS, TO BOB AND MY
SENSIBILITIES REQUIRED THAT. WHEN I WAS IN GRADUATE SCHOOL,
MY FELLOW GRADUATE SCHOOLS HAD STUDENTS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD
AND VILLAGES AND EVERYTHING. AND THEY DIDN’T KNOW WHAT WAS
HAPPENING DOWN THE BLOCK. AND THEY COULDN’T SPEAK THE
LANGUAGE, WHICH IS NOW BY THE WAY INCORPORATED INTO AMERICAN
ENGLISH. WHAT IS A BITCH?
A HOE. AT THE TIME IT WAS BLACK HUSTLER
LANGUAGE. AND BOB AND SUSAN HALL WROTE A
DICTIONARY OF IT IN THE BOOK. AND ONE OF THE THINGS THAT
PLEASED ME SO MUCH WAS THAT WHEN I WAS DOING MINE, I HAD
ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA IF I WAS GETTING IT RIGHT.
AND THE PEOPLE I WAS INTERVIEWING, GIVING ME
INFORMATION THAT HAD A BROADER CONTEXT.
AND BOB HAD THE SAME CONCERNS. AND WHEN WE MET AND COMPARED NOTES AND WE FOUND THAT TWO
COMPLETELY OPPOSITE SIDES OF THE COUNTRY FOUND SOCIOLOGICALLY AND
HUMANISTICALLY, WE REVIEWED EACH OTHER.
AND WE APPEARED ON A TALK SHOW. SPEAKER: THAT’S WONDERFUL.
ANOTHER ASPECT OF INTEREST IN PEOPLE FROM ALL BACKGROUNDS AND
LIVES. SPEAKER: YEAH.
YEAH. SPEAKER: I WOULD ASK IF THERE
IS ANOTHER QUESTION? SPEAKER: IF I MAY I WANT TO
TELL YOU ONE OTHER STORY. YEARS LATER, I KEPT UP WITH BOB
VERY CLOSELY OVER THE YEARS, AND ONE DAY I WAS DOING A STORY ON
THE CIRCUS FOR ESQUIRE, WHICH NEVER GOT PUBLISHED FOR VARIOUS
REASONS. BUT NOW THE CIRCUS IS CLOSING,
I’M GOING TO TRY IT AGAIN. BECAUSE I INTERVIEWED WILLIAMS, THE GREATEST ANIMAL
TRAINER IN THE WORLD WHO HAD TIGERS AND ELEPHANTS AND
EVERYTHING ELSE. AND AT LAST, I GOT ACCESS TO THE CIRCUS THROUGH ESQUIRE
ON THE LAST DAY. AND WHEN I WAS OWN THERE, I SAID
TO BOB, WOULD YOU LIKE TO COME DOWN WITH ME FOR THE LAST DAY
AND PHOTOGRAPH? HE SAID I ALWAYS WANTED TO DO A
CIRCUS STORY. SURE.
I WILL BE THERE. AND HE SHOWED UP AND THE
RINGLING CIRCUS WAS AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN AND AS WE WALKED
IN, A PARADE OF ELEPHANTS COME IN, RIGHT IN FRONT OF US.
AND BOB GOES UP TO THE ELEPHANTS AND STARTS PUNCHING THE
ELEPHANTS IN THE ASS. BOB, YOU ARE PUNCHING THE
ELEPHANTS. HE IS TRYING TO GET A STORY.
AND HE CAN BE VERY, VERY VERY AGGRESSIVE. VERY AGGRESSIVE.
AND NOTHING STOOD IN HIS WAY. WHEN WE GOT INTO THE CENTER
RING, HAD THE TRAINED TIGERS AND THEY CAME UP TO US, AND THEY
SAID TO BOB. NOW, WE’RE GOING TO LET YOU
PHOTOGRAPH FROM IN HERE WHICH WE NEVER DO.
AND I WANT TO TELL YOU ONE THING.
DO NOT GO RIGHT UP TO THE CAGE AND PUT YOUR LIMBS THROUGH THE
BARS. BECAUSE THE TIGERS WOULD — YOU
COULD GET KILLED THAT WAY. STAND BACK AND YOU KNOW, DO WHAT
YOU CAN WITH YOUR LONG LENSES, AND SO ON.
SO WE DO THAT FOR A FEW MINUTES. AND BOB TURNED TO ME AND SAID
THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE. I’M NOT PHOTOGRAPHING THIS FROM
BACK HERE. THE BARS ARE IN THE WAY.
AND WITHOUT HESITATION, HE WENT RIGHT UP TO THE TIGER CAGE AND
STUCK HIS LIMBS THROUGH THE BARS AND PUT HIS CHEEK RIGHT NEXT TO
IT. AND I SUDDENLY REALIZED THAT
BOB, WHEN HE WAS LOOKING THROUGH A CAMERA LENS, HE DISAPPEARED
TO HIMSELF. HE WAS THE CAMERA.
HE COULDN’T GET GET HURT.
THAT’S HOW HE DID THE MARCHES WITH THE WATER AND EVERYTHING
ELSE AND THE DOGS. HE DIDN’T FEEL PERSONAL DANGER.
HE WAS HIS CAMERA. AND THAT’S ALL THAT MATTERED.
NOW I’M GOING TO GET EMOTIONAL. SO HE GOT THE PICTURES.
I STILL HAVE THEM SOMEWHERE. THEY WERE NEVER PUBLISHED.
SPEAKER: I THINK YOU MAY HAVE GIVEN US A PERFECT STORY LINE.
SPEAKER: WELL THEN LET ME END IT THERE.
AND LET ME SAY ONE OTHER THING. BOB HAD A REPUTATION, AND COULD
BE VERY ROUGH AND COULD BE VERY DISPUTATIOUS AND WE HAD OUR
DISAGREEMENTS AND I THINK TO ME PERSONALLY, AND MANY IN THIS
ROOM, HE WAS THE KINDEST, MOST GENEROUS PERSON WHO EXTENDED HIS
HANDS TO AN UNKNOWN WRITER AND TREATED ME GREAT LIKE ANYBODY
ELSE. SPEAKER: THAT IS FOR ALL OF US
TODAY. THANK YOU.
THANK YOU. [APPLAUSE]. AND WE THINK WE HAVE COME TO A
GREAT END, AND WE WILL INVITE YOU TO THE RECEPTION FOOD AND WE
LAY OUT MANY OF THE BOOKS AND PHOTOGRAPHS THAT BOB HAS
PRODUCED AND AFTER YOU HAVE ENJOYED, THERE ARE PHOTOGRAPHS
ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROOM. PLEASE HAVE WONDERFUL
CONVERSATION.

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