On Sunday, April 21, the Springfield Museums will present a lecture by legendary photographer Bill Eppridge titled 1964: Beatlemania and America’s Changing Times. The lecture will take place at 2 pm in the Davis Auditorium of the D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, the same building that is hosting the current exhibit, The Beatles! Backstage and Behind the Scenes, which includes many images taken by Eppridge in the days and weeks following the band’s arrival in North America. The talk is free with Museum admission.
A resident of Connecticut, Bill Eppridge is a storied figure in photojournalism. While at LIFE Magazine, Eppridge covered the Beatles arrival at JFK airport and had unfettered access to the band in the days surrounding their first appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show. Soon thereafter, Eppridge also covered Bob Dylan’s first Newport Folk Festival performance and the solemn funeral of civil rights worker James Chaney in Mississippi a few weeks later. Other assignments at LIFE included Latin American revolutions, the Vietnam War, and Woodstock. During the Apollo 13 crisis, Eppridge was the only photographer admitted into Marilyn Lovell’s home as her husband, Jim, orbited the moon in the crippled spacecraft. In a career filled with notable photographs, perhaps his most famous picture is that of the wounded Robert F. Kennedy on the floor of the Ambassador Hotel kitchen, an image often referred to as a modern Pieta. In his talk, Eppridge will reflect on these moments in history and how his photographs continue to resonate with audiences today.
The Beatles! Backstage and Behind the Scenes is sponsored by Field Eddy Insurance, with additional support from Raymond James and Associates. Media sponsors of the exhibit are The Republican and WDRC 102.9 FM.