a traveling exhibition of photos from the Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock, on display in the Smith-Pendergraft Campus Center at UAFS, provides an opportunity for a variety of people to come away with a better understanding of this difficult period in Arkansas history, according to Keith Melton, assistant registrar at the Arkansas Arts Center.
Notes accompanying the exhibit trace the timeline of efforts to desegregate public accommodations and schools in Little Rock. Counts' photos document the hatred and bigotry that accompanied the transition, according to Melton.
Exhibition notes explain that Counts' powerful images of the Central High School desegregation crisis were shot on Sept. 4, 1957. The most recognizable photo is that of Elizabeth Eckford being harassed by white students in the front of the school. Shooting 35 mm film, Counts was able to make 36 exposures before reloading and was thereby able to follow the example of his idol, French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, who believed that shooting many exposures would increase the chances of getting the best representative shot of an event.
Counts and his wife Vivian successfully organized a 1997
reconciliation between Eckford and Hazel Bryan Massery, the young white student
pictured screaming at Eckford in the now infamous photo, according to the
The exhibit space is located in the west hallway of the Smith-Pendergraft Campus Center. Hours are 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m.-4 p.m. on Fridays.