Adelphi University Libraries has acquired 46 prints by the renowned photojournalist Peter Turnley, whose work has been featured in some of the world’s most prestigious publications, including Newsweek, National Geographic, LIFE and Harper’s Magazine.
The collection, donated to the University art collection by three anonymous donors, will be available for individual viewing and instructional purposes.
“The work was chosen by us based on Turnley’s résumé and the academic value of the work based on its subject matter and visual quality,” said Jonathan Duff, Adelphi’s exhibition and art collection curator. “We will have an exhibition of the work as an art collection highlight in the future and they will be available online eventually with the rest of the art collection.”
Adelphi’s new collection is a body of work documenting scenes from Russia and Eastern Europe between 1986 and 1991. The scenes range from the fall of the Berlin Wall and military coups to the daily lives of citizens and outdoor Russian markets. This body of work depicts both the historical uncertainty and the daily banality of a time and place of unique historical significance.
Turley has worked in more than 90 countries documenting some of the most important geopolitical events over the past 35 years. He has photographed most of the world’s conflicts during recent decades, such as the Gulf War of 1991, the Balkans (Bosnia and Kosovo), Somalia, Rwanda, South Africa, Chechnya, Haiti, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Indonesia, Afghanistan, and the 2003 Iraq war.
He also maintains an ongoing documentation of the major refugee populations of the world. Turnley witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall and the revolutions in Eastern Europe in 1989 and the liberation of Nelson Mandela and the end of apartheid in South Africa. He was in New York at ground zero on Sept 11, 2001, New Orleans during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Haiti after the tragic earthquake of 2011, and Egypt during the toppling of Hosni Mubarak in 2011. In addition to documenting conflict, Turnley has also photographed the daily life of the citizens of the countries he has visited.