Peter Galassi on Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom

Peter Kayafas

Lee Friedlander Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom Remarks for Eakins Press Foundation, October 27, 2015 Peter Galassi On May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court handed down its decision in Brown v. Board of Education. The ruling overturned the doctrine of “separate but equal,” which had underpinned racial segregation and discrimination in the United States, especially in the South. To put it mildly, however, the states that were most severely in the grip of Jim Crow were the slowest to comply with the decision. Many simply refused. To call attention to this persistent injustice and to challenge it, African-American leaders convened what they called a Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom in Washington, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, on the third anniversary of the Brown decision, May 17, 1957. Some 25,000 people attended the event, which lasted about three hours. Many of them had come a long way, wearing their Sunday… Read More

A very special evening with Lee Friedlander and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Karen Lee

Ben Jaffe and Lee Friedlander. On October 27th, the Eakins Press Foundation hosted a book party for our newest publication - Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom, photographs by Lee Friedlander. The intimate celebration took place at the Heath at the McKittrick Hotel with just over 130 guests. Among the evening's highlights, was a knockdown set by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band of New Orleans and insightful remarks by Peter Galassi about the book's historical context (more to come on that in another post). Lee's personal connection to Preservation Hall goes back to its beginnings. The Eakins Press Foundation is so grateful to both the band and the McKittrick for making this dream a reality. We'd also like to acknowledge our friends and supporters, particularly those whose generosity made this special publication possible. Buy a copy of the book here. All photos taken at the Heath at the McKittrick Hotel © Jack Llewellyn-Karski.… Read More

Pilgrimage on Press with Lee Friedlander

Peter Kayafas

Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom, Photographs by Lee Friedlander I left the house at 3:45am in order to get to Lee at 4:30 as planned. No traffic, eerie quiet roads. Lee and Maria had a cup of coffee waiting for me—good and strong. Lee said, “I stopped drinking coffee 57 years ago. That’s when I married Maria. I was getting the heebeegeebees and thought it was just because I was getting married—someone had told me that getting married can give you the heebeegeebees. Turned out it was just Maria’s coffee! I drink tea now.” Sunrise on I95. Lots of trucks, but they all kept to the right. As we passed Old Lyme, Lee talked about his road trip with Walker Evans and Leslie Katz in the early 1970s. We picked Walker up and spent three days on the road. I think we made it 30… Read More

Eakins Press Foundation Lecture at the General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen

Karen Lee

Thursday, April 30th at 6:30pm We are pleased to announce a lecture with Eakins Press Director Peter Kayafas as part of the General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen's "Labor, Literature and Landmark Lecture Series". The Press has held its offices in this unique historic building for six years and we are happy to be participating in the General Society's educational programming. In addition to a history of the Eakins Press Foundation, Peter will be discussing our newest publication - 'O, Write My Name: American Portraits, Harlem Heroes featuring 50 portraits by Carl Van Vechten of Harlem Renaissance figures. The admission fee will be waived for Eakins Press friends and family.… Read More