Julius L. Greenfield
Endowment Fund Purchases Art by Photojournalists
The Julius L. Greenfield Endowment for acquisitions of works by photojournalists was established in 1995 by the Singer family in honor of Naomi Singer’s father Julius Greenfield, chief photographer for the Akron Beacon Journal for more than 40 years before retiring in 1973. As a young man he answered an ad for a photographer in an Akron newspaper. In the interview he admitted, “I have never owned a camera and have never taken photos professionally. However, I am very anxious and willing to learn.” He became so accomplished that when a new Knight-Ridder (parent company of the Beacon) newspaper was purchased, he was sent to review and update the photography department. During his career as a respected photographer he also taught photography and journalism at Kent State University.
Julius Greenfield photographed all major events, from mining accidents to bridges that were purposely imploded. In 1935 he photographed the riots at the Berger Manufacturing Company in Canton, Ohio. Three years later he testified before a Senate Civil Liberties Committee using his photos to illustrate the reckless violence that endangered people who were not directly involved in the riot but were walking or driving by the plant. On May 4, 1970, he documented the unfolding tragedy at Kent State University. His photos were even studied by FBI agents to identify individuals who were not students but who may have been instrumental in the events. During his career he became Akron’s historian who recorded in his photos major events for four decades.
We are grateful to the Singer family for their generosity and vision, which will continue to enhance the photography collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art for many generations.
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