UofL Photo Archives presents photographer Jay Mather
The University of Louisville Photographic Archives presents a new exhibition by Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Jay Mather through June 1.
The 59 photographs were selected from Mather’s time as a staff photographer at The Courier-Journal and The Louisville Times from 1977-86. The photos, taken largely in the Kentuckiana region, reflect the title of the show, "Those Who Let Me In."
“The human element in a story can never be minimized. Developing a relationship with a subject, creating a level of comfort, is just as important as choosing a lens. I honor and extend my gratitude to the people I’ve photographed. They allowed me to share their most intimate moments and I saw the panoply of life: births, celebrations, passion, sadness, faith and death. They gave me the gift of their time and let me in,” Mather said.
Mather has also worked in Denver, Colo. and Sacramento, Calif. He’s shot people as famous as Mother Teresa, Pope John Paul II and President Clinton and subjects as varied as hunger, homelessness, battling cancer and his great passions, the environment and ballet.
In 1979 Mather traveled with fellow journalist Joel Brinkley to the Thailand-Cambodia border to document the massive exodus of Cambodian refugees fleeing the wrath of the Khmer Rouge regime. Their five-day series published in The Courier-Journal was awarded the 1980 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting.
Mather, now retired, lives in Central Oregon. After seven years, he’s finished digitally archiving his work from his time in Louisville, which he remembers as a golden age in local journalism.
“I knew that the University of Louisville Photographic Archives was the best place for the material to be housed,” he said. “What is most valuable is that a small portion of the visual history of a state and a community has been preserved.”
The exhibition is in the photo archives gallery of Ekstrom Library. Mather will speak at an artist reception from 5-7 p.m. April 21.
For more information, contact Elizabeth Reilly, curator of photographic archives, at 502-852-8730 or email@example.com.