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NSU Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale presents exhibition documenting Civil Rights struggle of the 1960s
Bob Adelman, An Urgent Message, Washington, DC, 1963. Courtesy of the Photographer.

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA.- In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, NSU Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale unveils an exhibition featuring the imagery of renowned photographer Bob Adelman. Adelman’s unique vantage point at the forefront of the Civil Rights movement led him to produce some of that era’s most iconic images. The Movement: Bob Adelman and Civil Rights Era Photography, presented by AutoNation, will be on view at NSU Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale from January 19 – May 17, 2014. Featuring 100 black-and-white and color photographs, the exhibition will provide a context in which viewers can revisit these years of struggle and consider how and why certain images have become emblematic of the era.

Between 1963 and 1968, Bob Adelman was a photographer for the Congress of Racial Equality, the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and other civil rights organizations. His work granted him unique access to the movement’s most important events and figures, and he forged close ties with such civil rights leaders as Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, John Lewis, and James Baldwin. His work was featured in major publications of the civil rights period.

Events documented in the exhibition include: the Freedom Rides; the 1963 Birmingham demonstrations during which demonstrators were hosed and attacked by police dogs; the 1963 March on Washington, which culminated in Martin Luther King's "I have a Dream" speech; voter registration drives; the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery March; and Martin Luther King,Jr funeral. A number of the photographs on view in the exhibition have never before been published.

Adelman has photographed cover stories for many magazines including Esquire, Time, Life, New York, Harper’s, The New York Times Magazine, and Paris Match, and has photographed or written more than a dozen books and produced many others, including King: The Photobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Abrams, 2004). Adelman has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, an NEA grant, and several Art Directors Club Awards. His photographs have been exhibited the Smithsonian, the American Federation of Arts, and other institutions, and are included in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York. He currently lives in Miami Beach.

The exhibition is organized by NSU Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale as part of its Foto Fort Lauderdale initiative, and is curated by Peter Boswell.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Museum will present a series of special programs and events.

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