Exploring the Exhibit, “Pain, Death & Healing: Images from the Lynn Johnson Collection”

On Tuesday, November 6, 2012 from 3:00 – 4:30 p.m., the Ohio University Libraries hosts a conversation with Lynn Johnson on the exhibit, “Pain, Death & Healing: Images from the Lynn Johnson Collection.” All members of the community are invited to hear OHIO alumna and world-renowned photographer, Lynn Johnson, speak about her work.

Joining Johnson is Dr. Tracy Marx, moderator of the event, and chair and associate professor of Family Medicine at the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine. Stan Alost, curator of the exhibit as well as assistant director and associate professor of the School of Visual Communication, is a special guest.

The exhibit on Alden Library’s fourth floor presents photo selections from Johnson’s career as a photojournalist during the 1970s through the 1990s and explores healthcare in the United States. Johnson’s work examines universal challenges that many people may encounter at some point in their lives. She is drawn to those struggles, feeling that the more she photographs them, the more she reaches out to audiences who are trying to cope.

“My hope is that somewhere in their consciousness there is a photograph that will motivate them to action,” Johnson said in a 2011 interview.

Johnson’s collection, which encompasses 35 years of her work, is currently housed in the Libraries’ Southeast Ohio Regional Depository and is used for teaching in classes here at the main campus.

“We are so eager to have her collection used in the classroom and by students as part of their independent research, that this program is another step in trying to open the collection to the Ohio University community,” said Sara Harrington, head of arts and archives, Ohio University Libraries.

Johnson and Marx are collaboratively selecting five pieces from the Libraries’ exhibit to focus on in their discussion. Drawing on her background in palliative medicine, which deals with relieving and soothing pain of suffering patients, Marx will guide the dialogue to emphasize issues of interest to audience members, who will participate in the conversation.

As the curator of the exhibit, Alost was responsible for photo selection as well as for organization of the exhibit. Before the discussion, Alost will speak briefly about his process in selecting the photos displayed in the exhibit from Johnson’s larger collection. This process allowed not only for each work to stand on its own, but to also play a part in the larger story of coping with pain, death and healing.

The event takes place at the exhibit, fourth floor Alden Library, from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. If you have not already seen it, be sure to visit the exhibit soon.

Photo: In a special program at Seattle Children’s Hospital known as “kangaroo care” the impact of the many painful procedures that premature infants must endure is reduced by placing the baby skin-to-skin and heart-to-heart with a parent or other caretaker. The implementation of this innovative technique significantly reduces the child’s heart rate, blood pressure, stress and level of pain.

Featured image: “Children in Crisis: The Struggle to Save America’s Kids.”  Fortune, August 10, 1992.

Early childhood health programs such as Head Start offered basic health care to children who might not otherwise receive it.  Clyde, an 8-year old boy, received a wellness check-up through a special program organized by the health care company Blue Cross.