Ernest Withers, photographer of Black life, dies at 85

The Memphis Commercial Appeal brings the sad news that photographer Ernest Withers has died at age 85. Quoted in the article, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art director Kaywin Feldman said, “Ernest Withers is internationally recognized as one of the most important American photographers of the 20th century. Not only did Withers capture iconic images of the civil rights movement, but he also produced important photographs of the Negro Baseball League, Memphis musicians and daily life for African-Americans in Memphis. We are proud to have almost 200 of Withers’ photographs in our permanent collection.”

withers-elvis-benton.jpg

Photo of Elvis and BB King  © Ernest C. Withers courtesy of Panopticon Gallery, Boston.

More of Withers’s photos can be seen at this site. I contacted the Panopticon Gallery to ask the price of Withers’s prints, and a spokesperson said that sales were suspended until further notice.

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