Dan Budnik’s work as a photographer covered more than a half-century. He is known for his photographs of artists, but also for his photo-documentation of the Civil Rights Movement and of Native Americans. Schooled at the Art Students League of New York (1951–53), Budnik began his career at Magnum Photos (1957–64) and went on to photograph for scores of publications such as Life, Fortune,Look and Newsweek. He has been a major contributor to six Time-Life books. Budnik received a 1973 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for his work on the Hudson River Ecology Project and a 1980 grant from the Polaroid Foundation for Big Mountain: Hopi-Navajo Forced Relocation. Budnik was the 1998 Honor Roll Award recipient of the American Society of Media Photographers.
APG member, Harley Cowan has work in the recently published book, The Apocalypse Factory.
A thrilling narrative of scientific triumph, decades of secrecy, and the unimaginable destruction wrought by the creation of the atomic bomb.
It began with plutonium, the first element ever manufactured in quantity by humans. Fearing that the Germans would be the first to weaponize the atom, the United States marshaled brilliant minds and seemingly inexhaustible bodies to find a way to create a nuclear chain reaction of inconceivable explosive power. In a matter of months, the Hanford nuclear facility was built to produce and weaponize the enigmatic and deadly new material that would fuel atomic bombs. In the desert of eastern Washington State, far from prying eyes, scientists Glenn Seaborg, Enrico Fermi, and many thousands of others―the physicists, engineers, laborers, and support staff at the facility―manufactured plutonium for the bomb dropped on Nagasaki, and for the bombs in the current American nuclear arsenal, enabling the construction of weapons with the potential to end human civilization.
With his characteristic blend of scientific clarity and storytelling, Steve Olson asks why Hanford has been largely overlooked in histories of the Manhattan Project and the Cold War. Olson, who grew up just twenty miles from Hanford’s B Reactor, recounts how a small Washington town played host to some of the most influential scientists and engineers in American history as they sought to create the substance at the core of the most destructive weapons ever created. The Apocalypse Factory offers a new generation this dramatic story of human achievement and, ultimately, of lethal hubris.
Einstein Circle member David Wargowski, who is also on the advisory board of the Atomic Photographers Guild, is publishing hundreds of photographs on his social media accounts to mark the 75th anniversaries of the nuclear weapons era. Visit his work on Twitter,LinkedIn, and Instagram.
The John and June Allcott Gallery in Chapel Hill, UNC will be exhibiting APG members work in the exhibition Nuclear Visions: The Atomic Photographers Guild.The Atomic Photographers Guild (APG) is an international collective of artists dedicated to making visible all facets of the nuclear age. APG was created in 1987 by Robert Del Tredici, with founding members Carole Gallagher, Kenji Higuchi, and Harris Fogel. APG documents the history, impact and ongoing legacy of the atomic age – emphasizing nuclear weapons mass-production, atomic testing and proliferation, nuclear power, reactor accidents, attempts at radioactive waste-management, irradiated landscapes, radiation-affected populations, and making the invisible (radiation, loss, death, contamination, exposure) visible.
The APG has an archive of images from 1945 to the present. Prominent works include prints by the first two atomic photographers: Berlyn Brixner of Los Alamos and Yoshito Matsushige of Hiroshima, both included in this exhibition. Brixner was the official photographer of the first nuclear bomb test, Trinity, in the Alamogordo desert, New Mexico, on July 16, 1945; Matsushige was the only photographer to document the atomic bombing of Hiroshima from within the city on August 6, 1945. Carole Gallagher’s work, also included in the show, documents the damage done to down-winders in southern Utah living under clouds of atomic fallout from the Nevada Test Site in the 1950s and early 60s. Robert Del Tredici has photographed the U.S. H-bomb factory complex, uranium mining in the US and Canada, nuclear waste sites, A-Bomb survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and atomic survivors in the U.S. and former USSR. APG members engage the socio-political, discursive, ethical and ecological dimensions of the nuclear era. Through exhibitions, screenings, publications and lectures, members of the APG actively disseminate their work, piecing together the fragments of what could be our darkest, most enduring legacy.
Nuclear Visions was co-curated by APG members elin o’Hara slavick and Robert Del Tredici. Not all APG photographers are included in this exhibition. There will be a table of nuclear related books, some by APG photographers, included in the show.
