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Leading Photojournalist Arthur Grace Donates Archive to the Center for American History

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Contact: Alison Beck, Associate Director
Center for American History
Phone: (512) 495-4515
Fax: (512) 495-4542

Date: May 1, 2006

 Boston   President Carter   Lone POW in Grenada   State Fair
All photos © Arthur Grace (click image to enlarge)

(Austin, Tx)-- Award-winning photojournalist Arthur Grace, who covered stories worldwide for Time and Newsweek magazines, has given his photographic archive to the University of Texas Center for American History.

Grace's donation comprises more than 40,000 color transparencies and prints from assignments and freelance work dating from 1973 to the present. His archive documents national issues of the late 1970s and 1980s, including presidential and other political campaigns and events, papal visits, the Olympics, the Solidarity Movement in Poland and life in Eastern Europe, and foreign affairs. The collection includes images of Mark Felt, also known as "Deepthroat," the recently revealed source for Woodward and Bernstein during the Watergate Affair.

For more than three decades, Grace's photographs have appeared in leading publications worldwide, including on the covers of Life, Time, Newsweek, The New York Times Magazine, Paris Match, and Stern. As a staff photographer for United Press International from 1972 to 1973, he covered sectarian violence in Northern Ireland, the drought in West Africa, and the 1973 Middle East War. Boston school busing and school desegregation were among his major stories for the NewYork Times in 1974 and 1975. At Time magazine from 1978 to 1985, he was assigned to the Carter Administration, photographed life in Eastern Europe, Russia, and Mongolia; martial law in Poland; the U.S. invasion of Grenada; Geraldine Ferraro's vice-presidential campaign; and the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. From 1986 to 1990 as a staff photographer for Newsweek, he photographed cover stories on Mario Cuomo, Robin Williams, Judge Robert Bork, Michael Dukakis, Pope John Paul II, and drug czar William Bennett. His major news stories for Newsweek included the Challenger space shuttle disaster in 1986, Pope John Paul's visit to Poland in 1987, the Reagan - Gorbachev summit in Moscow, and President George H. W. Bush's visit to Poland, Hungary, and France in 1989.

Acquisition of the Arthur Grace Photographic Archive is part of the Center for American History's initiative to locate, acquire, and make available for research archival collections that document the historical development of the news media in the U.S. This extensive archive includes the collections of renowned photojournalists Flip Schulke, Diana Walker, David Hume Kennerly, Dirck Halstead, and Wally McNamee, whose images have captured important national and international newsmakers and events. "The Arthur Grace Photograph Collection is a significant addition to the photojournalism component of our news media archive," stated Dr. Don Carleton, director of the Center for American History. "In addition, Arthur Grace is widely recognized as one of this country's leading photographers. We are delighted that he has chosen the Center to serve as the permanent home for his personal collection."

Arthur Grace was introduced to state fairs while covering national elections in 1980, 1984, and 1988. Following presidential and vice presidential candidates campaigning at various Midwestern state fairs, he was captivated by the action, diversity, smells, and sounds of these annual gatherings. Recognizing the phenomenon as distinctly American, he was inspired to explore state fairs in depth with his camera. In 2003 he set out to find what attracted twenty million Americans in every geographic area of the country to converge at the fairgrounds each autumn.

From the thousands of photographs he shot to capture this ritual, 96 were chosen for the publication of State Fair. The book is part of the Center's Focus on American History series edited by Dr. Don Carleton and published in cooperation with the University of Texas Press. An exhibition of thirty-five black-and-white photos from the book will open Friday, May 5 at a special event at which Grace will speak and show selected images from his life's work.

The exhibit, State Fair will be on display May 8 through August 31 at the Center's Research and Collections Division, located in Sid Richardson Hall 2.106 on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin.

The book, State Fair, is available for purchase through the University of Texas Press (1-800-252-3206) and at online and national bookstores.

The Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin is a special collections library, archive, and museum that facilitates research and sponsors programs on the historical development of the United States.