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Sat, Feb 17


Jacoby Arts Center

Unfiltered Lens

An exhibition featuring the Civil Rights Movement and Vietnam War through the eyes of Robert J. Ellison

Unfiltered Lens
Unfiltered Lens

Time & Location

Feb 17, 2024, 11:00 AM – Mar 27, 2024, 5:00 PM

Jacoby Arts Center, 627 E Broadway, Alton, IL 62002, USA

About the Event

Exhibition Dates: February 17 through March 27, 2024

Opening Ceremony: February 17th, 2024, 2:00p.m.-4:00p.m.

Reception: First Friday, March 1, 2024, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Jacoby Arts Center

627 E. Broadway

Alton, IL 62002

Jacoby Arts Center will showcase the award-winning work of photographer Robert J. Ellison in a public photo exhibition – focusing on his coverage of the Civil Rights movement and Vietnam War. This exhibition is a collaboration between Lewis and Clark Community College, The Hayner Public Library District, and Jacoby Arts Center. Photos are courtesy of the Wisconsin Veterans Museum. 

The exhibit, opening ceremony, and First Friday reception are free and open to the public. Dress is always "come as you are" at Jacoby.

The photo exhibition, originally displayed at Lewis and Clark’s Hatheway Gallery in August 2023, mimics a journey through time in 100 photographs captured by the young photographer, who was killed in action at age 23 when a plane he was on was hit by enemy gunfire in Vietnam in March 1968.

As the only surviving son of a soldier killed in World War II, Ellison was exempt from military service in Vietnam. Nevertheless, he bravely served on the front lines as a civilian photographer for Newsweek and Time, bringing captive images from overseas to the American public.

“Ellison felt compelled to record the story of American soldiers honestly,” said Ralph “Bo” Jackson, Robert Ellison’s cousin, whose dream has been to bring this exhibition to life in the Riverbend community.

Jackson said Ellison was one of 200,000 people who heard Martin Luther King, Jr. give his famous “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington, D.C.., and was so moved that it spurred him to take an active role in the Civil Rights movement. His images follow several marches and other events throughout the 1960s, capturing the essence and energy of the times, and were published by Ebony magazine.


  • Optional Donation

    NO ticket is required to attend this free event. All optional donations go directly into Jacoby's operating fund to help bring more FREE ART to the Riverbend community! Jacoby is designated a 501(c)3 organization.

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