Visual Memoir

A retrospective from photographerMark Edward Atkinson.

Mark Edward Atkinson, self portrait.

“From my early days in the newspaper business, I was drawn to people and their stories. Whether they were artists or factory workers, spies or murderers, it was always fascinating. In many cases voyeuristic,” says Norfolk-based photographer Mark Edward Atkinson of his more than 30 years shooting people and places, both at home and abroad.

A retrospective of Atkinson’s work, on view at Norfolk’s Hermitage Museum & Gardens through July 22, includes images like one of a Hindu holy man taken near the Ganges River, his body coated with ash, a wall of white smoke obscuring his face. A young Haitian girl smiles shyly, and a fresh-faced Pharrell Williams poses in Virginia Beach, on the cusp of stardom. 

“It was never about exposing film,” says Atkinson. “It was about recording what was in my head even when I had no idea what that was. I mostly loved it all, but looking back I was always, and continue to be, drawn to shooting people.”

The exhibition comprises more than 60 framed pieces as well as a short film. 

A 385-page coffee table book accompanies the show and features additional images of some of the celebrities Atkinson has photographed, including Dizzy Gillespie, Martina Navratilova, Pat Conroy and Hillary Clinton. 

June 11, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum
July 9, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum
August 13, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum