30 years ago I had the opportunity to meet Duane Michals. He was in Louisville for an exhibit of his work at the Speed Museum. I was in school at the University of Louisville and working at the Photographic Archives. If I remember correctly, Bill Carner, who managed the collections at the time, was asked to take Mr. Michals to dinner while he was in town. I was fortunate enough to be included in the plans.
I was very familiar with Mr. Michals’s work. I was studying photography at U of L and he was someone I was trying to emulate. To say I was excited to meet one of my heroes is an understatement. It was one of those moments in your life that you look back on and wonder why didn’t you ask this question or why didn’t you have more to say.
In the documentary “Duane Michals: The Man Who Invented Himself” Michals talks about meeting and spending time with one of his heroes, René Magritte. He says, “I was actually very intimidated by him. I felt it was such a privilege to be there, let alone be intrusive, and I was so young I didn’t even know what questions to ask.”