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Vietnam War photography exhibit opens Jan. 14 at the Snite

Author: Arts and Letters


An exhibition of more than 200 photographs of the Vietnam War, taken by photographers who died in the conflict, will be on exhibition in the O’Shaughnessy Galleries of the University of Notre Dame’s Snite Museum of Art from Jan. 14 to March 4.

“Requiem: By the Photographers Who Died in Vietnam and Indochina,” was organized by Horst Faas and Tim Page, two photographers who worked and were wounded in Vietnam. The exhibition is toured by the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film.

The images illustrate the Vietnam conflict from the height of the French Indochina War to the fall of Phnom Penh and Saigon in 1975. The exhibition is both a tribute and a memorial to the 135 photographers, representing all sides of the conflict, who died or were declared missing during the war. In many cases, the photographs on exhibition are the last pictures they took.

“It’s very poignant,” says Stephen R. Moriarty, Milly and Fritz Kaeser Curator of Photography at the Snite. “You realize that what they did they were willing to die for.”

The images range from Everette Dixie Reese’s idyllic scenes of Vietnam and Cambodia in the 1950s through scenes of unimaginable carnage and devastation shot by photographers such as Robert Ellison and Henri Huet in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Some of the photographers won awards for their work; others are known only as a name stamped on the back of a photograph.

The photographs include images by American, European and Asian photographers, Moriarty says. “There are also Viet Cong and North Vietnamese army photographers.”

Some of the most dramatic images, Moriarty says, are those taken in the heat of combat. “You can witness the amazing courage and determination of these photographers,” he says. “Shooting as you’re being shot at, as people are dying around you. That they could take pictures, and powerful pictures, is awe-inspiring.”

A number of programs are planned in conjunction with the exhibition:

  • A public opening will be held from 2 to 4p.m. on Jan. 21 (Sunday), with a gallery talk by Moriarty at 3p.m. At 4p.m., the Dillon Brothers and Friends band will perform a concert of war protest songs from the 1960s and 70s in the Annenberg Auditorium of the Snite;
  • On Jan. 28 (Sunday), a special reception for veterans will be held from 2 to 4p.m. At 3p.m., Joe Kernan, former Governor of Indiana, Navy pilot and prisoner of war in Vietnam, will speak in the Annenberg Auditorium;
  • At 7:30p.m. on Feb. 13 and Feb. 27 (Tuesdays) in the auditorium of the Hesburgh Center for International Studies, Michiana residents will tell their personal stories of the Vietnam War;
  • On Feb. 16 (Friday) at 7p.m., folk singer Peggy Seeger, sister of Pete Seeger, will perform in the Annenberg Auditorium;
  • On Feb. 20 (Tuesday) at 4:30p.m., there will be a panel discussion in the Annenberg Auditorium on “Imaging War: From Vietnam to Iraq.”

The Snite Museum of Art is open Tuesday through Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 4p.m.; Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5p.m.; and Sunday from 1p.m. to 5p.m. Admission is free. Museum information is available at 574-631-5466 or .

Originally published by Carol C. Bradley at on January 04, 2007.