“If it makes you laugh, if it makes you cry, if it rips out your heart, that’s a good picture.”
– Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Eddie Adams
Pulitzer Prize Photographs, from the Newseum in Washington D.C., brings history to life with the most comprehensive collection of Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs ever assembled, with images of every prize-winning entry dating back to 1942, when the award was first presented. In addition to the 80 photographs, visitors can use interactive touch screens to access more than 1,000 additional images and 15 hours of video and audio compiled from interviews with the prize-winning photographers.
Photographers have long used their medium to capture world events and record the defining moments of history with their iconic images. With the click of a button they document the pain of tragedy, the ecstasy of victory and the triumph of redemption. Experiencing Pulitzer Prize Photographs is indeed a history lesson. It is an opportunity to see what Americans of the day saw when these photographs were first published. Contemplating these remarkable images in chronological order provides an opportunity to vicariously experience what was happening around the world at the very moment a photographer clicked the camera’s shutter.
The images also have the power to release the full range of human emotions. Exhibition guests can share in the pure joy as a family is reunited with their husband and father after his release from five years in a North Vietnamese prisoner-of-war camp. Or, at the other end of the emotional spectrum, the horror and abject despair in seeing an Oklahoma City firefighter cradling the bloodied body of a baby killed in the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.
Many of the photographs in Pulitzer Prize Photographs, like Oklahoma City, are difficult to view due to the tragic nature of the events and experiences they depict, images that some people would just as soon erase from their memories. But to learn from history demands that we not forget its lessons. To build a better world for generations yet unborn requires that we learn from both the triumphs as well as the tragedies of the past.
“Pulitzer Prize Photographs” was developed by the Newseum. The Newseum, headquartered in Washington, D.C., works to increase public understanding of the importance of a free press and the First Amendment. newseum.org
Some material in this exhibit may be too intense for young children.
Gilcrease Museum’s 2019 exhibition season is sponsored by William S. Smith.
Generous support is also provided by C.W. Titus Foundation, Robin F. Ballenger, Arts Alliance Tulsa and the Gilcrease Council.
Pulitzer Prize Photographs on Oklahoma News Report
Pulitzer Prize Photographs Exhibition