Photographers included in Nuclear Visions:
Takashi Arai / Japan, Gordon Belray / Canada, Jessie Boylan / Australia, Berlyn Brixner / USA, Dan Budnik / USA, James Crnkovich / USA, Bob Del Tredici / Canada, Harris Fogel / USA, Carole Gallagher / USA, Peter Goin / USA, Grace Halden / UK, Kenji Higuchi / Japan, Mary Kavanagh / Canada, James Lerager / USA, Igor Kostin / Russia, Juri Kuidin / Russia, Yoshito Matsushige / Japan, Takashi Morizumi / Japan, Terry Ownby / USA, Mark Ruwedel / USA, Paul Shambroom / USA, Ursula Shulz-Dornburg / Germany, elin o’Hara slavick / USA, Amirtharaj Stephen / India, Hiromi Toyosaki / Japan, David Wargowski / USA, Vaclav Vascu / Czech Republic, Gunter Zint / Germany
An endowment established in 1983 through the generosity of Nancy and Robin Hanes supports the Art Department’s Visiting Artist Series. This important program brings both established and emerging artists to campus to discuss their work in public lectures and to offer individual critiques to our M.F.A. students. The Hanes Visiting Artist series greatly enriches both our academic programs and our outreach to the wider community. All lectures are free and open to the public.
AND Hanes Visiting Artist Lecture Series Robert Jacobs, Nuclear Historian, Hiroshima City University October 29, 2019 5:30 pm 121 Hanes Art Center Reception following lecture with a pop-up Sloane Art Library table of nuclear-related books
APG member Harley Cowan has worked featured in “Notch Code,” a show of large format film in the current issue of the online magazine Light Leaked. Fourteen portfolios total were selected. http://www.lightleaked.com/exhibition-notch-code.html and an upcoming solo exhibit of my Manhattan Project portfolio at Camerawork Gallery in Portland, Oregon for the month of August. There will be a reception and talk on Friday, August 9th at 6:30pm. Camerawork is the oldest continually operating photography gallery in the U.S. https://thecameraworkgallery.org/upcoming-exhibitions-cwg/
With an agreement signed on June 28, 2019, the Atomic Heritage Foundation and the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History (pictured) are forging a new partnership to preserve the history of the Manhattan Project and the Atomic Age. This significant agreement will ensure that the Atomic Heritage Foundation’s extensive collection of oral histories, interpretive vignettes, and articles about the Manhattan Project and its legacy will remain available to the public for the foreseeable future.
Founded in 2002, the Atomic Heritage Foundation (AHF) is a nonprofit organization in Washington, DC that successfully led efforts to create a Manhattan Project National Historical Park. Established in 2015, the Manhattan Project National Historical Park has three sites: Los Alamos, NM, Hanford, WA and Oak Ridge, TN. As founder and President Cindy Kelly says, “Over the past two decades, AHF has created a broad array of educational and interpretive resources on the Manhattan Project. We are delighted to partner with the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History to ensure that AHF’s online resources remain available to audiences worldwide.”
Museum Director Jim Walther is equally enthusiastic. “AHF’s websites will greatly enhance the Museum’s online presence. We intend to make full use of the content to enrich our education programs and the museum’s interpretive displays. AHF’s partnership perfectly complements the Museum’s strategic plans for the future.”
The partnership with the Museum is very timely. After 17 years, AHF is closing its physical offices in downtown Washington, DC. With less than 3 percent of World War II veterans still alive, AHF has seen its base of Manhattan Project supporters dwindle over the past several years. With foundations favoring current weapons policy and advocacy organizations and little government support, AHF has found it increasingly difficult to sustain a fully staffed office in downtown Washington, DC.
AHF will continue to be managed by President Cindy Kelly who plans to work with the Museum on the transition and selected projects. Kelly comments, “I have personally enjoyed working with Museum Director Jim Walther for nearly 25 years and look forward to continuing our partnership.”
For nearly two decades, AHF has recorded hundreds of oral histories of Manhattan Project veterans and published dozens more discovered in university and private archives. AHF’s goal has been to engage diverse audiences, especially younger generations, in learning about the Manhattan Project. Through first-hand accounts and programs on YouTube, AHF has successfully attracted a very youthful audience with over half under age 35. Last year, 1.6 million people accessed AHF’s online resources. AHF’s website audience continues to grow at rates over 30 percent per year.
With a robust summer camp and science education programs, the Museum welcomes AHF’s audio/visual programs on scientific innovations that are part of the “Ranger in Your Pocket” series. Museum director Jim Walther observes, “Incorporating AHF’s resources into the Museum’s current and future educational programs will be especially valuable for middle and high school students.”
As Richard Rhodes, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and AHF Board Member writes, “The Manhattan Project was tragic, ironic and epic, but most of all intensely human.” To capture the humanity of the Manhattan Project, AHF has published nearly 600 oral histories on the “Voices of the Manhattan Project” website. The website includes interviews with J. Robert Oppenheimer and General Leslie Groves, the project’s scientific and military leaders, as well as with hundreds of others including women, Native Americans, African-Americans and Hispanos whose stories are often overlooked.
AHF’s main website at atomicheritage.org has hundreds of pages of articles on the history of World War II and the Manhattan Project. One of its most popular features is a database of Manhattan Project participants. Because the Manhattan Project was a top-secret effort, the government did not keep public records. AHF’s directory of 14,000 Manhattan Project veterans is extremely popular online. The Museum is considering having a kiosk so that visitors can search for relatives and others who were part of the project.
