Rare Chance To See Roseberry Photography Collection

By: Jaclyn Piermarini Email
By: Jaclyn Piermarini Email

June 17, 2014

For the first time, there is a chance to see over 50 years of Charlottesville and University of Virginia history through the lens of a legendary photographer. A career-spanning exhibit of Ed Roseberry's photographs are going on display at Alumni Hall.

When his father handed him a camera before he headed off to World War II, Ed Roseberry had no idea that his casual snapshots would turn into a life-changing career. And now 65 years later, we are getting a rare chance to see the world through his eyes.

The man that became known as "Flash" has been a familiar fixture in Charlottesville’s history. When you look at this new exhibit opening at Alumni Hall, you can see why.

You get the sense that Ed Roseberry was everywhere.

He was in the basement of fraternity houses, on the set of a Liz Taylor film, at Vietnam War protests, watching Ralph Sampson play basketball.

And luckily, Roseberry always had his camera with him.

"I think it gave an introspective so to speak on everyday life. You became aware of happenings, people’s emotions, you learned a lot by just observing."

Now, with the help of local historian Coy Barefoot, he's put together a comprehensive look at Charlottesville and UVa. since 1949.

"What’s so great about Ed’s pictures is he will take you into the fraternity house in the 1950's or the early 1960's. And you get to look through his lens and see what only the people saw who were there in that moment."

It's a chance to see historically defining moments, but its more than just that for current students.

UVa Alumni Association CEO Tom Faulders says it's a chance for them to see what their predecessors lived.

"They've heard of Ralph Sampson, or they've heard of a particular performer, or they've heard of the Easters weekend, or some of these sort of things that are part of the lore. And to see actual pictures that were taken of these events to them makes it much more real."

For alumni, it’s a chance to relive a memory of another time. Barefoot says it even gives them a glimpse into places they never had the chance to go.

"It is such a window into the past and really a wonderful opportunity to see something that most people never see."

The Roseberry exhibit opens on June 18th with a reception at Alumni Hall.

The exhibit is currently opened Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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