DETROIT (WWJ) – A Detroit photographer has spent the past four years getting up close and personal with President Barack Obama and many of Michigan’s high-profile politicians and now, you’ve got the chance to see some of his work.

The Detroit Public Library’s main branch and Children’s Library are hosting an exhibit that provides an intimate look at the first African-American President of the United States.

PHOTOS: See A Preview Gallery

The exhibit, “Barack H. Obama: From Senator to the White House,” features nearly 50 photographs of Obama, as the then-senator from Illinois campaigned for the presidency and during his term as chief executive.

The photos, taken by nationally acclaimed photographer Dale Rich, show Obama with various political figures, union leaders and entertainers both in Michigan and elsewhere.

Many photos were taken at the Denver Democratic Convention, in Columbus, Ohio, and Labor Day in Detroit. Shots include those of Vice President Al Gore, former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, Teamsters President James P. Hoffa, Congressman John Conyers, and Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin.

The exhibit runs concurrent with another popular Main Library Rich presentation, which has been extended through December: “From Slavery to Freedom,” an achingly powerful mixed-medium exhibit.

Rich told WWJ’s Vickie Thomas he’ll also be conducting a lecture. One topic focuses on the president’s possible ties to the first documented slave in the U.S.

“John Punch, although he was African, he did have a family with a white woman in the 1640s. So, from that point they have traced that family to the president’s mother,” said Rich.

The exhibit runs through November at Detroit Public Library — Main Branch, 3rd Floor Adam Strohm Hall, and The Children’s Library, 5201 Woodward.


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