Through this exhibition, CAAM reveals the initial photographic selections from the recently donated collection of the distinguished photographer Howard Morehead who died July 2003. For more than 45 years Morehead, one of the few African American photographers who worked steadily in the entertainment industry, used his camera to create dramatic images, establish faces, distill time and capture icons in action. There were no geographic, political or cultural boundaries to his camera’s imagination. He was acknowledged for his photographs of bronze beauties, but beauty was not the overarching quest for Morehead. He documented the human experience in the nuances of jazz festivals world-wide, the brilliance of a Kenyan sunset, the pain and pride on the faces of civil rights activists, and the innocent bliss of family weddings.
Morehead enjoyed writing about the experience of his photographic process. In so doing, he wrote an essay about a significant part of his life’s work as a photographer of Ray Charles, giving us a rare chance to view a subject as he did. In honor of the photographer and his subject, CAAM presents this inaugural exhibition from the Morehead Collection entitled in his own words, “I Shot Ray Charles" – Howard Morehead, Photographer. This exhibition originates at the California African American Museum as a result of the generous donation of Morehead’s photographic collection from Fran Cooper and the Estate of Howard Morehead. The exhibition also includes items on loan from the UCLA Music Library.
Sampling of Works Displayed (Mouse over images and click for larger image.)