The Detroit Institute of Arts presents a survey of over 90 photographs by Russ Marshall whose black-and-white imagery was inspired by the Motor City’s streets, architecture, music and factory workers for over 50 years. Marshall was born in 1940 in the thriving coal-mining town of South Fork, Pennsylvania to a family of coal miners, farmers and industrial factory workers. His family relocated to Detroit in 1943. By the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s, Marshall had begun to photograph the city’s streets, its passersby, Thanksgiving Day parades, its Michigan Central Station (MCS) and even a rare “Love-In” staged on Belle Isle in the late 1960s.
In addition, the exhibition includes a special supplement featuring Marshall’s photographs taken of public life in England and eastern Europe as the Cold War was on the decline in from 1987-1990. Marshall interprets over five decades of blue-collar life, Detroit and its environs through photographs that capture the city’s heart and soul sometimes reading like a melancholy poem but most often as an empathetic narrative of resilient people, places and times now past.