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Exhibition: “American Moments: John Shearer”


The Capa Space is proud to present an exhibition of more than 30 photographs by acclaimed photojournalist John Shearer who captured iconic images of major historical events in the 1960s-1970s, including the funeral of President John F. Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King’s funeral and the racial rage that followed, the social dynamics of street gangs, and the 1971 Attica prison uprising.

At just age 17, Shearer took a poignant photograph of young John Jr. saluting his father’s casket, despite being knocked down by Secret Service agents. This propelled Shearer’s career as only the second Black photographer at Life and one of the few black photographers at major publications like Look and Life magazines. Shearer leveraged his unique perspective as a Black photojournalist to document the civil rights movement. He followed the Black Panthers, the KKK, and Dr. King’s 1968 funeral, showing grieving Black mourners and hateful whites. His search for the humanity in all he captured gave him a perspective and access that was unique at the time. During the 1971 Attica prison uprising, inmates initially only allowed Shearer inside to photograph.

Shearer’s compassionate, unflinching photographs provided unique insight into a turbulent time in America. His work appeared in the New York Times, Ebony, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated, among other outlets. Shearer brought nuance and humanity to charged issues of race, poverty, and justice. His visual storytelling cemented his reputation as an important voice of social documentary photography.

The image of mourners at King’s funeral is courtesy of the Collection Neuberger Museum of Art Purchase College, a State University of New York Gift of the artist. The exhibition includes additional photographs from the collection.

Gallery hours are Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday 1pm – 5 pm.

This exhibition was made possible through the generous support of Julie and Kip Testwuide.

Event Location and Ticket Information

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The Capa Space
2467 Quarker Church Road
Yorktown Heights,
Handicap Accessible? Yes

Date: Thursday, March 21, 2024
Times: 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Ticket pricing:
Free event

Presenter: The Capa Space
Presenter Website: thecapaspace.org