Monroe Gallery of Photography
Monroe Gallery of Photography

Bob Gomel: LIFE in the 1960s: October 5 through November 18, 2012

Black Muslim leader Malcolm X photographing Cassius Clay, Miami, 1964

The triumphs and tragedies of the 1960s provided photographer Bob Gomel and his LIFE magazine colleagues extraordinary opportunities to advance American photojournalism. "LIFE was the world's best forum for photojournalists. We were encouraged to push creative and technical boundaries. There was no better place to work in that extraordinary decade."

Bob Gomel was born (1933) and raised in New York City. After serving four years in the U.S. Navy, he was promptly offered a job at the Associated Press. But by then, he had changed his mind about what he wanted to do. "I just felt one picture wasn't sufficient to tell a story," he explains. "I was interested in exploring something in depth. And, of course, the mecca was Life magazine." He turned down the offer from AP, and began working for LIFE in 1959, producing many memorable images. When LIFE ceased being a weekly in the early 1970s, he began making photographs for other major magazines. Also in the 1970s, he branched out into advertising photography. Among other accounts, he helped introduce Merrill Lynch's Bullish on America campaign.

Bob says, "Each time I raised a camera to my eye I wondered how to make a viewer say, "wow." What followed were the use of double exposures to tell a more complete story; placing remote cameras where no human being could be; adapting equipment to reveal what could not ordinarily be captured on film. My goal with people was to penetrate the veneer, to reveal the true personality or character. The ideal was sometimes mitigated by circumstances, a lack of time or access. But more often than not what the mind conceived could be translated into successful photographic images."

Cassius Clay and Malcolm X, Miami, 1964

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

Cassius Clay, Miami, 1964

John F. Kennedy, Houston, 1962

John F. Kennedy "We choose to go to the moon", Rice University, 1962

John F. Kennedy laid to rest, Arlington, 1963

Horse Drawn Caisson Bearing John F. Kennedy's Casket, 1963

John F. Kennedy's Body Lies in State at the Capitol Rotunda, 1963

Lyndon B. Johnson and Hubert H. Humphrey Enjoying Inauguration, 1965

John Kennedy Jr. at Robert F. Kennedy's Funeral, St. Patrick's Cathedral,1968

Robert F. Kennedy campaigning, 1968

Overhead View of Coffin of Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1969

The Historic Washington Mall Freedom March, "I Have a Dream", August 28, 1963

Richard Nixon relaxing with his poodle Vickie & his cocker spaniel Checkers, 1964

Tears of joy as child awaits submariner dad returning from first circumnavigation of the earth on nuclear powered USS Triton. New London, Connecticut, 1960

Young Hockey Players Having Fun, Englewood, New Jersey,1961

Tailgating, Yale Football, 1963

Joe Namath, NY

Arnold Palmer

Willie Mays Steals Home for his Fifth and Final Time, 1960

Willie Mays Steals Home for his Fifth and Final Time, 1960

Sandy Koufax

Arther Ashe

Warren Beatty

The Beatles, Miami, 1964

The Beatles, Miami, 1964

The Beatles, Miami, 1964

Marilyn Monroe, New York, 1961

Robert Graves, 1963

Peggy Lee, 1962

Planes stacked up at JFK airport, New York, 1968

New York City blackout, 1965

The Red Onion, Aspen, CO, 1962

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