Claire Oliver Gallery presents photographs of Black Panthers by Jeffrey Henson Scales



Black Panthers at a Free Huey Gathering in Defermery Park, 1968, from “The Lost Negatives”, photographs by Jeffrey Henson Scales.
copyright: Jeffrey Henson Balances

Claire Oliver Gallery presents the first solo exhibition from the gallery of photographer Jeffrey Henson Scales, In the Time of the Panthers: The Lost Negatives. The exhibit features 20 photographs from the 1960s, including Scales’s first forays as a photographer during the electrifying summer of 1967 when at age 13 with his paternal grandmother, he toured the Midwest to see parents. As a black teenager, he saw the poverty and oppression of northern black communities and when he returned to Oakland, CA immersed himself in photographing the midst of the Black Panther movement in northern California. The images trace the emergence of his awakening as a documentary photographer as well as as a black man at a pivotal moment in the 20e century that echoes the Black Lives Matter movement of today.

“I had not seen these images since the 1960s until recently and was struck not only by my origin story as a photographer, but also by the new urgency that these images and the rights movement civics take in the context of the current struggle for racial justice, “

“These images serve as a sort of time capsule, not only of my adolescence and my political awakening, but also for the country whose continued struggle against racial inequalities, police brutality and resistance is more urgent and timely than ever. ”

Scales states

Kathleen Cleaver, National Secretary of Communications for the Black Panther Party, speaking at the United Front Against Fascism (UFAF) was an anti-fascist conference organized by the Black Panther Party and held in Oakland, Calif., July 18-21, 1969. From, ” The Lost Negatives ”, photographs by Jeffrey Henson Scales. copyrightt: Jeffrey Henson Scales

Coming from a family of activists and artists, Scales was no stranger to photography or the visual arts, but his interest in photography was catalyzed by his experience around the Northern California chapter of the Black Panther Party. , attracted by the movement with the urgency of documenting the struggle. . Scales notes the powerful visual presentation of the Black Panthers, with whom he forged a close bond through his parents’ connection to the civil rights movement of the time as well as on his own as a burgeoning documentary photographer. The footage also captures key events that reflect the violence and tumult of the era, including the leadership and aftermath of the murder of Panthers member Bobby Hutton. Several of Scales’ images from the time were used in Black Panther posts, including an iconic image of Bobby Seale.

Huey P. Newton, Minister of Defense for the Black Panther Party, speaking to the media upon his release from prison on August 5e, 1970, in the offices of his lawyer, Charles R. Garry. Excerpt from “The Lost Negatives”, photographs by Jeffrey Henson Scales. copyright: Jeffrey Henson Balances

The negatives of the images The scales created from this time were lost until 2018 when her mother passed away and they were discovered when her family home was cleaned up. Since then, Scales has revisited these images and their foundation for his career as a photographer and journalist. For the first time, an organized selection of these Negatives lost will be presented to the public ahead of a work to be published by SPQR editions.

Bobby Seale, President of the Black Panther Party, speaking to media, Oakland CA, 1969. From “The Lost Negatives”, photographs by Jeffrey Henson Scales. Credit: Balances Jeffrey Henson

Jeffrey Henson Scales, In the time of the panthers: the lost negatives The first solo exhibition explores the photographer’s early work from the 1960s-1970s documenting the Black Panthers exhibit in Northern California from September 16 to October 29, 2021 Preview begins September 9, 2021

Jeffrey Henson Scales is a photographer and educator who is the New York Times curator, photography column, “Exposures,” and co-editor of the annual special section Year in Pictures. He is also an Assistant Professor at the Tisch School of The Arts, Department of Photography and Imaging, NYU, where he has been teaching photojournalism since 2006. Mr. Henson Scales started taking photographs at the age of 11. and spent his life as a documentary and commercial photographer. His documentary photographs have been exhibited in museums across the United States and Europe and have appeared in numerous photography magazines, books and anthologies, including the monograph “House,” in which he documented a single barbershop. of Harlem for over five years. His photographs are part of the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the City Museum of New York, the George Eastman House and the Baltimore Museum of Art.


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Marc Westall

Mark Westall is the founder and editor-in-chief of FAD magazine Founder and co-editor of Art of Conversation and founder of the @worldoffad platform

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