By: Mary Fran Bontempo




If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the exhibit at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia is worth a million of them.

Capture the Moment: The Pulitzer Prize Photographs, running from October 11th through December 31, 2013, features “the most comprehensive exhibition of Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs ever assembled.” With 153 photographs on display, it’s simply stunning in its effectiveness in portraying the human condition in all of its pathos, pain and joy.

Since 1942, the Pulitzer board has awarded a prize for excellence in photography and as you walk through the exhibit, you’ll be amazed by the number of images that have become an intrinsic part of the American experience. The photograph of U.S. Marines raising the flag at Iwo Jima, later turned into a memorial statue, is included, as is the image capturing Jack Ruby’s assassination of Lee Harvey Oswald. Those who recall the rescue of baby Jessica McClure will recognize the photograph of firefighters clutching her bandaged body as she was pulled from an underground shaft.

While many of the images portray man’s inhumanity as well as nature’s cruelty, there is joy, love, determination and grit, all captured in a momentary snap of a shutter. Details about each photograph and photographer provide the story behind the image for the viewer.

It is astounding, overwhelming and humbling, especially for a writer. In a world often overwhelmed by words, these images don’t require a single one to tell their story. And that is a powerful thing indeed. Don’t miss this wonderful presentation.

The National Constitution Center is located at 525 Arch Street, Phila., PA 19106. Phone–215.409.6600. Museum Hours are as follows:

Monday – Friday: 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Saturday: 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Sunday: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.