Freeport Arts Center
My Life with My Camera: Joan Liffring-Zug Bourret
April 7 - May 28, 2000
Born in Iowa City in 1929, Joan Liffring-Zug Bourret attended the University of Iowa, then worked as a writer and photographer for the Cedar Rapids Gazette until 1951. That year, she achieved widespread recognition when she photographed the birth of her own son. The dramatic results were published in such magazines as Look and Life, and started her on a career as Iowa's premiere documentary photographer. Her subjects have ranged from Islam in Iowa and studies of the Iowa landscape to portraits of mentally ill children, from portraits of notable Iowa artists and civic leaders to glimpses of old-world Christmas celebrations in Amana. Perhaps her most important contribution is her documentation of Iowa's ethnic and cultural heritage, including Amish, Mennonite, and Mesquakie Indians. She also documented African-American civil rights activities in Cedar Rapids, including the 1962 visit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (left: photo of Joan Liffring-Zug Bourret taken by a friend)
"My Life with My Camera" includes sixty photographs in five categories: Photographer of Iowans, The Character of Iowans, Celebrating Ethnic Heritage, Political Viewpoints, and Iowa: A Haven for Artists. This exhibition is on loan to the Freeport Arts Center from the State Historical Society of Iowa.
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