By Kat Riddler, Editor-In-Chief

 

St. Louis is blessed with many wonderful museums, but one of the least well known locally has a big reputation internationally. The International Photography Museum and Hall of Fame is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

The Photographic Arts and Sciences Foundation began in 1965 assembling a growing collection of historic photographic prints and cameras. The International Photography Hall of Fame first opened to the public in Santa Barbara, California in 1977 as part of the University Museums at the Brooks Institute of Photography. In 1983 the museum moved to Oklahoma City. Then, after a major fundraising effort, the museum found a home in the Grand Center Arts District of St. Louis.

Thousands of photographs in the collection represent some of the best work of over 500 artists. Among the collected works are photos by many photojournalists.

Last week, a photojournalist in Syria filmed a five-year–old boy, covered in dirt and blood on his young forehead, sitting quietly and stoically in the back of an ambulance. His home had been bombed as part of the ongoing civil war in that country. Still images of the boy were shared on social media and in newspapers around the world. We instinctively wanted to know more and found out in subsequent reporting that his name was Omran Daqneesh and that he survived.

It was a reminder of the power of a singularly moving image and of the role of a photojournalist. Words are often inadequate to express the full extent of a story in a way that connects with every person. But images can break through barriers of language and nationality. No one who saw that image will forget it and no one who saw it was not just a little more aware of the human toll of war.

Images have always had a powerful impact on the delivery of the news. Think about the images that stand out in your own mind, perhaps the World Trade Center on fire, the image of the young son of assassinated President John F. Kennedy, John Kennedy Jr., bravely saluting his father’s casket as they left the state funeral ceremony, or the image of the American solders over Iwo Jima during World War Two.

Photojournalists help tell the story of mankind’s journey. Many of them also got their start working at a school newspaper. If you would like to join The Current Student Newspaper on the road to photojournalism, pick up an application outside the office at 388 Millennium Student Center or email thecurrentjobs@umsl.edu for more information.

The International Photojournalist Hall of Fame’s hours of operation are Wednesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday they are closed. Additional hours can be added by appointment. Their phone number is 314-535-1999. They are located at 3415 Olive Street and are wheelchair accessible. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for students with IDs, military, and seniors, and those 18 and under are free.