Baldwin exhibit honors American heroes

Heroes gallery

When you step into The Baldwin Photographic Gallery for the exhibit AMERICAN HEROES: PORTRAITS OF SERVICE, try not to feel emotional, proud and grateful as you walk up to the photograph of James Tobin on the front wall. He’s leaning forward toward skies of the past and the future, carrying a WWII canvas backpack monogrammed simply with the letters U.S. Stare into the larger-than-life eyes of Richard Dunne, a veteran of the Korean War, a closeup portrait of his face presented over 3 feet tall, and try to imagine the experience of the young man behind those eyes over 50 years ago.

Heroes Bernhardt

Arthur William Bernhard Jr., Personnel Man First Class, U.S. Navy, 1950-1954, U.S. Navy Reserves, 1954-1990.          By Thomas Sanders

Thomas Sanders began photographing WWII veterans more than 10 years ago, first as a photography student in 2006.  Two years later, he was commissioned by Belmont Village Senior Living to create images of its resident veterans, predominantly from World War II, for permanent exhibitions at its communities across the country. This project continues today with new portraits of resident servicemen and women.

Sanders’ photographs are bold, honest and insightful. They are respectful of his subjects’ wartime experience and their current place in life. Through the alchemy of lighting, posture and a nuanced use of artifacts, they magically capture both the vulnerability of age and the valor of youth in wartime.

Baldwin Photographic Gallery is proud to join Thomas Sanders and Belmont Village in the recognition of all veterans, past and present, with this exhibition at Middle Tennessee State University, on display through Jan. 5, 2018.

Sanders is lecturing on his work Nov. 9 at 6:30 p.m. in the State Farm Room in the Business and Aerospace building. A reception will follow in the Baldwin Photographic Gallery on the 2nd floor in the Bragg Media and Entertainment Building.

The exhibit is free and open to the public 8:30–4:30 pm, Monday–Friday, when classes are in session.  Additionally, faculty- and curator-led tours are available to individuals or groups by appointment.  Contact Curator Jackie Kerns Heigle for information at

For more information about Thomas Sanders please click here. For more information regarding the American Heroes Project and Belmont Village, please click here.

Heros banner


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