Born and raised in France, the photojournalist Lionel Delevingne studied education at l’Ecole Normale in Paris, but settled permanently in the United States in 1975. Based at first in Northampton, Mass., he became a prolific photographer of American social movements while working for the Valley Advocate and other publications, covering the early years of the Clamshell Alliance and the antinuclear movement in considerable depth. His work has been exhibited frequently and published widely in the mainstream and alternative press, including the New York Times, Le Figaro Magazine, Die Zeit, Newsweek, Washington Post Magazine, Mother Jones, and Vanity Fair.
The Delevingne collection includes remarkable visual documentation of the antinuclear movement of the 1970s and beyond, including some of the its most iconic images. Beginning with coverage of the Seabrook occupation, Delevingne covered the movement as it spread throughout the northeastern U.S. and internationally. The collection includes exhibition prints, prints for publication, and digitized images ranging in date from the mid-1970s through the late 1980s. Copyright in the images has been retained by Delevingne.
The collection is open for research.
Background on Lionel Delevingne
Born and raised in France, the photojournalist Lionel Delevingne studied education at l'Ecole Normale in Paris, but settled permanently in the United States in 1975. Soon after moving to the Northampton area in 1976, Delevingne turned his attention to the antinuclear movement. Sparked by the proposed construction of nuclear power plants in Montague, Massachusetts, and Seabrook, New Hampshire, a grass-roots movement blossomed in the region, drawing on a long tradition of non-violent political protest. Delevinge captured the development of this movement including the early years of the Clamshell Alliance, the history of civil disobedience and occupation at Seabrook, the aftermath of the Three Mile Island disaster, and other protests from New York to South Carolina and Europe.
Delevingne is the co-author of Drylands, a Rural American Saga (University of Nebraska Press, 2011); Northampton: Reflections on Paradise (Nouveau Monde Press, 1988); and Franco-American Viewpoints (Nouveau Monde Press/ Wistariahurst Museum, 1988). His work has been exhibited frequently in the U.S. and abroad and published widely in the mainstream and alternative press, including the New York Times, Newsweek, Mother Jones, Vanity Fair, Le Figaro Magazine, and Die Zeit. Delevingne has participated in many award-winning projects sponsored by National Endowment of the Arts/Humanities (NEA), Massachusetts Endowment for the Humanities, University & College Designers Association (UCDA), University Professional & Continuing Education Association (UPCEA), and Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).
The Delevingne collection includes remarkable visual documentation of the antinuclear movement of the 1970s and beyond, including some of its most iconic images. Beginning with coverage of the Seabrook occupation, Delevingne followed the movement as it spread throughout the northeastern U.S. and internationally. The collection includes exhibition prints and prints for publication dating from the mid-1970s through the late 1980s.
Subjects of the photographs range from the close-knit community of protestors to the more volatile, and at times violent, clashes between the police and demonstrators on the frontlines. Despite the diversity of individuals present at rallies, Delevingne sought to capture a representation of all, including members of the Clamshell Alliance, union workers, parents with young children and pro-nuclear supporters. In addition to demonstrations, he also photographed portraits of iconic leaders and thinkers of the day, such as Sam Lovejoy, Abbie Hoffman, and Murray Bookchin.
Within the collection is a large series of photographs from the Toward Tomorrow Fair at UMass Amherst in 1978, which showcased a wealth of research and innovation in the field of alternative energy. Solar and wind powered contraptions, appliances, and automobiles were demonstrated at the fair and Delevingne's images capture not only the talented inventors and cutting edge technology, but also the sense of hope and potential that embodied the fair.
Acquired from Lionel Delevingne, 2012.
Processed by Jessica Fafnir Adamites, August 2012.
Cite as: Lionel Delevingne Photograph Collection (PH 47). Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst.