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January 7, 2008

Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery Presents The Black Panthers: Making Sense of History
Photographs by Stephen Shames

January 28 - March 24, 2008

Contact: Thomas Moore
Director of Arts & Culture

Note: You may view or download this release as a pdf file.

Image ©Stephen ShamesOpening on January 28th and continuing through March 24th, the Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery presents The Black Panthers:  Making Sense of History, featuring photographs by Stephen Shames. On Wednesday, February 20, from 4 to 5 pm in the Library Gallery,  Stephen Shames will present a public lecture on his work.

In 1966 in the midst of the civil rights movement, Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale founded the legendary Black Panther Party in Oakland, California. The Party, revered by some and vilified by others, burst onto the scene with a revolutionary agenda for social change and the empowerment of African-Americans. Its methods were controversial and polarizing, so much so that in 1969, FBI head J. Edgar Hoover described the organization as the country's greatest threat to internal security. In April 1967, Stephen Shames, a college student at the University of California, Berkeley, met the Panthers at a rally to end the war in Vietnam. He was invited to photograph them and continued to do so until 1973. His close friendship with the Panthers, and Seale in particular, gave Shames unusual access to the organization, allowing him to capture not only the public face of the Party—street demonstrations, protests, and militant posturing—but also unscripted behind-the-scenes moments, from private meetings held in the Party headquarters, to Bobby Seale at work on his mayoral campaign in Oakland. The immediacy and intimacy of Shames's photographs offer an uncommonly nuanced portrait of this dynamic social movement, during one of the most tumultuous periods in recent U.S. history.

Eldridge Cleaver © Stephen ShamesA book that accompanies the exhibition, The Black Panthers, photographs by Stephen Shames, foreword by Bobby Seale, essay by Charles E. Jones, was released by Aperture in October 2006 on the occasion of the Party's fortieth–anniversary reunion in Oakland, California.

Stephen Shames is an award-winning photographer and social activist whose photographs on social issues have been published in numerous major publications and are in the permanent collections of the International Center of Photography, New York; National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.; Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego; University of California's Bancroft Library, Berkeley; and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. He has received awards from Kodak (Crystal Eagle for Impact in Photojournalism), World Hunger Year, Leica, International Center of Photography, and the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Foundation. Shames is one of ten photographers featured in Tipper Gore's book on homelessness, The Way Home. He has testified on the issue of child poverty to the U.S. Senate and was a featured speaker at American Bar Association and Children's Defense Fund national conferences. The Ford, Charles Stewart Mott, Robert Wood Johnson, and Annie E. Casey Foundations have underwritten his work. PBS named Lewis Hine, Marion Post Wolcott, and Stephen Shames as photographers whose work promotes social change. Shames's other publications with Aperture are Pursuing the Dream, Outside the Dream, and Empower Zone. He is represented by Polaris Images, and the Stephen Kasher Gallery, New York.

Gallery Information
The Albin O. Kuhn Gallery serves as one of the principal art galleries in the Baltimore region. Objects from the Special Collections Department, as well as art and artifacts from all over the world, are displayed in challenging and informative exhibitions for the University community and the public. Moreover, traveling exhibitions are occasionally presented, and the Gallery sends some exhibits on tour to other institutions nationwide. Admission to the Gallery and its programs is free.

The presentation of this exhibition is supported in part by a program grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency funded by the State of Maryland and the National Endowment for the Arts, the Baltimore County Commission on Arts & Sciences.

Sunday: 1 P.M. – 5 P.M.
Monday: 12 P.M. – 4:30 P.M.
Tuesday: 12 P.M. – 4:30 P.M.
Wednesday: 12 P.M. – 4:30 P.M.
Thursday: 12 P.M. – 8 P.M.
Friday: 12 P.M. – 4:30 P.M.
Saturday: 1 P.M. – 5 P.M.

UMBC Artsline (24 hour recorded message): 410-455-ARTS
General Gallery information: 410-455-2270

UMBC Arts & Culture Calendar:
Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery:
UMBC News Releases:

Images for Media
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UMBC is located approximately 10 minutes from downtown Baltimore and 20 minutes from I-495.
• From Baltimore and points north, proceed south on I-95 to exit 47B. Take Route 166 toward Catonsville and then follow signs to the Walker Avenue Garage or Albin O. Kuhn Library.
• From I-695, take Exit 12C (Wilkens Avenue) and continue one-half mile to the entrance of UMBC at the intersection of Wilkens Avenue and Hilltop Road. Turn left and follow signs to the Walker Avenue Garage or Albin O. Kuhn Library.
• From Washington and points south, proceed north on I-95 to Exit 47B. Take Route 166 toward Catonsville and then follow signs to the Walker Avenue Garage or Albin O. Kuhn Library.
• Daytime metered visitor parking is available in the Walker Avenue Garage. Visitor parking regulations are enforced on all University calendar days.

© Stephen Shames

Posted by tmoore at January 7, 2008 1:49 PM