EARL PERRY: A RETROSPECTIVE
Trinity Cathedral: October
2005 through January 2006
a warm Sunday afternoon in early October
2005, an expectant crowd gathered in Synod
Hall at Trinity Cathedral to honor William
Earl Perry and to view an exhibition of his
photographs. Mr. Perry,
age 93, was in good
form as he greeted his public and many friends.
Also present were Mr. Perry's wife
of more than 50 years, Ruth Ann Woodland
Perry, his daughter Dr. Ruth Perry, and granddaughters
Kendall and Courtney.
Perry first thought of choosing selections
from her father's work for an exhibit,
but in discussions with Ruth Councell, chair
of Episcopal Church and Visual Arts NJ, the
idea of an entire retrospective show dedicated
to Mr. Perry's work began to take
exhibition is significant for two reasons.
The first is the quality of the work itself.
And the second is its historical context.
During the 1960s and 1970s when Mr. Perry
was active, photographers of color were not
accepted into mainstream amateur photography
associations, so a group in Philadelphia
formed their own: the Philadelphia Lens Guild.
The Lens Guild is still active today. It
gave African Americans a chance to network,
to show their work, and to compete for awards.
Many of the photographs in this exhibition
are winners of those and other awards.
photographs cover a wide range of subjects
as well as moods from playful to meditative
to dramatic. There is a sense of serenity
that pervades all. The viewer is invited
in to see with the eyes of one who is curious
and reverent, and who takes pure delight
in form and texture, shadow and light, in
the beauty and quirkiness of nature, and
in the simple sacredness of the ordinary.
exhibition will continue through January
selection of images from the
Perry exhibit. Click to see
a larger version.