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Capture the Moment: The Pulitzer Prize Photographs
Capture the Moment and Feel Moved!!
The Pulitzer Prize: Capture the Moment Exhibit opened on Saturday April 8th at the DURHAM MUSEUM. Expedoodle was granted a sneak peak of the Exhibit and an opportunity to visit with the exhibits creator, Cyma Rubin. Cyma is an intelligent and insightful person who told us the story of how this amazing and heart touching exhibit came to be.
Cyma began her research on the photographs in 1994, four years before the first exhibit ever existed. While doing her research, she discovered that the way the photos were archived and stored in the middle of the 20th century, was severely on the disorganized side. Many of the glass negatives had been destroyed through the years, whether from moving boxes around or a few irresponsible employees. After years of research, Cyma was finally able to get her hands on 235 negatives so that she could recreate the images for display in museums all over the world.
The first exhibit was launched in Tokyo, Japan. People from all over the Far East came to see this amazing exhibit. Included were curators from museums all over the world. One such curator from Korea, desperately wanted to have the exhibit moved from Japan to Korea so they could display these EXTRAORDINARY photographs. Unfortunately, at that time the exhibit could not be moved, so Cyma and her team created a whole new exhibit featuring 135 photos for the museum in Korea.
During this same time the Turner Network approached Cyma about creating and directing a 90 minute documentary on some of the photographs in the exhibit. While making this documentary, Cyma discovered that pictures are not necessarily worth a thousand words, in fact they are worth much much more than that. Cyma had conversations not only with the photographers, but also with the people that were in the photographs. One such photo that was highlighted in the documentary was a family reunited after a the father returned from being deployed. THE STORY BEHIND THE PHOTO AND AFTER THE PHOTO WAS TAKEN WAS EXTREMELY EMOTIONAL FOR THE FAMILY. This just goes to show you that although a photo only captures one split second in time, things happen before and after that can change one’s life forever.
After the documentary aired, more people were becoming interested in the exhibit and wanted to give it a home here in the United States. This is when the NEWSEUM stepped in and sponsored the creation of this amazing traveling exhibit. THE PULITZER PRIZE: CAPTURE THE MOMENT EXHIBIT HAS TRAVELED THE WORLD FROM THE EAST COAST OF THE UNITED STATES TO EUROPE. Before coming to Omaha the exhibit actually was in Korea, the same country where Photographer Max Desfor captured an image of thousands of Koreans fleeing the north on a destroyed and half submerged bridge during the Korean War. Max, now 95 years old, returned to Korea when the Pulitzer Exhibit was there. He was greeted with an amazingly warm welcome, and received the star treatment during his trip. Many of the people who were able to speak with him, told him that many of the people that were on the bridge at the time of the photograph were their relatives. The photo called, "FLIGHT OF REFUGEES ACROSS WRECKED BRIDGE IN KOREA," meant so much to so many people that Max was surprised at the impact his photo had on people for generations.
Now that the exhibit is in Omaha, Cyma finally has had the opportunity to see her vision of how the photos should be displayed realized. Many of the other museums all over the world do not have enough space to accommodate this massive collection of timeless images. The manner in which the Durham Museum has displayed and arranged the photos has made the Durham Museum one of Cyma’s favorites. THE PULITZER PRIZE: CAPTURING THE MOMENT EXHIBIT IS FILLED WITH EXTRAORDINARY PHOTOS THAT WORDS SIMPLY CANNOT DESCRIBE. These photos capture not only important times, and events in history, but also have the ability to tell the story of the events and moments leading up to and occurring after the image. For instance, Robert Jacksons’ photo “Jack Ruby Shoots Lee Harvey Oswald” shows us how irate the public was at the assassination of President Kennedy. However, when Mr. Ruby shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald, this was a traumatic experience in itself for Robert Jackson. He had never revisited the location in which he took the iconic picture until Cyma Rubin asked him to for the documentary. During Cyma’s interview with Robert Jackson, he found and remained in the same spot he took the photo, because that is exactly where he felt the safest considering the events that took place there several decades ago.
This exhibit features photos from all over the world, from professional and amateur photographers. Cyma gave us a tour and told us a little story on several of the photos from the exhibit. Several of the photos were very graphic, tragic, and disturbing, while at the same time other photos showed human perseverance and achievement. The photos of the Kent State Massacre and the Assassination of Asanuma show us the disturbing side of human kind. Whereas, Brian Lanker’s “Moment of Life” photo shows us that human life is so very precious.
Walking through this gallery, it is hard not to get choked up at some of the images. One in particular got to me, it was an image of soldier who lost his life for his country, being taken out of a plane by the military. Curious plane passengers are seen staring out the window, trying to catch a glimpse of the flag covered coffin. It touched me because I was on a similar flight coming back from Chicago and the pilot of the plane spoke to the passengers over the intercom and informed us that we were not allowed to deboard until the military had removed one of their fallen from the plane. When the military personnel that were on the flight rose to retrieve their fellow soldier, the plane erupted with a round of applause and a few tears of sadness and joy thanking these men and women for the service that they had offered their country. Just gazing upon the image took me back to that moment, and it was very hard for me to keep from tearing up.
OMAHA and the DURHAM MUSEUM IS A VERY SPECIAL STOP FOR THIS PULITZER EXHIBIT. WHILE THE EXHIBIT IS HERE IN OMAHA, THE 2011 PULITZER PRIZE WINNING PHOTOS WILL BE AWARDED.
GET DOWN TO THE DURHAM AND EXPERIENCE THE PULITZER PRIZE: CAPTURE THE MOMENT EXHIBIT!!
Comment below to be entered to win Passes to the Durham!!