CU to Host Exhibit Oct. 27-Nov. 14 Featuring Henry Cowherd’s Photographs

By Hillary C. Wright, student news writer

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. — Campbellsville University will host a photography exhibit featuring Henry Cowherd’s Campbellsville by the late Henry Cowherd, presented by Keith Shapiro, professor of photography at Pennsylvania State University, who will also show his A Portrait of Henry in the exhibit.

he exhibit will be on display at the Campbellsville University Art Gallery across from the Gosser Fine Arts Building from Oct. 27 to Nov. 14. The opening reception will be on Monday, Oct. 27, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The public is invited to the reception and exhibit.

Cowherd was born in 1950 to Robert and Ina Cowherd in Campbellsville. He was proud of his family heritage and connection to Campbellsville that dated back to the days before the American Revolution.

Though a world traveler, he never forgot his roots and maintained a deep affection for both Campbellsville’s people and its land.

After high school, he joined the U.S. Navy as a sailor for six years, where he developed an interest in photography. In 1978, Cowherd entered Rochester Institute of Technology, and, when he returned to Campbellsville for a Christmas holiday visit in 1979, he walked through town and took pictures of people he had known nearly all his life.

After his death, his friend Keith Shapiro found these pictures among his photographic work. He remembered that Cowherd felt they might someday be historically significant to the Campbellsville community.

The names of the people were not found among his belongings, and viewers are asked to identify the people in the pictures and tell significant stories you remember about them.

Some of the photographs are of Mark Chandler, Bill Chandler, Carolyn Ogden, Jim Winn, Helen Kessler, Wally Humphress, Bobby Kirtley, Bruce Hayes and the late Everette Lee, Lawrence James and Jim Perkins.

The pictures, along with the stories, will be donated to the Taylor County Historical Society for future study and research.

During the summer of his sophomore year, Cowherd began a career in archeology when he was named chief photographer for the Bab edh-Dhra’ archeological excavation in the Dead Sea Valley (later identified as the Biblical city Sodom).

He spent much of the next 24 years working as an archeological photographer in Jordan, Egypt and Syria. During his off-seasons, he worked as a professional photographer and a photographic technician.

In 1999, Cowherd became a corporate travel consultant in New York City. In September 2001, Cowherd worked for a company that maintained a large office in the World Trade Center. On the morning of Sept. 11, he had business at another office several blocks away. He watched both buildings fall losing many co-workers.

In 2002, deeply affected by the events of Sept. 11, Cowherd moved to Cochabamba, Bolivia and worked for a Dutch child welfare agency, rescuing homeless and abandoned street children.

He applied his belief in social fairness and interest world politics by becoming the first American member of, and an advisor to, the MAS political party. In 2006, the party’s leader, Evo Morales, was democratically elected as Bolivia’s first indigenous head of state since the Spanish conquest.

The specifics of Cowherd’s death are unclear, but it is believed he died of complications due to malaria in November 2004.

Shapiro is a long-time friend of Cowherd’s, and accompanied him on many of Cowherd’s journeys to the Middle East and South America. His photographs, titled A Portrait of Henry, are color photographs of Cowherd made in Bolivia between 2002 and 2004.

Shapiro’s portraits are intended to give viewers a deeper insight into the man who made the Campbellsville Portraits.

Shapiro has taught photography at Pennsylvania State University since 1990. He is writing a book titled Photography as Popular Culture.

Campbellsville University is a private, comprehensive institution located in South Central Kentucky. Founded in 1906, Campbellsville University is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention and has an enrollment of 2,601 students who represent 93 Kentucky counties, 27 states and 31 foreign nations. Listed in U.S. News & World Report’s 2009 “America’s Best Colleges,” CU is ranked 22nd in “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” in the South for the second consecutive year. CU has been ranked 16 consecutive years with U.S. News & World Report. The university has also been named to America’s Best Christian Colleges®. Campbellsville University is located 82 miles southwest of Lexington, Ky., and 80 miles southeast of Louisville, Ky. Dr. Michael V. Carter is in his tenth year as president.

Chat with us x