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Freedom Must Be Lived: Marion Palfi’s America, 1940-1978

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Marion Palfi, "Chicago School Boycott, 1963-64 (from the series "That May Affect Their Hearts and Minds," 1963-64)," ​1963-1964, ​© Center for Creative Photography, Arizona Board of Regents, ​Marion Palfi Archive/Gift of the Menninger Foundation and Martin Magner, The Center for Creative Photography

Freedom Must Be Lived: Marion Palfi’s America is organized by Phoenix Art Museum and the Center for Creative Photography.

This retrospective exhibition will survey the career of Marion Palfi (1907–1978), who produced one of the most important visual documents of American injustice of the twentieth century. Freedom Must Be Lived: Marion Palfi’s America, 1940-1978 features over one hundred prints and numerous archival materials drawn exclusively from the Center for Creative Photography’s vast Marion Palfi Archive, including photobooks, magazine spreads, research journals, and grant applications. Many of these prints and expository archival materials have never before been exhibited or published and will offer an unprecedented opportunity to draw new insights into the work.

Each of the photographer’s four major projects are represented in the exhibition: her piercing nationwide study of children living in poverty; her decades-long civil rights activism documenting the effects of systemic racism against African Americans; her research on the abject conditions of aging in New York; and her revelatory pictures, funded by a 1967 Guggenheim fellowship, of the forced relocation of Native Americans off of reservations in the Southwest. Weaving together over three decades of work, the exhibition elucidates Palfi’s sustained focus on themes of inequity, solitude, racial victimization. Taken as a whole, it elucidates the photographer’s elegiac crusade for human rights and presents a cumulative photographic record that resonates with many of the social concerns still plaguing our country today.

More information at https://ccp.arizona.edu/events/3241-freedom-must-be-lived-marion-palfis-america-phoenix-art-museum.

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