David Hume Kennerly’s photographs of extraordinary and historic situations, offer us the same front-row perspective that he had when he made the images. Kennerly, who won a Pulitzer Prize at the age of 25, and became President Gerald Ford's official photographer two years later, has documented momentous events for newspaper and magazine publications for over fifty years. His photographs bring us closer to the world leaders who made the news, and to those impacted by their actions. His pictures depict war and dislocation, politics and government, celebrity and entertainment, as well as sports and everyday life.
Twenty-five of his most memorable images, selected to show the breadth and diversity of his vision, are on display in the new exhibition David Hume Kennerly: Witness to History in the University of Arizona's Old Main. We see a tender view of the legendary singer and Arizonan Linda Ronstadt along with intense pictures of soldiers in Vietnam. The august and commanding portrait of five presidents in the Oval Office contrasts with the arrested action of Kennerly’s prize-winning frame of the Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier championship fight. His images include President Trump taking office and a photograph of the first women Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Kennerly provides access to scenes most of us can only imagine. These photographs capture telling moments of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, and are critical visual documents for students, scholars, and historians.
As a featured component of the University of Arizona’s Family Weekend 2019, the Center for Creative Photography has designed its first-ever outdoor pop-up exhibition to be displayed along the UA Mall. Including over 60 images by Kennerly, the exhibition shows the Pulitzer-prize winning photographer’s breadth of subjects. Included are his early political pictures of Robert Kennedy, Richard Nixon, and Gerald Ford; entertainment images including Mick Jagger, Miles Davis, and Jerry Seinfeld; sports figures Mary Lou Retton, Muhammed Ali, and Carl Lewis; recent political figures President Donald Trump, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and former President Jimmy Carter; and news events including a space shuttle lift off, presidential inaugurations, and a chilling view of the Pentagon on 9/11. The exhibition will run Friday, October 11 through Monday, October 14 only. Integrated into the activities of this popular fall event, Kennerly's work will be introduced to the campus community for students, parents, staff, faculty, and visitors to experience and enjoy.
The exhibitions are generously supported by the Marshall Foundation and Bank of America.