An exhibit of more than 50 historic photographs by James Edward “Ed” Westcott, the official photographer of the Manhattan Project in Oak Ridge during World War II, will open Friday in Knoxville.
The exhibit is titled “Through the Lens of Ed Westcott: A Photographic History of World War II’s Secret City.” It’s scheduled to be on display from June 3 to August 6 at the University of Tennessee Gallery at 106 South Gay Street in Knoxville.
A First Friday Opening Reception is scheduled from 5-9 p.m. Friday, June 3. Westcott will be in attendance from 6:30-8:30 p.m., a press release said.
There will be a gallery talk with Baldwin Lee, UT art professor emeritus, starting at 7 p.m. Friday. Baldwin will discuss the photos in the exhibition, the press release said.
Here is more information from the press release:
In 1942, the Army Corps of Engineers relocated James Edward Westcott to Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and assigned him the task of official photographer for the Manhattan Project—a massive wartime effort to produce the world’s first atomic bomb. As secrecy of the project was paramount, the “atomic” city was fenced, and communication with the outside world was limited. What is more, no cameras were allowed inside the fenced boundaries.
Thus, Ed Westcott became not only the official photographer for the Manhattan Project, but he also became the sole photographer of the social and recreational events of Oak Ridge. It is only through Westcott’s photographs that a visual history of Oak Ridge can be appreciated.
This exhibition includes more than 50 photographs that were originally exhibited at the UT Downtown Gallery in the summer of 2005, which was the first exhibition of Westcott’s photographs as works of art credited to his name outside of Oak Ridge. Now, we are pleased to announce the 2016 exhibition of Westcott’s photographs, with additional works not previously shown in the 2005 exhibit.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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