Powerful photographs depicting the struggle for justice and equality in 1960s America will be on view in the new Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (MSV) exhibition Danny Lyon: Memories of the Southern Civil Rights Movement. Opening on April 2, the exhibition will be on display through July 31, 2022.
A renowned post-WWII documentary photographer and filmmaker, Brooklyn native Danny Lyon (b. 1942) helped define a mode of photojournalism in which the photographer is deeply and personally embedded in his subject matter.
Danny Lyon: Memories of the Southern Civil Rights Movement presents 57 black-and-white photographs that Lyon took in 1963 and 1964 when, as the first staff photographer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), he traveled the South and Mid-Atlantic regions to document the Civil Rights Movement. Providing a major way for students to participate in the Civil Rights Movement, the SNCC was the national organization of college students that formed after the first sit-in by four African American college students at a North Carolina lunch counter.
Danny Lyon: Memories of the Southern Civil Rights Movement includes photographs of famous activists—such as Martin Luther King Jr and John Lewis—along with pictures of others involved in the Civil Rights Movement. His photographs document sit-ins, segregationist signage, arrests, the funeral crowd that assembled for the victims of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, participants in the 1963 March on Washington, and other milestones in the struggle against discrimination.
Traveling nationally and organized by art2art Circulating Exhibitions, the MSV presentation of Danny Lyon: Memories of the Southern Civil Rights Movement will be the exhibition’s first showing in Virginia, Maryland, or Washington, DC. The exhibition’s presentation at the MSV is sponsored by iHeartMedia.
According to MSV Deputy Director of Arts and Education Nancy Huth, the exhibition’s display at the MSV will include reflections written by ten area residents. Selected photographs will be complemented by “Community Connection” labels which offer these residents’ interpretations of the images or memories of their personal experiences that Lyon’s photographs evoke.
Highlights of MSV programming being offered in conjunction with the exhibition include a webinar with Danny Lyon and a Juneteenth celebration. During a moderated online conversation from 7 to 8 p.m. on May 17, Danny Lyon will discuss his experiences working for the SNCC and the impact he hopes his photographs and films will have on young people today. Registration is required for the webinar and is being offered on a pay-what-you-can basis. Those interested in attending may sign up here.
From noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, June 19, the MSV and local chapter of the NAACP are hosting a Juneteenth celebration at the MSV featuring live music, food trucks, and free admission to the MSV galleries, including the Danny Lyon exhibition and the recently opened MSV exhibition Contributions: African Americans in the Shenandoah Valley (get event details here).
A regional cultural center, the MSV is located at 901 Amherst Street in Winchester, Virginia. The MSV includes a galleries that present permanent and rotating exhibitions, the Glen Burnie House, seven acres of formal gardens, and The Trails at the MSV, a free-admission art park open daily from 7 a.m. to dusk. The galleries are open year-round Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (11 a.m. to 4 p.m. January through March). The house and gardens are open April through December. Admission is $15 for adults and $10 for seniors and youth ages 13 to 18. General admission to the galleries is free to youth ages 12 and under and to MSV members. Thanks to corporate partner Howard Shockey & Sons, Inc., admission is free to all every Wednesday (this offer excludes the house and gardens during the display of the outdoor exhibition ORIGAMI IN THE GARDEN May 28–November 13, 2022). Additional details are available here or by calling 540-662-1473, ext. 235. –END–