Photography exhibits focus on famous faces

Feb. 11, 2013

Jim Alexander is known for his photos of African-American musicians.

Douglas Kirkland holds one of his portraits of Marilyn Monroe.
The works of two of the country’s most prominent documentary photographers will be highlighted in exhibitions opening simultaneously Feb. 15 at the Lamar Dodd Art Center and LaGrange Art Museum.

“From Congo Square to Symphony Hall” will spotlight photographs by Jim Alexander and will be housed at the LDAC at the college, while “Retrospective” will feature photos by Douglas Kirkland and will be at the LAM and the Cochran Gallery downtown.

The opening reception for Alexander will be from 5–7 p.m. at the Dodd. At 7 p.m., the LDAC will close and the reception at the LAM and Cochran Gallery will run from 7–9 p.m. Refreshments will be served.

Kirkland will present an illustrated lecture at 11:15 a.m. Thursday in the Dickson Assembly Room. Alexander will return to the college on Feb. 28 for an 11:15 a.m. gallery talk at Lamar Dodd. Both are cultural enrichment events.

Alexander is celebrated for his work covering the world of African-American musicians from Duke Ellington to Michael Jackson. His photos have been shown nationally and internationally for almost 40 years. The Smithsonian has several of his images in its touring exhibition on the life of Ellington.

A native of New Jersey, Alexander served in the Navy and apprenticed with the base photographer. After his return to civilian life in 1956, he had many jobs before taking up photography again in 1964.

He made his reputation as a documentary photographer. Alexander was included in the city of Atlanta’s Masters Series in 1995 and 2000, and his jazz photos were featured in a solo exhibit with the National Black Arts Festival.

The recipient of many awards, Alexander operates his own gallery/studio in Atlanta, and is still a photographer, curator, lecturer and teacher.

“We are so fortunate to have someone of Jim Alexander’s caliber exhibit here at Lamar Dodd,” said John Lawrence, Fuller E. Callaway Professor of Art and Design. “He is considered one of the best documentarians of African-American musicians in the world.”

Douglas Kirkland is renowned for his work in photojournalism, celebrity portraiture and film photography spanning more than 50 years.  This exhibit contains more than 100 portraits of such celebrities as Elizabeth Taylor, Judy Garland, Coco Chanel and Michael Jackson, as well as stills taken from such iconic films as “The Sound of Music” (1965), “Out of Africa” (1985), “Titanic” (1997) and “Australia” (2008.)

Kirkland was born in Canada and spent most of his early professional life working in New York. He joined Look Magazine in his early 20s, and later worked for Life Magazine in the 1960s and ’70s. He has also worked on the sets of more than 100 motion pictures.

In 1989, he published “Light Years,” followed by “Icons, Creativity with Camera and Computer” in 1993. Kirkland had four books published in 1997 – including a retrospective of his 40-year career. His “James Cameron’s Titanic” was on the New York Times bestsellers list.

The recipient of many awards, he has had exhibitions in Europe, Australia and the United States.

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