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Merrimack Valley

April 18, 2012

A century of photographs from Fenway Park

Pioneering Lawrence photographer linked to ballpark

It's hallowed ground to anyone in the Boston area, indeed almost anyone who's heard of baseball.

This year Fenway Park celebrates its centennial as a home to some of baseball's greatest players, historic wins and crushing losses.

Some of that sacred magic is captured at two exhibits at the 20-year-old Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester.

The museum is named for famed Lawrence photographer Arthur Griffin, who died in 2001 at the age of 97.

The first is "Fenway Park: A 100th Anniversary Exhibit," featuring about 100 works from Lora Brody, Bill Chapman, Jim Dow, Roger Farrington, John W. Ferguson, David Levinthal, Lou Jones, Jack Kadis, Steve Morse, Tony Scarpetta, Stephen Sheffield, Mike Sleeper, Steve Wilstein, and Laura Wulf.

Griffin's nephew Peter Griffin of Windham has a few favorites in this show, namely some shots of Fenway on 9-11 ("There isn't a person in sight. There is something very haunting about it.) and also a set of photos from the area before the construction of the park.

"It was really a wasteland," Griffin said. "There was nothing there."

Griffin, who has already seen the show, thinks the photos and artifacts on display will give viewers a good idea about why and how Fenway Park became so important to so many.

SDLqThere are so few constants in our life," said Peter Griffin, who likened Fenway to something warm and fuzzy. "There is so much change going on in our lives — it's something we can sort of grasp."

The show includes historical and contemporary photographs, as well as ephemera related to the building, the neighborhood, and the people.

"It's been a great venue for the Boston Red Sox, but it has also been the great New England clubhouse over the years," Griffin said. "FDR gave his final political stump speech there in 1944. In 1918, there was a rally there for Irish independence that attracted 60,000 people — inside and on the streets around Fenway."

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