Feb 26 – June 14 | BMA – Three Photographers from the Bronx: Jules Aarons, Morton Broffman, and Joe Conzo

February 26 to June 14, 2015 | Open House – Sunday, March 29, 3:00pm to 5:00pm

The Bronx Museum of the Arts – 1040 Grand Concourse, Bronx, New York

Three Photographers from the Bronx showcases the work of Jules Aarons, Morton Broffman, and Joe Conzo—three Bronx-born photographers who captured significant moments of societal and urban change in the borough and across the country during the 20th century. The exhibition features over 80 works, from depictions of daily life in the Bronx and Far Rockaways in the early 1950s, to images of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, to a searing look at Bronx community protests in the early 1980s. Together these works create an exchange across three distinct and intertwined moments—exploring the legacy of community activism and urban change, and launching a dialogue surrounding the challenges the Bronx and similar communities continue to face today.

“We are a museum immersed in a borough with a social history that is often misunderstood or misrepresented,” said Holly Block, Executive Director of The Bronx Museum of the Arts. “Through the work of these photographers, who document critical moments both in the Bronx and across the country, we will offer a new perspective on the history of urban and social change, and inform renewed conversations about the current state of civil rights, the nature of ‘community,’ and the impact of grassroots organizing.”

Three Photographers from the Bronx will feature:
• Street portraits and documentary images by Jules Aarons (1921-2008) providing a glimpse into everyday life in the Bronx in the early 1950s, when the Grand Concourse was known as “the Park Avenue of the working class”
• Works by Morton Broffman (1928-1992) documenting the fight for social equality within the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s—including depictions of the Selma to Montgomery March for Voting Rights in 1965, as well as images of Martin Luther King, Jr., at his final sermon at the Washington National Cathedral in 1968
• A politically charged series of photographs by Joe Conzo (b. 1963) depicting the Committee Against Fort Apache—a grassroots movement within the Bronx that challenged the ethnic stereotypes and misrepresentations in the 1981 film Fort Apache, The Bronx

“Jules Aarons, Morton Broffman, and Joe Conzo belong to an illustrious tradition of photographers deeply aware of their moment and surroundings who actively engaged with their communities to present their relative histories, capturing moments of social activism, and inspiring change,” said Sergio Bessa, Director of Curatorial and Education Programs. “With Three Photographers, the Bronx Museum continues its longstanding commitment to create a platform for local artists and artwork that celebrates the rich history and diversity of the borough.”

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