What do John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Martin Luther King Jr., and Bobby Kennedy all have in common? Rowland Scherman of course!
Now on view at the Patchogue-Medford Library is a series of political photographs by Grammy-winning photographer Rowland Scherman. The exhibition, titled Lens on the Later 60s, features ten photographs depicting political and cultural icons from the 1960s. Additionally, the Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts is hosting the exhibition Sounds on the Sixties, featuring the artist’s musical photography. The photos capture the political and social climate of the time. Both exhibitions are presented by the Patchogue Arts Council and are a part of the organization’s Summer of Love 1967-2017.
Artwork at the Library
Scherman’s photographic catalog is historic and captures many prominent moments in US history. Lyndon B. Johnson, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy grace the walls of our Lower Lobby. Scherman was at King’s March on Washington and took an official portrait of President Lyndon B. Johnson used by the Democratic National Committee during the 1964 National Convention. The artist also traveled with Robert F. Kennedy during the 1966 mid-term elections and his 1968 presidential campaign.
His black and white photo of Bobby Kennedy was taken during the 1966 mid-term election campaign. Bobby stands behind a podium with his fist clinched and gaze fixed off in the distance. The American flag hangs overhead, near the top of the frame. Bobby embodies the ideal notions of youth, progress, and untapped potential that are indicative of the time. His raised, right fist is out of focus, hinting at the dramatic, emotional delivery of Kennedy’s speech. You understand his strong convictions just by looking at the piece.
Artwork at the Patchogue Theatre
In addition to his iconic political and cultural photography, Scherman’s photographs of musical acts helped define the era. Those looking for more by Scherman can find it across the street at the Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts. Peter, Paul and Mary, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, and Janis Joplin all adorn the walls of the Patchogue Theatre’s lobby. Perhaps the most iconic photo on display is of Bob Dylan. The 1967 image graces Dylan’s Greatest Hits album and won Scherman a Grammy Award for Best Album Cover. The blue-hued image depicts Dylan standing in profile. He plays the harmonica and stands before a microphone. A spot light is placed on Dylan, but is eclipsed by the musician’s head, highlighting his bushy head of hair.
Rowland Scherman, Bob Dylan Greatest Hits, Grammy Award for Best Album Cover, 1967, © The Rowland Scherman Archives, Courtesy of the Patchogue Arts Council
Rowland Scherman is a fine arts photographer from Cape Cod, MA. Scherman was the first photographer of the Peace Corps, joining in 1961. He has photographed many iconic musical, cultural, and political events including, the March on Washington, the presidential campaign of Robert F. Kennedy, and Woodstock. Scherman’s photography has appeared in many well-known publications including Life, National Geographic, and Time. He won a Grammy Award in 1967 for the cover photo of Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits album. For more information on the artist, visit his website www.rowlandscherman.com.
Lens on the Later 60s, featuring the iconic political photography of Rowland Scherman is on view in the Lower Lobby Gallery of the Patchogue-Medford Library. An accompanying exhibition, Sounds of the 60s, featuring the musical photography of Rowland Scherman is on view at the Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts. Both exhibitions are presented by the Patchogue Arts Council and are on view during the month of June.
A special screening of the documentary, Eye on the Sixties: The Iconic Photography of Rowland Scherman, is scheduled for Tuesday, June 27, from 6 – 8:30 PM in Meeting Room A & B. For more information on the screening, click here.