Monroe Gallery of Photography
Monroe Gallery of Photography



Ernest C. Withers



Sanitation Workers assemble in front of Clayborn Temple for a solidarity march, Memphis, TN, March 28, 1968

Santa Fe--Monroe Gallery of Photography, 112 Don Gaspar, is pleased to present "Ernest Withers: A Life's Work". The exhibition opens with a public reception on Friday, October 4, from 5 - 7 PM with very special guest Rosalind Withers, Ernest's daughter and President/Board Chairman of the Withers Collection Trust. The exhibition continues through November 24, 2013.

Ernest C. Withers was, in his own words, 'a news photographer', 'recording events that were taking place.' Momentous events were occurring and he recorded them for newspapers and magazines across the country, covering dramatic civil rights stories, Memphis as the epicenter of the musical life of the nation, and the plethora of outstanding African American players that gave rise to Negro League baseball. His life's work is an encompassing and moving chronicle of the great American crusade of the second half of the Twentieth Century.

Ernest C. Withers' interest in photography began in his eighth grade year at a Memphis school. More than seventy years later, he continued to maintain a studio on Beale Street - once the Memphis epicenter of the musical life of the nation. After graduation from high school in 1941, Withers joined the army. He attended the Army School of Photography and later operated a freelance business photographing white soldiers stationed in Saipan. Withers died October 15, 2007, following complications from a stroke.

With his photographs appearing in Life, Time, Newsweek, Jet, and the Defender, among many others, Withers' more than 50 years of images validates the message emblazoned on his business card: PICTURES TELL THE STORY.


Sanitation Workers assemble in front of Clayborn Temple for a solidarity march, Memphis, TN, March 28, 1968

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. resting in the Lorraine Motel following the March Against Fear, Memphis, TN, 1968

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. resting in Lorraine Motel following March Against Fear, Memphis, TN, 1966


Dr.Martin Luther King, Jr. is stopped by police at Medgar Evers' funeral, Jackson, MS, June, 1963

Mrs. Medgar Evers and family at Medgar Evers' funeral, Jackson MS June 12,1963

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rev. Ralph Abernathy ride on one of the first desegregated buses, Montgomery, AL December 21, 1956


Funeral procession for Dr King on Auburn St, after leaving ML King Sr.'s church, Atlanta, GA, April, 1968

Memorial march after the assassination of Martin Luther King - Main St. Memphis, TN, 1968

Desegregation of Central High School by The "Little Rock Nine", Little Rock, 1956


Overton Park Zoo. One day a week was designated for Blacks only (all other days for Whites only). Memphis, TN

William Edwin Jones pushes daughter Renee Andrewnetta Jones (8 months old) during protest march on Main St., Memphis, TN (The little girl grew up to become a doctor) August, 1961

"We Have Fought Together, Let Us Break Bread Together", Memphis, TN


"Tent City" family after registering to vote, Fayette County, TN, 1960

Coretta Scott King at Mason Temple, speaking at same podium from which Dr King made his last speech, Memphis, TN July 1968

Coretta Scott King and Martin Luther King, Sr, in Dr. King's funeral procession, Atlanta, GA, April 1968. Young boy is MLK III


Crowd outside Lorraine Motel after the assassination of Dr King, Memphis, TN, April 8, 1968

©Sanitation Workers assemble in front of Clayborn Temple for a solidarity march, Memphis, TN, March 28, 1968

Mule Train leaves for Washington, Poor People's March, Marks, MS May 1968


Martin Luther King Jr. in state, Memphis, April 5, 1968

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. opening door of Room 307 of the Lorraine Motel, Memphis, TN, 1966

National Guard at Main and Linden Street after the assassination of Dr. King. Memphis, TN, 1968


Bumper sticker campaign organized by the Regional Council of Negro Leadership, Mound Bayou, MS, founded by Dr. T.R.M Howard

Andrew Young, Poor People's March, 1968

Young woman receives her voter registration card, Fayette County, TN 1960


B.B. King's Tour Bus, 'Big Red', Beale Street, c. 1956

The Two Kings: Elvis Presley with B.B. King at WDIA Goodwill Review, December 7, 1957

Al Green, studio portrait, ca. 1970


Aretha Franklin, SCLC Convention, July 1968 with Mrs. King in foreground

Aretha Franklin at Club Paradise, November 26, 1966

B.B. King at B.B. King Club, Beale Street, Memphis, 1994.B.B. King at B.B. King Club, Beale Street, Memphis, 1994


Untitled

Elvis Presley and Brook Benton Thomas, WDIA Goodwill Review, December 6, 1957

Ray Charles and Hank Crawford performing at City Auditorium, ca. 1961


Rufus Thomas and Elvis Presley, WDIA Goodwill Revue, Ellis Auditorium, Dec. 7, 1957

Isaac Hayes in his office at Stax Records, Memphis, TN, November, 1970s

Howlin' Wolf, Memphis grocery store, ca 1951


Tina Turner

James Brown, Mid-South Coliseum, Memphis, TN, ca. 1965

George Crow, Joe Black, Hank Thompson, unidentified, Larry Doby, Roy Campanella, Monty Irving and Suitcase Simpson


Detroit Stars and team bus outside Martin Stadium (owned by Ted Raspberry), 1953

Ernie Banks, Larry Doby, Matty Brescia, Jackie Robinson, Martin's Stadium 1953

Jackie Robinson, Larry Brown and "Luscious" Luke Easter, Martin's Stadium, circa 1949


Miss Memphis Red Sox of 1954 with Manager "Goose" Curry and Lyman Bostoc, Sr of the Birmingham Black Barons

Willie Mays and Lou Chiozza, former NY Giant, and Hank Thompson at the Lorraine Hotel, 1953. The first all black outfield.


The Memphis blues again: Photojournalist Ernest C. Withers

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