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Witek to lead Gallery Walk through new exhibit

Jun. 25, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Take a walk back into history tonight as Emmy Award-winning writer and documentary filmmaker John Witek will lead a Gallery Walk through a new historic photo exhibit as part of the Fourth Tuesday Tour at 7:15 p.m. June 25, at the Huntington Museum of Art.

The walk with Witek will take you back to the 1920s through 1940s in Huntington to see the city and its people as it was through the lens of photographer Levi Holley Stone in the new exhibit titled, "The Herald-Dispatch Presents: Looking Back: Huntington through the Lens of Levi Holley Stone."

This exhibit, which features 80 incredible black and white photographs, continues through Aug. 18 at HMOA.

Admission is free, and a reception will follow.

Stone (1898-1981), historical Huntington's "unknown" photographer, has at last been discovered. Witek purchased more than 1,000 negatives by Stone at a local flea market. At the time, Witek was unaware of Stone's photographs and had no way of knowing that he had stumbled upon an undiscovered cache of unique images taken by a self-taught photographer with great vision.

Caught up in the amateur photography craze that began at the end of the 19th century with the invention of the Kodak camera, Stone, like most amateur photographers, took many pictures of family and friends. But, as Witek realized after enlarging Stone's small negatives, these were not your typical family photos. The photographer had a good eye and composed his shots artfully.

In 2011, Witek introduced the work of Levi Holley Stone to staff at the Huntington Museum of Art. Soon the decision was made (with the blessing of Stone's descendants) to host an exhibit of 80 selected photographs.

This exhibit is presented by The Herald-Dispatch; and sponsored by the Isabelle Gwynn and Robert Daine Exhibition Endowment; the West Virginia Division of Culture and History; and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts; In Memory of Charlotte and Albert Boos; In Memory of Mrs. Susie Bernev Fatzinger; and In Memory of Carney and Margaret M. Layne.

For more information on events at HMA, visit www.hmoa.org or call 304-529-2701. HMA is fully accessible.