Friday, 29 January 2016

RECOVERED FILMS TELL STORY OF BEATLES' 1964 VISIT TO U.S.

This historic, photographic chronicle of the Beatles’ 1964 visit to the United States, captured by Eppridge, is the latest exhibition at university’s art gallery. The show opened Jan. 19 and continues through Saturday, March 13, at the university’s Visual and Performing Arts Center.

“Bill Eppridge — The Beatles: Six Days That Changed the World, February 1964,” features a collection of 55 black-and-white photographs taken by Eppridge during the British rock group’s visit to New York and Washington from Feb. 7-12, 1964.

Eppridge, who lived in New Milford in his later years, died in October 2013 in Danbury after a 60-year career as a photojournalist. He is widely recognized for capturing iconic images of contemporary history including the Beatles’ Feb. 9, 1964, appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” and the poignant image on June 6, 1968, of a busboy kneeling beside the mortally wounded Sen. Robert F. Kennedy in a Los Angeles hotel kitchen moments after his assassination. “You are not just a photojournalist,” he said, in recalling the Kennedy image. “You’re a historian.”

For exhibit curator Melissa Ralston-Jones, bringing Eppridge’s work to the university was a way to connect the gallery with students and the local community.
“Our mission here at the gallery is to bring in contemporary works and have students work alongside the artists and learn about their work,” she said. “Bill may not be with us any longer, but having (his wife) Adrienne Aurichio knowing so much about it gave us an opportunity to talk about Bill and his life’s work. It’s just incredible. She’s really lovely, and a wealth of knowledge and information.”

The WCSU exhibition of selections from his 1964 Beatles tour photo shoot, consuming more than 90 rolls of film and 3,000 photographs, would have been impossible without the mysterious recovery of these images seven years after they went missing and the painstaking work of Eppridge’s editor and wife, Aurichio, to review and organize this vast photo archive into a comprehensive record of the Beatles’ tour as it unfolded.
The exhibit carries universal appeal, Ralston-Jones added.
“We always try to bring in one exhibit a year that will have a mass appeal, and bring in a new audience,” she said. “We thought this would be well received.”

The Art Gallery is located at the arts center on the WCSU Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury. The exhibition will be open for public viewing from noon to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free. 

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