AUSTIN, Texas – The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at The University of Texas at Austin and the LBJ Presidential Library will present the exhibition “One Night in Miami”: From Photo to Film, from Dec. 9, 2021—May 8, 2022. Located in the LBJ Library’s Great Hall, the exhibit showcases iconic photos from the Briscoe Center’s collections that inspired key moments in the 2020 film.
“One Night in Miami”: From Photo to Film features a selection of images from Bob Gomel and Flip Schulke, famed photojournalists whose archives are housed at the Briscoe Center. The photos, many of which have never before been exhibited, depict a young Muhammed Ali (then known by his birth name, Cassius Clay) during the early years of his boxing career.
After his victory over Sonny Liston for the heavyweight championship in Feb. 1964, Ali celebrated with friends and supporters at the Hampton House, a motel in Miami that served as a gathering place for Black entertainers and celebrities. There, Ali was joined by his friends Malcolm X, singer Sam Cooke and football player Jim Brown, among others. The gathering inspired Kemp Powers’s 2013 play, “One Night in Miami,” which was adapted into Regina King’s award-winning 2020 movie. A key scene in the movie recreates Gomel’s photograph of Malcolm X and Ali in the Hampton House diner.
One of the opening scenes of the film was inspired by Flip Schulke’s famous photos of Ali taken in a Miami swimming pool in 1961. The shoot offered Schulke the opportunity to test out his experimental underwater camera setup.
In addition to a selection of rare photos from Gomel and Schulke, the exhibit features equipment from both photographers and related ephemera.
The LBJ Library is open to the public. Admission tickets must be bought online in advance. For details, please go to https://www.lbjlibrary.org/visit.
A native New Yorker, Robert (Bob) Gomel (b. 1933), Gomel produced numerous noteworthy images for Life, including assignments documenting Marilyn Monroe, the Beatles, and this series showing Muhammed Ali with Malcolm X. He later freelanced for Sports Illustrated, Newsweek and Fortune magazines, among others, before transitioning to advertising photography. Gomel has received numerous awards during his career and continues to travel and photograph international subjects. His archive at the Briscoe Center ranges in date from 1959 to 2014, and includes film negatives, contact sheets and exhibit prints.
Flip Schulke (1930–2008) was one of America’s premier photojournalists. Through his close friendship with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Schulke became best known as one of the leading chroniclers of the Southern civil rights movement. Schulke also gained recognition for his underwater photography, coverage of the Texas School Book Depository following John F. Kennedy’s assassination and his decades-long documentation of the U.S. space program. His photographs were published in numerous magazines, including Time, Newsweek, National Geographic, Look and Sports Illustrated. Schulke won dozens of awards for his photojournalism and contributions to the civil rights struggle. His archives at the Briscoe Center include examples of his equipment along with a wide variety of photographic material.