(Elizabeth City, NC) A 1960 sit-in at the Woolworth’s lunch counter in Charlotte; Richard Petty and Miss Winston celebrating a mid-1970s victory at North Wilkesboro Speedway; destruction at Kitty Hawk following the March 1962 Ash Wednesday Storm — these are only a few of the myriad of photographs featured in a new exhibit at the Museum of the Albemarle. “Bruce Roberts Photojournalist: 50 Years of Capturing Change” will be on display in the Museum beginning August 13 as part of the North Carolina’s 2nd Saturday’s celebration.
New York native Bruce Roberts began his love of photography as a teenager when he set up a makeshift darkroom in his family’s basement. After graduating from New York University and serving two years in the U.S. Air Force, he came to North Carolina to take photographs for the Hamlet News-Messenger. Roberts’ photographs were published in national publications such as Life, Look, Time and Saturday Evening Post. He also contributed many cover photographs to The State magazine, now known as Our State. In 1958, venerable editor Pete McKnight hired Bruce Roberts at the Charlotte Observer, where he became part of a legendary team of young and talented photographers who pioneered the use of 35 millimeter cameras in photojournalism.
Roberts has written or had his photographs published in more than 50 books, most recently “Just Yesterday: North Carolina People and Places” (North Carolina Office of Archives and History, 2008). His accolades are numerous – twice named Southern Photographer of the Year, three-time winner of the National Press Photographers Association News Photographers competition and notably, he was named the first recipient of the Carl Goerch Award, designed to honor those who embodied the curious, energetic, and appreciative spirit of Our State magazine’s founder.
“Bruce Roberts Photojournalist: 50 Years of Capturing Change,” sponsored by Our State magazine, features black and white and color images of Roberts’ work from his prolific career and includes topics such as desegregation, commercial fishing, changing rural landscapes and the Blue Ridge Parkway. This exhibit made possible though generous support from the Frank Stick Memorial Fund of the Outer Banks Community Foundation.
The Museum of the Albemarle is located at 501 S. Water Street, Elizabeth City, NC. (252)335-1453. www.museumofthealbemarle.com. Find us on Facebook! Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Closed Sundays, Mondays and State Holidays. Serving Bertie, Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Hertford, Hyde, Northampton, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Tyrrell and Washington counties, the museum is the northeast regional history museum of the North Carolina Division of State History Museums within the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, the state agency with the mission to enrich lives and communities and the vision to harness the state’s cultural resources to build North Carolina’s social, cultural and economic future. Information is available 24/7 at www.ncculture.com.