In what has become an annual tradition, Monroe Gallery of Photography presents a special exhibition celebrating the birthday of renowned photographer Tony Vaccaro – this year honoring his 99th birthday – on December 20.
The exhibit of over 40 photographs spans Tony’s 80-year career and features several never-before-exhibited photographs. Nearing age 99, Tony Vaccaro is one of the few people alive who can claim to have survived the Battle of Normandy and COVID-19.
As the world has endured nearly two years of the Covid-19 pandemic, the work of Tony Vaccaro serves as an antidote to man’s inhumanity; by focusing on the splendor of life, Tony replaced the images of horror embedded in his eyes from war’.
Tony attributes his longevity to “blind luck, red wine” and determination. “To me, the greatest thing that you can do is challenge the world. And most of these challenges I win. That’s what keeps me going.”
Born in Greensburg, Pennsylvania on December 20, 1922, Tony Vaccaro spent the first years of his life in the village of Bonefro, Italy after his family left America under threat from the Mafia. His mother died during childbirth a few years before tuberculosis claimed his father, and by age 5 he was an orphan in Italy, raised by an uncaring aunt and enduring beatings from an uncle. By World War II he was an American G.I., drafted into the war heading toward Omaha Beach, six days after the first landings at Normandy. Denied access to the Signal Corps, Tony was determined to photograph the war, and had his portable 35mm Argus C-3 with him from the start. For the next 272 days he photographed his personal witness to the brutality of war.
After the war, Tony remained in Germany to photograph the rebuilding of the country for Stars And Stripes magazine. Returning to the US in 1950, Tony started his career as a commercial photographer, eventually working for virtually every major publication: Look, Life, Harper’s Bazaar, Town and Country, Newsweek, and many more. Tony went on to become one the most sought after photographers of his day.
On December 20, Tony Vaccaro celebrates his 99th birthday, an inspiration to us all.
Tony Vaccaro will be in attendance in person during the Association of International Photography Art Dealers (AIPAD) Photography Show in Monroe Gallery’s booth, New York City, May 19-22 at Center415, 415 Fifth Avenue.
Tony Vaccaro will appear remotely live from his New York home during a special public opening night reception Friday, November 26, from 5 – 7 PM, guests must be fully vaccinated to attend. The exhibition will continue through January 16, 2022
Monroe Gallery is New Mexico Safe-Certified in Covid-19 safe operating procedures. The Gallery will follow any and all mandated health guidelines in effect at the time of the exhibition. Vaccination required for entry to the opening reception November 26.
TONY VACCARO 99th BIRTHDAY EXHIBIT
November 26, 2021 – January 16, 2022
Monroe Gallery of Photography
112 Don Gaspar Avenue
Santa Fe, NM 87501 USA