Panopticon Gallery is proud to present Let's Play Ball, an exhibition celebrating our national pastime and the boys of summer. This exhibition will feature photographs by David Levinthal, Arthur Griffin, Ernest Withers and others and will be on display from July 14 - Sept. 6, 2011.
For more than three decades, David Levinthal has examined American popular culture and social mores as reflected through toys and miniatures. Levinthal’s Baseball is remarkable for its straightforward celebration of America’s most beloved sport. With both antique and recently manufactured figurines and the use of the Polaroid 20x24 inch camera, the artist has recreated some of the legendary moments in baseball’s storied history—for example, Don Larsen’s prefect game in 1956 and Carlton Fisk waving fair his 12th-innning home run in the sixth game of the 1975 World Series.
In 1939, Eastman Kodak had just announced a new color film that they were bringing to the market. The company contacted Arthur Griffin, who was working for the Boston Globe on a story about the Boston Red Sox rookie sensation Ted Williams. At the time, the Globe was only interested in black and white photographs, so he captured what he had to for the paper, then with his large format 4x5 camera he photographed Williams as he practiced his batting stance and swing. Unseen for close to a half century, Griffin's images represent some of the first color photographs ever taken of Williams, and comprise one of the largest collections of photographs of the Red Sox great early on in his storied career.
Photographer Ernest C. Withers lived and photographed in Memphis, TN and documented the Negro Baseball League in the 1940's and 50's, earning the unofficial title of team photographer for the Memphis Red Sox. Long before being accepted into the Majors, some of our earliest black baseball players including Jackie Robinson, Ernie Banks, Willie Mays and Hank Aaron earned their respect on the baseball fields of the south and became an essential part of the history of this sport.