‘Gene’s Friend: Cranston Ritchie’

You need to be a bit of a photography insider to know the “Gene” referred to in “Gene’s Friend: Cranston Ritchie” is Kentucky photographer Ralph Eugene Meatyard. His friend, Cranston Ritchie, was also a photographer who unfortunately died of cancer at the age of 38 in 1961. Both were in the Lexington Camera Club and Ritchie can be seen in some of Meatyard’s photographs. A photographer for only five years, Ritchie used his art to explore reoccurring patterns and what psychologists today call “loss of identity” after his service in World War II. The show was curated by photographic scholar James Rhem and the Photographic Archives former “photo wrangler” Bill Carner. Rhem found Ritchie’s negatives while doing research for a book on Meatyard.


Photographic Archives Gallery
Ekstrom Library, UofL