New York Photo Review
NYPR Archives - 2010

Witness - Flip Schulke
Flip Shulke
Witness to Our Time: Masterworks of Photojournalism
Flip Schulke, Gus Grissom, 1960

Flip Schulke was a photojournalist who is credited with taking some of the most iconic photographs of the last half of the 20th century. Even so, his name garners little recognition these days despite his considerable accomplishments. This new exhibition should help alleviate that.

Schulke, who died in 2008 at the age of 77 was best known for his extensive coverage of the civil rights movement. The Johnson Publishing Company, a well-known black magazine publisher, sent him to cover Dr. Martin Luther King in the deep South in the 1950s. Schulke and King became good friends and, as a result, he was able to take many intimate photographs of Dr. King, including the famous 1964 image of him passionately leading a service at the Ebenzer Baptist Church in Atlanta. He covered the March on Washington in 1963 and King’s ”I Have A Dream” speech. Schulke’s relationship with King was such that he was the only photographer allowed inside the King home after King’s assassination in 1968. His portrait of a veiled Coretta Scott King at her husband’s funeral was on the cover of Life magazine and is also part of this exhibition. On Schluke’s death he left behind 11,000 civil rights related photographs, from a body of more than 500,000 images.

 by unidentified photographer.
Flip Schulke, Loretta Scott King, 1968

As with other retrospectives, viewing the 45 images on display here is like taking a walk through history– and some rather important history at that. Schulke’s career let him document the early days of America’s space program. Images of JFK observing a rocket launch at Cape Canaveral and America’s first astronauts in training stand out. Castro’s take-over of Cuba is another important image. The photograph of a young Muhammad Ali wearing boxing trunks and training at the bottom of a swimming pool is particularly memorable and a strong testament to Schulke’s many talents.

“Witness to our Times” is an interesting and revealing exhibition that provides easy access and a better understanding of a dark period in America’s recent past. If you’re in the neighborhood for the Steichen, Stieglitz, Strand show at the Met, stop by Keith de Lellis.

Flip Shulke
Witness to Our Time: Masterworks of Photojournalism

Keith de Lellis
1045 Madison Ave. Ste 3
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212 3271482

Thursday, December 2 to
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Hours: Tues - Fri, 11-5:30; Sat, 11:30 to 5