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Currents: that's LIFE

Colby-Sawyer College to Host Renowned Photographer John Shearer and Screening of BBC Film about 'LIFE' Magazine

NEW LONDON, N.H., March 14, 2012 - Colby Sawyer College will welcome renowned photographer John Shearer for a public lecture and discussion of his work. He will also introduce the new BBC film, “America in Pictures, The Story of LIFE Magazine.”

The event will be held on Wednesday, March 28, at 6 p.m. in Gordon Hall in the Sawyer Fine Arts Center. Admission is free and the event is open to the public. This event is made possible by the Gladys Greenbaum Meyers '39 endowment fund.

John Shearer was born in New York City in 1947 and attended the Rochester Institute of Technology and the School of Visual Arts. In addition to his photography, Shearer is also an accomplished director, children's book author and lecturer.

Initially a staff photographer for LOOK magazine from 1966 to 1969, Shearer became the second African-American staff photographer for LIFE magazine in 1968, subsequently providing major documentation of both the Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier “Fight of the Century,” and the Attica Prison riot. He was a founder of the Photography and Design Program at Columbia University's School of Journalism and a senior lecturer from 1972-1986. Shearer has won 175 national photography awards, and his work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, IBM Galleries and Eastman Kodak.

"America in Pictures, The Story of LIFE Magazine" follows leading UK fashion photographer Rankin across the United States to celebrate the work of Life's legendary photographers, including Alfred Eisenstaedt and Margaret Bourke-White. He meets with photographers Bill Eppridge, John Shearer, John Loengard, Burk Uzzle and Harry Benson who, between them, have shot the big moments in American history—from the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, the Civil Rights struggle and Vietnam to behind the scenes at the Playboy mansion and the greatest names in Hollywood.

These photographers pioneered new forms of photojournalism, living with and photographing their subjects for weeks, enabling them to capture compelling yet ordinary aspects of American life. Rankin discovers that LIFE told the story of America in photographs, and also taught America how to be American.

Learn more about America in Pictures, The Story of LIFE Magazine.

-Kara Behrens '12

Kara Behrens is a student writer in Colby-Sawyer College Communications.