January 28 – March 24, 2008
In 1967, the year after the Black Panther Party was founded by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale, Stephen Shames was invited to photograph party activities, and he 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.
Talk: Stephen Shames
The presentation of this exhibition is supported by an arts program grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency funded by the State of Maryland and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support comes from the Friends of the Library & Gallery and individual contributions.