Hugh Edwards Interview

Hugh Edwards, the audio: Chicago, September, 1972

Twelve years after first meeting Hugh Edwards, and three years after completing “Conversations with the Dead”, Danny Lyon, now a filmmaker, returned to Chicago with a ¼ inch analogue tape recorder. His intention was to “make one hundred tapes” of Hugh Edwards speaking (he made four).

Over a three day period, sitting alone with Hugh Edwards in his Hyde Park apartment, Lyon made the only known recordings of this giant of twentieth century photography.

Compared to Stieglitz and Steichen in his successful efforts to have photography, and street photography accepted as a great art form, Edwards gave Danny Lyon two one man shows at the Art Institute in the 1960’s something he only did for one other, Robert Riger, the great sports photographer.

Edwards tended to speak at length, and during the tape either speaks over, or ignores much of what Lyon tries to say. He is smoking Parliament cigarettes, and you can sometimes hear the click of his lighter. His crutches are at the side of the couch he is sitting on.

In another section of the tapes he explains that during his childhood in Paducah, Kentucky he suffered from a bone disease and was wheeled around “in a cart” until the age of about ten. What follows is an uninterrupted eight minute section from the recordings.



Hugh Edwards

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