Leslie, Downtown, Knoxville, 1967
Leslie, Downtown, Knoxville, 1967
Memorial Day Run, Milwaukee, 1966
Memorial Day Run, Milwaukee, 1966
Crossing the Ohio, Louisville, 1966
Crossing the Ohio, Louisville, 1966
Outlaw camp, Elkhorn, Wisconsin, 1965-66
Outlaw camp, Elkhorn, Wisconsin, 1965-66
Bob Dylan behind the SNCC office, Greenwood, Mississippi, 1963
Bob Dylan behind the SNCC office, Greenwood, Mississippi, 1963
On the Road to Yazoo City, Mississippi, 1963
On the Road to Yazoo City, Mississippi, 1963
Cell block table, The Walls, 1967
Cell block table, The Walls, 1967
All Detail


The Bikeriders
Civil Rights





Danny Lyon in Daily Mail

December 20, 2014

Millions of New Yorkers ride the subway every day, most of them not bothering to look one another in the eye as they shuffle by lost in thought.

A photo exhibit by Danny Lyon called 'Underground: 1966' that the MTA Arts & Design has installed at Atlantic Av-Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, New York zooms in on the Subway riders of 1966, zooming in on ephemeral moments in an ever-changing city. It will be on display for one year.

According to MTA.com Lyon has had a long career as a photographer and filmmaker who documented the civil rights movement of 1962 in the South and was in a motorcycle gang in Chicago.

For the full article, please visit Daily Mail

ABC News on Danny Lyon's vintage photos of subway riders

December 18, 2014

Photographer Danny Lyon's images of New York City subway riders in 1966 are being featured in an exhibit by MTA Arts & Design. Lyon has had a distinguished career as a photographer and filmmaker, most notably documenting the Civil Rights Movement and motorcycle gangs in the 1960s. Returning to New York City in late 1966, Lyon's mother gave him the advice, "If you're bored, just talk to someone on the subway." Using a Rolleiflex camera and color transparency film, the images in "Underground: 1966" have never been publicly exhibited prior to this.

For more images from Danny Lyon's MTA exhibition, please visit ABC News

Danny Lyon in Paper Magazine

December 17, 2014

Photographer Danny Lyon spent the '60s in the South, photographing the Civil Rights Movement, traveling with motorcycle gangs, and creating some of the images that would make him one of the key artists of 20th century documentary photography. Upon returning to New York City in 1966, Lyon began photographing subway commuters around town, capturing the curious intimacy and anonymity of public transportation. Lyon told Fast Company, "When I speak with someone on the subway, I find New Yorkers easily slip into a conversation. Then they step out of the door and are gone." The photos, many of which were taken on New Year's Eve night, are being shown for the first time in the MTA Arts & Design exhibition, Underground: 1966 at the at the Atlantic Avenue-Barclays station. They'll be on display for a year.

For more images from Danny Lyon's MTA exhibition, please visit Paper Magazine

The MTA displays Danny Lyon photographs at Atlantic Ave - Barclays station in Brooklyn

December 9, 2014

MTA Arts & Design has installed a new photography exhibit that features exclusive images by Danny Lyon, who photographed subway riders in 1966. The exhibit, located at the Atlantic Av-Barclays BDNQR2354 station in Brooklyn, will be on view for one year.

For the full press release, please visit MTA

The New York Times' LENS blog reflects on Danny Lyon's career during Civil Rights Movement

January 21, 2014

Like an Old Testament prophet, the photographer Danny Lyon has agitated for his fellow man to pursue justice and freedom. This was not always a popular message, nor a lucrative one, but that wasn’t how he saw his role.

“I wasn’t interested in money,” Mr. Lyon wrote in an email exchange last week. “If I wanted to, I would have opened an automobile dealership. It was 1962 and I wanted to change America.”

For the full article and a slideshow of Lyon's images, please visit NYT LENS.

