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Elvis Presley Exhibit at Clinton Center Jun. 07, 2011

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Starting June 4 and running until August 21, the Clinton Presidential Center, located in downtown Little Rock next to the river, will play host to the exhibition “Elvis at 21, Photographs by Alfred Wertheimer.” Developed by the Smithsonian, the exhibition arrives at the center by no mere coincidence. Many Arkansans and fans of former President Bill Clinton will know of the President’s deep admiration for the King of Rock and Roll. The exhibit features stunning photographs during Elvis’s rise to extraordinary fame.
Elvis Presley Enterprises is an Aristotle Interactive client, so we were proud to attend the press conference announcing the exhibit, which featured the famous photographer himself, Alfred Wertheimer. The Clinton Center was packed with those hoping to hear the man who captured the king at such an early point in his career and life.
Alfred Wertheimer reflects on
his work with Elvis
As Wertheimer approached the podium, he remarked how this venue dramatically varied from his normal routine. He usually did not speak to such large crowds, as he typically walked through his exhibits with small numbers and intimately spoke about his work. He jokingly expressed that he would make the exception for this. His light-heartedness and excitement accented every word as he spoke about his past and how he ended up working with Elvis.
Having escaped a Nazi-occupied Germany as a kid, he guffawed at the irony of ending up back there twenty years later when he was drafted into the Korean War. Interested in photography, Wertheimer caught his leaders' attention, and they recognized his affinity and reassigned him missions in order to photograph the war. He continued with this line of work even after the war, and eventually began working with RCA studios. In 1956, Ann Fulchino of RCA called Wertheimer and asked if he wanted to photograph a new musician at CBS’s Studio 50. At the time, Wertheimer, and many Americans, had never even heard of Elvis. Of course, that would quickly change.
The exhibit features incredible black-and-white photographs that intimately portray Elvis Presley. As most of the photographs were captured before his world-stardom, Wertheimer experienced the personalized humanity of Elvis and is able to share with the world a glimpse of the man behind the king. Of Elvis, Wertheimer said at the conference with a wry grin, “He has affected my life. If Ann hadn’t contacted me, my life would have been much different. I might have had a family and six kids.”
For more information on the “Elvis at 21, Photographs of Alfred Wertheimer” exhibition and the Clinton Presidential Center, please visit their website.
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