PRESS RELEASE: ANDOVER HONORS MARMON
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Thomas Corbett, Publicist
Image Management Associates
(847) 398-9808 or (866) 310-8294
ACCLAIMED NATIVE AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHER AND AUTHOR LEE MARMON TO BE HONORED WITH SHOWING AND SPECIAL APPEARANCE AT HISTORIC PHILLIPS ACADEMY IN ANDOVER, MASSACHUSETTS
VISIT IS INSPIRED BY SURPRISE DONATION OF PRIVATE COLLECTION OF MARMON’S WORK FROM AN ANDOVER ALUM
MARMON TO LECTURE CLASSES, THEN ATTEND FORMAL RECEPTION AT OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES LIBRARY ON MAY 19TH
(Laguna, New Mexico – May 12, 2006) – Acclaimed Native American
photographer and author Lee H. Marmon will be the guest of honor at a
prestigious Massachusetts preparatory school in mid-May, where he will
attend a formal east-coast showing of his most well-known images.
Marmon will also spend the day teaching Photography, Journalism, and English classes to high school-age students as a special guest lecturer. His day-long appearance on the campus of historic Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts will be Friday, May 19, 2006.
“I’m excited and honored to have this outstanding opportunity,” said Lee Marmon, 80, from his home in Laguna, New Mexico. “Phillips Academy is one of America’s oldest and most distinguished preparatory schools. Its longstanding tradition of commitment to excellence in education reaches back more than 200 years. Its students are among this nation’s best and brightest. To be invited to spend a day sharing the story of our native people with them is both thrilling, and humbling.”
Marmon’s invitation to visit the campus of Phillips Academy came after an alumnus of the Class of 1956 donated a substantial portion of his personal collection of Marmon’s photographs to the school’s Robert S. Peabody Museum of Archaeology. The alumnus who made the donation currently resides in the Midwest, and is believed to be one of the largest private collectors of Lee Marmon’s works. The value of the donation is estimated to be in excess of $40,000.
“Mr. Marmon’s visit will be a special event for all of Phillips Academy, but it will be especially thrilling for our students,” said Malinda Blustain, Director of the Peabody Museum at Phillips Academy. “The kids are truly enthused about meeting him. His wonderful reputation, his enthusiasm for working with young people, and the unique and distinguished nature of his work makes it a great national and cultural treasure. This collection of his images will greatly enrich the Peabody Museum’s permanent archives.”
The Marmon images in the donated collection include 16”x 20” and 11”x14” prints of the following well-known photographs, with their respective years of origination in parentheses:
• “White Man’s Moccasins” (1954)
• “Eagle Dancers” (1962)
• “Laguna Buffalo Dancer” (1952)
• “Benny at Sheep Camp” (1984)
• “Juanita Quicero” (1960)
• “Jose Teofilo” (1961)
• “Jo-Jo Siow” (Hoop Dancer) (1959)
• “Dancers on a Sand Dune” (1962)
• “Acoma Mission with Graveyard” (1952)
• “Lucy Lewis” (Acoma Potter) (1961)
• “Laguna Governor (Walter Sarracino) with Lincoln Cane” (1963)
• “Women Plastering” (1955)
• “Father Kenneth on Ladder” (Acoma Mission) (1952)
• “Bruce Riley” (1965)
• “Dewey Heske” (1975)
• “Santiago Thomas with Shield” (1949)
The majority of the photographs are Marmon’s distinctive portraits of the mid-20th century elders of the Laguna and Acoma tribes. Others depict social and cultural routines as they were traditionally practiced on the Laguna reservation for generations.
During his visit, Lee Marmon will attend a special evening reception in his honor at the Academy’s distinguished Oliver Wendell Holmes Library, where 11 of his framed images will adorn the walls as part of a special exhibit. He will also be a guest speaker at an English class, where students are currently studying “Ceremony,” the landmark novel written by Marmon’s daughter, Laguna native and novelist Leslie Marmon Silko.
Lee Marmon’s visit to Phillips Academy will be the latest in the school’s Native American Artists’ Series, which was made possible through a grant that it received in 2004. Since then, Phillips Academy has hosted campus visits by several other noted Native American artists, including:
• Storytellers Paul Dove Jennings of the Narragansett Tribe, and Yellow Turtle of the Abenaki Tribe
• Yarina, the Andean dance troupe from Bolivia
• Famed Mashpee potter Ramona Peters of the Wampanoag tribe
Lee Marmon was born on the Laguna reservation in New Mexico in 1925, and has lived there for most of his life. He bought his first camera at the age of 25, and made an early practice of shooting portrait images of the aging senior members of his Laguna tribe, and neighboring tribes. His collection of thousands of black and white images have since become a national historical and cultural treasure, as they comprise a rare visual chronicle of the last generation of Native Americans to live by their traditional ways and values. His best known photograph, "White Man's Moccasins," (1954) has been reproduced and published worldwide.
From the late 1960's to the early 1980's, Mr. Marmon lived and worked in California, where he served as official photographer for the Bob Hope Desert Classic. His images have appeared in various national publications, including The New York Times and Time Magazine. In 1992, he won an ADDY Award for contributing to the Peabody Award-Winning PBS-TV documentary, "Surviving Columbus". Now, at the age of 80, Mr. Marmon is still working as a professional photographer. At his studio in Laguna New Mexico, he personally develops and signs black-and-white enlargement prints from their original negatives for the pleasure of historians, art collectors, and western culture devotees worldwide.
Earlier this year, Mr. Marmon was commissioned by the Washington D.C.-based National American Indian Housing Council to do a photo project to promote the Council's efforts to give Native American families access to quality, modern housing.
Marmon's acclaimed 2003 book, "The Pueblo Imagination" was voted best Art book of the year in the Mountains and Plains Booksellers’ Association’s 2005 Regional Book Awards Contest. It also took a First Place Award from Independent Publisher Online in 2004. Marmon's 159-page book is a groundbreaking, multi-dimensional showcase of Native American culture, talent, and history. It features a collection of Marmon's best-known tribal photographs and landscape images, dating back to 1949. Collectively, they chronicle the last generation of the Laguna and Acoma tribes to live by their traditional ways and values. The images are lovingly interwoven with native poetry and prose by Leslie Marmon Silko, poet Joy Harjo, and poet Simon Ortiz, all of whom co-authored the book with Mr. Marmon.
A gallery of Mr. Marmon's best-known images and full bio can be found at his publicist-sponsored website: www.leemarmongallery.com
Click to see photos of the event.
Click to read article from Phillips Academy Andover News online.
Thomas Corbett, Publicist
Image Management Associates, LLC
P.O. Box 393
Arlington Heights, IL 60006