I may have written the first ever first press release on Louis Draper’s photography at Mercer County Community College. I was working in MCCC’s PR department at the time, 1981 to 1984. Now an article on Draper is among the most emailed stories in the New York Times.
Entitled “Louis Draper: Plucked from Obscurity…” the article credits Mercer County Community College’s Gary Saretzky with jumpstarting the attention to Draper’s photographic eye.
At the time of his death, his extensive collection of photographs, negatives and slides was not an archive in any meaningful sense. It was an unorganized mass of material that nearly overwhelmed his office at Mercer County Community College, where he had led the photography program. The task of bringing order to chaos fell to his friend Gary Saretzky, an archivist and photographer, with the assistance of John Sunkiskis, a colleague at the college.
He taught at MCCC for 20 years. We at the college knew we had a treasure. So did his students. He told me then that “The Family of Man” was his inspiration and the photographs in the forthcoming book will be show that.
Photo by Louis Draper, date not known