UofL Photo Archives presents exhibit by award-winning photographer Jay Mather

    Mother Teresa, the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, came to Kentucky to oversee the opening of the first rural mission in the USA for the Missionaries of Charity. Located in the Appalachian community of Jenkins, KY, the St. George Catholic church held two masses on successive days, June 18 and 19, 1982 to honor her and officially open the mission. On June 21 and 22, Mother Teresa came to Louisville, KY to receive the Bellarmine Medal, the highest honor from Bellarmine College. She held a small press conference the spoke to the crowd of 4,000 who waited hours to hear her. Mother Teresa holds a small child following a Mass at the St. George Catholic church in Jenkins, KY.



    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The University of Louisville Photographic Archives presents a new exhibition by Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Jay Mather through June 1.

    The 59 photographs were selected from Mather’s time as a staff photographer at The Courier-Journal and The Louisville Times from 1977-86. The photos, taken largely in the Kentuckiana region, reflect the title of the show, “Those Who Let Me In.”

    “The human element in a story can never be minimized. Developing a relationship with a subject, creating a level of comfort, is just as important as choosing a lens. I honor and extend my gratitude to the people I’ve photographed. They allowed me to share their most intimate moments and I saw the panoply of life: births, celebrations, passion, sadness, faith and death. They gave me the gift of their time and let me in,” Mather said.

    Mather has also worked in Denver, Colo. and Sacramento, Calif. He’s shot people as famous as Mother Teresa, Pope John Paul II and President Clinton and subjects as varied as hunger, homelessness, battling cancer and his great passions, the environment and ballet.

    In 1979 Mather traveled with fellow journalist Joel Brinkley to the Thailand-Cambodia border to document the massive exodus of Cambodian refugees fleeing the wrath of the Khmer Rouge regime. Their five-day series published in The Courier-Journal was awarded the 1980 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting.

    Mather, now retired, lives in Central Oregon. After seven years, he’s finished digitally archiving his work from his time in Louisville, which he remembers as a golden age in local journalism.

    “I knew that the University of Louisville Photographic Archives was the best place for the material to be housed,” he said. “What is most valuable is that a small portion of the visual history of a state and a community has been preserved.”

    The exhibition is in the photo archives gallery of Ekstrom Library. Click here for hours and parking information. Mather will speak at an artist reception from 5-7 p.m. April 21.

    For more information, contact Elizabeth Reilly, curator of photographic archives, at 502-852-8730 or elizabeth.reilly@louisville.edu.


    Niki King
    Niki King Jones is positive she has the best job at the University of Louisville, serving the communication needs of the departments of fine arts and theatre, the School of Music, University Libraries and Alumni – all the fun, creative stuff. Before coming to UofL in 2015, Niki held communication positions in both private and nonprofit sectors in Louisville, Ky., including at Heaven Hill Distilleries and the Jewish Community of Louisville. For 10 years prior, she was a reporter at various newspapers across the country, most recently The Courier-Journal. Niki graduated from the University of Memphis with a BA in journalism and has a masters degree in community and leadership development from the University of Kentucky.