‘Crime of the Century’ Examined at Robert Morris Art Gallery

MOON TWP. − On February 1, 1896, Pearl Bryan, 7 months pregnant, was murdered and beheaded by her lover in northern Kentucky with the help of her roommate. Called “the crime of the century”, the murder captured the nation’s imagination, with daily coverage of the trial, including by The New York Times, and spawning more than 25 popular folk songs.

A new Robert Morris University exhibit investigates this murder, combining photographs of the original sites, crime-related artifacts, excerpts and woodcuts from books and newspaper accounts, and information gleaned from court transcripts original.

Stephen Chalmers, artist of the exhibition titled “Pearl Bryan”, presents more than 80 pieces on display to the public weekdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. until November 7 at the Media Arts Gallery at the Wheatley Center on the Robert Morris campus in Commune from the moon.

An artist talk and closing reception will take place from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on November 7, with the opportunity for the artist to meet the public and discuss the work.

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The location of Pearl Bryan's murder has been investigated in a new exhibit at Robert Morris University.

Chalmers has worked as an emergency medical technician, senior treatment counselor for severely emotionally disturbed children, and has taught photography to gang children, informing his projects that address issues of loss. His work has been the subject of group and solo exhibitions throughout the United States as well as in Australia, Ireland, British Columbia, Thailand, England, South Africa, Spain, the Netherlands. Low and China. He has been a guest artist at numerous colleges and universities and regularly teaches workshops on alternative photographic processes and digital imaging.

Boardman, Ohio, resident, Chalmers received his master’s degree in film and photography from Southern Illinois University and served on the National Board of Directors for the Society for Photographic Education from 2017-2020. He has taught photography and digital media in from the universities of Washington and Ohio. His work appears in several collections including the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Light Work, Polaroid and the Getty Research Institute.

Selections of his projects are available at askew-view.com.

William E. Bennett