WASHINGTON, D.C., June 7, 2012 – The Library of Congress has acquired 10 color fine art prints from photographer Robert Dodge’s Vietnam 40 Years Later portfolio, Robert Dodge Photography announced today.
The images come from an ongoing project by Dodge that documents what has happened to Vietnam since the end of the war with the United States nearly 40 years ago. Dodge made the images acquired by the library during multiple trips to Vietnam between 2006 and 2011.
In a separate acquisition, the library has accepted Dodge’s gift of 165 digital images captured during public and Congressional memorial services for gay civil rights leader Franklin Kameny. The images will be added to other papers and historic documents from Kameny’s life now held by the library and the Smithsonian Institution.
“In both cases, I am very proud that my work will add to the historical record of our country,” Dodge said.
A freelance journalist, Dodge captured images at two memorial services for Kameny, which were held following his death in October 2011 at age 86. Kameny, who was fired in 1957 from his job as a government astronomer for being gay, was a trailblazer in the gay rights movement. Kameny contested his firing with the U.S. Civil Service commission, pressed a legal case to the U.S. Supreme Court and later co-founded the Mattachine Society of Washington, D.C.
The Kameny images are in digital format. The Vietnam images are 13x19 color digital prints. The prints are on a 100 percent cotton substrate of Moab Entrada matte paper made by Legion Papers and printed with Epson UltraChrome K3 pigment ink.
Dodge’s Vietnam project is coming to fruition at a time when the United States is starting to focus on an important series of anniversaries around U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia. During the Memorial Day weekend, President Obama recognized the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the war and called for a 13-year period by federal, state and local officials to honor those who served in Vietnam.
As 2015 approaches, American’s will focus on the 40th anniversary of the end of the war, a time when 77-million Baby Boomers and 2 million Vietnamese Americans are likely to contemplate on how the war affected their lives. Dodge’s project encourages Americans to replace their violent and vivid wartime memories of Vietnam with an updated view of the emerging and vibrant Southeast Asian country. Dodge’s photography provides a compelling and colorful story of a nation at a crossroads, a country with rolling tropical mountains, clear-water beaches and bustling cities, a country with one foot firmly anchored in the traditional life of ancient Asia, another leaping forward to embrace the modern world.
The acquisition by the Library of Congress will help the institution update its own collection of Vietnam imagery and keep abreast of these important milestones in U.S. history.
Dodge’s full website can be seen at www.RobertDodge.com. All the Vietnam images can be purchased as limited-edition, fine-art prints. For more information, contact Robert Dodge Photography at 202-986-1758 or Robert@RobertDodge.com.
“When Americans hear ‘Vietnam,’ they need to start thinking about a country and not just a war,” Dodge said. “By updating their own awareness about Vietnam, they will find the United States is again deeply connected to this faraway country culturally, politically and economically.”