Ralph Eugene Meatyard: Photographing Thomas Merton Installation View.


Before the exhibition comes to a close, we would like to share some installation shots from Ralph Eugene Meatyard: Photographing Thomas Merton. The exhibition features photographs of Merton taken by Meatyard between 1967 and late 1968 during their brief friendship, which was tragically cut short by Merton’s untimely death. The remarkable story of these two men and the friendship that they shared sits palpably just below the surface of these pictures.

We were given access to a selection of 29 prints for the exhibition and from those we selected 16 to include in the show. The photographs were organized according to their content. Images of Merton posing outdoors in his Cistercian habit and baseball cap were hung together. On the opposite wall, we installed a group of four images taken of Merton inside the Hermitage at the Abbey of Gethsemani. By grouping the images in this way, continuity is created, inviting the viewer to imagine a narrative from one photograph to the next.

Kentucky-based publisher Fons Vitae produced a publication titled Meatyard/Merton, Merton/Meatyard which was released in conjunction with an exhibition of this work that took place at the Louisville Visual Art Association in Louisville, KY in May 2013. The book contains reproductions of all 29 photographs as well as essays by Stephen Reily, Roger Lipsey, and Christopher Meatyard. It is available through our online shop.

The exhibition was presented in collaboration with the Center for Interfaith Relations and sponsored in part by Lexington’s Good Shepherd Episcopal Church.