AHF and the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History have just begun to explore that many ways in which their partnership can benefit the public. Founded in 1969 and chartered by the U.S. Congress, the Museum is dedicated to preserving the scientific, historic, and cultural aspects of the Atomic Age. Since 2009, the Museum has been at 601 Eubank Boulevard on several acres of land in Albuquerque. Surrounding the museum’s modern building are a B-29 bomber, several rockets and a recreation of the 100-foot Trinity Tower.
As one possibility, in the future visitors might be able to stand under the tower and listen to one of AHF’s oral histories with Lilli Hornig. A chemist on the project, Lilli talks about how her young husband Donald F. Hornig spent the night of the Trinity test atop the tower in a metal shack, babysitting the “Gadget” (pictured) while lightning and violent thunderstorms passed nearby. Hornig concluded that if lightning set off the bomb, “I’d never know about it! So I read my book.”
As one of its first projects, the Museum hopes to upgrade and integrate AHF’s and its own websites. Over time, the Museum hopes to expand the oral histories to include those of Cold War veterans. As Jim Walther remarked, “We are very excited to explore all the possibilities of this new partnership with AHF. It is a fortuitous development with great potential for the Museum and for the preservation of the Manhattan Project history.”
Steidl Books has published a new book by David McMillan: Growth and Decay: Pripyat and the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, April 23, 2019.
Since 1994 Scottish-born Canadian photographer David McMillan (born 1945) has journeyed 21 times to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. Inspired by his teenage memories of Nevil Shute’s On the Beach (1957), a disturbing vision of the world following nuclear war, McMillan found in Pripyat the embodiment of an irradiated city still standing but void of human life. As one of the first artists to gain access to “The Zone,” McMillan initially explored the evacuated areas with few constraints and in solitude, save for an occasional scientist monitoring the effects of radioactivity. Returning year after year enabled him to revisit the sites of earlier photographs―sometimes fortuitously, sometimes by design―bearing witness to the forces of nature as they reclaimed the abandoned communities. Above all, his commitment has been to probe the relentless dichotomy between growth and decay in The Zone.
Ed Westcott chronicled the work done at Oak Ridge. Here, in one of his best-known photographs, from 1944, women sat at their stations in the calutron, where uranium isotopes were separated. CreditEd Westcott/United States Department of Energy, Oak Ridge
Ed Westcott, a photographer who documented life in Oak Ridge, Tenn., the secret city where uranium was enriched as part of the Manhattan Project to develop the atom bomb during World War II, died on March 29 at his daughter’s home in Oak Ridge, where he also still lived. He was 97.
The APG is pleased to announce the acceptance of Harley Cowan into the Guild. His large format series taken in 2017 of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park in Washington is an important addition to the APG archives and documents the exterior and interior of Reactor B, the world’s first full-scale nuclear reactor which produced plutonium for the nuclear bombs detonated in Trinity, New Mexico, and Nagasaki, Japan.
Harley grew up in Richland, Washington next to the Hanford Nuclear Reservation and combined with his experience in architectural heritage documentation and preservation work with the Library of Congress has produced an intimate record of American nuclear industry and infrastructure.
Invisible Colors The Arts of the Atomic Age is a monumental work by Gabriele Decamous published by MIT Press that surveys the ways by which art, worldwide, can help make visible what has long been in obscurity – the effects of radioactivity, the lives of radiation-impacted survivors, and the politics of the nuclear age.
Decamous’ fine-tuned radar for finding nuclear art throughout the globe makes this volume a landmark collection of nuclear imagery that explores atomic-inspired art from Marie Curie to the A-bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Chernobyl disaster, the still-unfolding triple meltdowns of Fukushima, and a wide array of other atomic events that have marked our deep, brief, everlasting nuclear history.
Decamous looks at the “Radium Literature” based on the work and life of Marie Curie; “A-Bomb literature” by Hibakusha (bomb survivor) artists from Nagasaki and Hiroshima; responses to the bombings by Western artists and writers; art from the irradiated landscapes of the Cold War—nuclear test sites and uranium mines, mainly in the Pacific and some African nations; and nuclear accidents in Fukushima, Chernobyl, and Three Mile Island. She finds that the artistic voices of the East are often drowned out by those of the West. Hibakusha art and Japanese photographs of the bombing are little known in the West and were censored; poetry from the Marshall Islands and Moruroa is also largely unknown; Western theatrical and cinematic works focus on heroic scientists, military men, and the atomic mushroom cloud rather than the aftermath of the bombings.
Emphasizing art by artists who were present at these nuclear events—the “global Hibakusha”—rather than those reacting at a distance, Decamous puts Eastern and Western art in dialogue, analyzing the aesthetics and the ethics of nuclear representation.
This is a widget ready area. Add some and they will appear here.