Danny Lyon exhibition at the Foto Colectania Foundation in Barcelona

Danny Lyon is considered one of the most influential and original documentary photographers of the 20th century. His work highlights for the special involvement he demonstrated with the communities he photographed in the United States. With works from the Martin Z. Margulies Collection, the Foto Colectania Foundation will exhibit in Barcelona three of his most iconic series, "Conversations with the Dead" (1971) where he reveals the situation of Texas state prisons in the late sixties, "The Bikeriders" (1967), showing the lives of the American Midwest bikers, and "Uptown" (1965), which reflects the life of the immigrant neighborhood in northern Chicago.

For more information, please visit Foto Colectania Foundation.

For information about Danny Lyon's talk at the exhibition, click here.

The Guardian: Danny Lyon: 'I put myself through an ordeal in order to create something'

15 May 2012

The great photographer, famous for documenting the civil rights struggle and riding with bikers in the 60s, grants a rare interview.

For the full article, please see The Guardian's website.

Download PDF (397 K)

Stubbornly Practicing His Principles of Photography

Published in The New York Times, April 26, 2009


“LISTEN, do I have time to feed my pig?” the photographer Danny Lyon asked, picking up the telephone one morning at his home in rural New Mexico. “It will only take about 10 minutes. I’ll call you back,” he said, adding: “That way I can start the day with a clean conscience.”

Among a group of revolutionaries whose work rose to prominence in the late 1960s and ’70s and transformed the nature of documentary photography — a group that includes friends and colleagues of Mr. Lyon’s like Mary Ellen Mark and Larry Clark — the idea of conscience has been imbedded more deeply in Mr. Lyon’s photographs than in those of all but a few of his contemporaries.

To view full article click download

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Jan, 2005

Do not ask DANNY LYON how he sees the world when he snaps the lens, or how he thinks. He's already answered those questions in the pictures and books he has produced over the past 40 years.

"Thats why you publish a book," he says. "You publish a book to show the world how you think."
Lyon, one of the country's premier documentarians and photojournalists, could chart his career by projects that record chapters in the nation's late 20th century life: civil rights, motorcycle gangs, urban destruction, South-to-North migrations, and a U.S dominated Latin America. He documented these and other topics in ten books and ten non-fiction films.

To view full article click download.

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Danny Lyon

b. New York, 1942

Danny Lyon is one of the most important American photographers of the last half century to renew the documentary tradition's concern with social justice. He was shaped by his experience covering the unrest of the 1960s as staff photographer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. This led to his first publication, The Movement (1964), and since then he has produced numerous books, including Conversations with the Dead (1971), the first book on America's prison system by a photojournalist. He has also had a significant career as a filmmaker, his work including Little Boy (1977), Los Niños Abandonados (1975), and Social Sciences 127 (1969).

Self-taught, and driven by his twin passions for social change and the medium of photography, the power of Lyon's work has often derived from his willingness of immerse himself entirely in the cultures and communities he documents. This was evident early on in his series Bikeriders (1968; reissued in 2003 by Chronicle Books), which evolved from four years spent as a member of the Chicago Outlaw Motorcycle Club. And Conversations with the Dead derived from his close study of the Texas prison system; it also revealed Lyon's novel and distinctive approach to the photobook, which often sees him splicing images with texts drawn from various sources, including interviews, letters, and even fiction.

In the late 1960s Lyon turned his camera on the redevelopment of Lower Manhattan, where the construction of the World Trade Center, among other projects, cleared away much of the area's nineteenth century building stock (The Destruction of Lower Manhattan, 1969; reissued by powerHouse, 2005). The 1970s saw him return to documenting communities, in Texas and in New York, but in the 1980s he shifted gear, turning his lens on his family. In 1999 he once again spliced images and text to produce a memoir, Knave of Hearts (Twin Palms).

Danny Lyon lives in New Mexico and Maine. His most recent book is Memories of Myself (Phaidon, 2009), which collects his photo-essays from over four decades. He has been the subject of several major exhibitions at galleries including the Museum of Modern Art; Whitney Museum of American Art; and the Art Institute of Chicago. A major travelling retrospective was organised in 1990 by the Folkwang Museum in Essen, Germany, and the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, Arizona.

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