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Flip Schulke (American, 1930–2008)
LOT ID: 79710
Ali Underwater, 1961

Silver Print
19.25 х 13 in. (48.9 x 33.02 cm.)
Signed, Signed by the photographer in pencil on verso, "(c) Flip Schulke / Made from the original 35mm, B/W, 1961 negative, under my supervision / F. S."
Lot description
Image size: 19.25" x 13"
Paper size: 20" x 16"

A gelatin silver photograph of boxing legend Muhammad Ali (then known as Cassius Clay) performing training exercises at the Sir John Hotel pool in Miami, 1961.

Flip Schulke, a native of New Ulm, Minnesota and a 1954 graduate of Macalester College, [took] photographs for [some] sixty years, since he received a Kodak “Baby Brownie Special” camera when he was fifteen years old. Working most of his career as a freelance photographer, Schulke earned national and international accolades as a photojournalist. Within a few years after graduating from Macalester, Schulke was shooting for magazines as Life, National Geographic, and Ebony. He has been represented by Black Star Picture Agency since 1953.

Well known for his photographs of Fidel Castro and John F. Kennedy, Schulke is most famous for his photo documentation of the U.S. civil rights movement. Schulke spent much of the next decade traveling with and photographing Martin Luther King, Jr. and other civil rights leaders.

At the same time he was being recognized domestically for his work in the civil rights movement, Schulke was also earning an international reputation as a pioneer in underwater photography, a skill he began developing in 1955. Never just a “fish photographer,” Schulke applied his photojournalist skills to the underwater environment, primarily photographing people working or playing underwater. He was the principal photojournalist for many underwater scientific studies, including archaeological, paleontological, and biological projects that took him to marine and freshwater environments around the world, from the South Pacific to Lake Titicaca in Bolivia, often with French explorer Jacques Cousteau. Much of Schulke's reputation in underwater photography came from his contributions to the technology required to do this sort of photography. … His book Underwater Photography for Everyone (Prentice-Hall, 1976) was the authoritative source for the general underwater photographer for more than a decade.

Schulke was the recipient of many prestigious honors and awards, including: 1995, the Crystal Eagle Award for Impact in Photojournalism, from the National Press Photographer Association; 1986, First Annual New York State Martin Luther King, Jr. Medal of Freedom; 1983, Golden Trident, from the Government of Italy for his accomplishments in underwater photography; and 1967, Underwater Photographer of the Year—USA, from the International Underwater film and photography competition, Santa Monica, California. ... Schulke's entire photo archive of approximately a half million original photographs [is now archived] at the Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. []
Ali Underwater by Flip Schulke
  • Ali Underwater by Flip Schulke
  • Ali Underwater by Flip Schulke
  • Ali Underwater by Flip Schulke
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