The Speed Art Museum’s new exhibition, “Kentucky Captured,” uses images from the University of Louisville Photographic Archives to examine the many ways in which the Bluegrass State inspired photographers in the 20th century.

The exhibition of 51 photographs from the UofL Photographic Archives fine print collection serves as a travelogue stretching from urban to rural landscapes, from backyards to graveyards, and from portraits to street photography.

“This exhibition brings together Kentucky photographers and those from outside the state illustrating how the essence of Kentucky has influenced the photographer’s eye,” said Elizabeth Reilly, curator of photographic archives, who curated the exhibition along with Marcy Werner, curatorial assistant and imaging manager.

Many photographers in “Kentucky Captured” share similar styles and themes in their work. Doris Ulmann demonstrates early 20th century pictorialism with her soft images of iconic Kentuckians; Shelby Lee Adams brings the same subject into sharp focus almost 100 years later. Will Bowers’ dream like landscapes of Louisville’s Cherokee Park in the early 1900s are echoed in the work of John Ashley 75 years later. William Gedney and Milton Rogovin were mutually drawn to documenting the rural landscapes and people of Kentucky.

“Kentucky Captured” is on display through July 17 in the Speed Museum’s Temporary Exhibitions Gallery, South Building, South Gallery.


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.