Monroe Gallery of Photography
Monroe Gallery of Photography

It Was Forty Years Ago Today...

Exhibition of photographs of historic events of 1968

Santa Fe - Monroe Gallery of Photography, 112 Don Gaspar, is pleased to present "It Was Forty Years Ago Today", a major exhibition featuring more than 60 photographs from one of the most pivotal years in United States history. The exhibition runs July 5 through September 28. Concurrent with the exhibition, "A Time It Was: Bobby Kennedy in the Sixties" with photographs by Bill Eppridge, is being published by Abrams, and signed copies will be available at the gallery.

Bobby Kennedy campaigns in IN during May of 1968, with various aides and friends: former prizefighter Tony Zale and (right of Kennedy) N.F.L. stars Lamar Lundy, Rosey Grier, and Deacon Jones

The year 1968 marked many changes for the United States. It signaled the end of the Kennedy-Johnson presidencies, the pinnacle of the civil rights movement, the beginning of Women's rights and Gay rights, and the beginning of the end of the war in Vietnam. More than that, it meant a change in public attitudes and beliefs.

The year started with the Viet Cong opening the Tet Offensive in South Vietnam, a move that triggered President Lyndon B. Johnson's call for peace negotiations. Johnny Cash recorded "Live at Folsom Prison", Eddie Adams photographs a Viet Cong officer as he is executed by Nguyen Ngoc Loan, a South Vietnamese National Police Chief. On March 31st, President Lyndon B. Johnson surprised the nation by choosing not to run for reelection, on April 4th, civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot and killed in Memphis, Tennessee, leading to riots in Washington, D.C. and other cities. In April, student protesters at Columbia University in New York City shut down the university, only one of many college protests that would unfold across the county.

In June, radical feminist Valerie Solanas shoots Andy Warhol as he enters his studio, wounding him, and Robert F. Kennedy, former U.S. attorney general and U.S. senator from New York, was assassinated in Los Angeles while campaigning for the Democratic Presidential nomination, Bill Eppridge records a lone busboy trying to comfort Kennedy as he lays sprawled on the kitchen floor of the Ambassador Hotel. The only original master print, used for reproduction in LIFE magazine, will be included in the exhibition for the first time in history.

In August, the Democratic National Convention in Chicago was marred by clashes between Vietnam War protesters and Mayor Daley's police force. At Mexico City's Summer Olympic Games, African American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos won gold and bronze medals, then bowed their heads and raised clenched fists during the playing of the U.S. national anthem in protest of U.S. racism. And in November, as the Beatles' "White Album" is released, Richard Nixon was elected President with running mate Spiro Agnew, making one of the most extraordinary political comebacks in U.S. history. Finally, in December, Elvis Presley's "1968 Comeback Special" airs on NBC television and Apollo 8 enters orbit around the moon.

In culture, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Planet of the Apes, Rosemary's Baby, and Yellow Submarine dominate the box office; the Fillmore East opens in New York, Hair opens on Broadway, and "Hey Jude" by the Beatles and "Jumpin' Jack Flash" by The Rolling Stones top the music charts.

These and other events marked the year as a benchmark of unrest, tumult, and change; and all are represented in "It Was Forty Years Ago Today..." We have seen many of these photographs numerous times in newspapers, magazines, books and documentaries. Universally relevant, they reflect the past, the present, and the changing times. These unforgettable images are imbedded in our collective consciousness; they are defining moments chronicling our shared history. The photographers in this exhibition have captured dramatic moments in a remarkable year, and illustrate the power of photography to inform, persuade, enlighten and enrich the viewer's life.

Senator Robert Kennedy at a rally in Sioux City, Iowa, 1966

The burned master vintage print that was used for reproduction in LIFE magazine of Senator Robert F. Kennedy Shot, Ambassador Hotel,
Los Angeles, CA, June 5, 1968

The Robert F. Kennedy
funeral train travels through
Trenton, New Jersey

Street execution of a Viet Cong prisoner, Saigon, 1968

Marine Crossfire, Vietnam,1965

U.S. Marines at battle of Hue, Vietnam, 1968
Photograph by John Olsen ©Time Inc.

Peace Anti-War Rally, Central Park,
Spring 1968

Photographing protestors
at Anti-Nixon rally,
Washington, DC, 1968

Yippies climb a statue of Union General John A. Logan astride a horse in Grant Park during protests at the Democratic National Election, Chicago, IL, late Aug. 1968,
by Charles H. Phillips ©Time Inc.

Allen Ginsberg at protests outside Democratic Convention,Chicago,1968

Abbie Hoffman at protests outside Democratic Convention, Chicago,1968

Anti-war protest,
Washington, DC, 1968

Martin Luther King, Jr., (Megaphone), Selma, Alabama, 1965

Dr. Martin Luther King assassination,
Memphis,Tenn., April 4, 1968;
Photograph by Joseph Louw

Martin Luther King Jr's Motel Room
Hours After He Was Shot,
Memphis, Tennessee 1968

Coretta Scott King with her children
after escorting Martin Luther King Jr's
body back to Atlanta, 1968

The Poor People's Campaign
encouraged 2,600 people to the Mall in Washington, DC to live for almost 6 weeks, from 05/14 to 06/24 1968, in shantytowns named Resurrection City,
Photograph by Leonard McComb ©Time Inc.

Boxing champion Muhammad Ali
posing in front of the Alvin Theater
during production of play
"The Great White Hope", NY, 1968

Andy Warhol, The Factory, New York

Johnny Cash, Melody Ranch, CA

Bob Dylan, Infrared, 1968

Jimi Hendrix, Fillmore East

Janis Joplin at the Fillmore East, NYC, 1968

Actress Jane Fonda in publicity still for "Barbarella", 1968
Photograph by Carlo Bavagnoli ©Time Inc.

Charlton Heston in a scene
from Image from "Planet of the Apes", 1968

"2001: A Space Odyssey", 1968

1968 Olympics Black Power salute,
Photograph by John Dominis ©Time Inc

Richard Nixon giving a victory speech, 1968
Photograph by Lee Balterman ©Time Inc.

Rising Earth greets Apollo 8 Astronauts,
December 29,1968

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