Award-winning Associated Press war photographer Henri Huet to be celebrated in Paris exhibit
“Henri Huet: Vietnam” runs at La Maison Européenne de la Photographie Feb. 9-April 3
NEW YORK – Striking images shot by The Associated Press photographer Henri Huet that captured the bravery, courage and tragedy of the Vietnam War will be exhibited, some for the first time, in an exclusive collection beginning Feb. 9 at La Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris.
The exhibit, “Henri Huet: Vietnam,” will be co-curated by the AP to celebrate the extraordinary courage of a journalist who ultimately gave his life in an effort to report on the war in Vietnam. The exhibit will mark the 40th anniversary of Huet’s untimely death, along with three other photojournalists, in a helicopter explosion over Laos on Feb. 10, 1971, during the South Vietnamese invasion.
“Henri’s photos are more a part of history than of photography. In their time, they changed the way Americans looked at the war. They had more impact than the millions of words newspapers printed,” said Horst Faas, AP’s chief photographer for Southeast Asia from 1962-1973, based in Saigon, and a close friend of Huet.
The photo exhibit will feature about 70 of Huet’s AP photos, photo equipment, letters and various personal effects, including the only trace of Huet recovered when the Laos crash site was searched in March 1998: a gold medallion that he kept in his wallet. Selected photos taken by his close friends and colleagues in Vietnam also will be on display, including some by Faas; Life magazine photographer Larry Burrows, who died with Huet; AP photographer Eddie Adams; AP photographer Nick Ut; and Time and Life magazine photographer David Burnett.
For almost 20 years, Huet combed the streets of Vietnam, documenting the growing unrest and violence in the former French colony. Huet, who was half Vietnamese and half French, was known for his charisma, passion and ease among soldiers in the jungles and swamps of Southeast Asia. His images helped change the American view of the war and influenced generations of photojournalists.
The artifacts and fragmentary remains of Huet and the three other photojournalists -- Burrows, Kent Potter of United Press International and Keisaburo Shimamoto of Newsweek -- that were recovered from the crash site were interred at the Newseum in Washington in 2008. The material was encased in a stainless-steel box set beneath a metal nameplate in the floor of the Journalists Memorial gallery. Huet’s gold medallion will be returned to his family at La Maison Européenne de la Photographie, where it also will be on view as part of the exhibit.
“Henri Huet: Vietnam” will open with a special reception Feb. 8 featuring war correspondents and other honorees. The exhibit will open to the public Feb. 9 and run through April 3.
To view a selection of Huet’s photos, go to: http://www.ap.org/media/Henri_Huet_Vietnam/index.html.
For more information on La Maison Européenne de la Photographie (MEP), please visit http://www.mep-fr.org/us/default.htm.
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