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HARD ART DC 1979 is a photo book and traveling exhibition of early DC punk shows. We seek support for the show and to produce the book.
HARD ART DC 1979 is a photo book and traveling exhibition of early DC punk shows. We seek support for the show and to produce the book.
246 backers pledged $14,654 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$14,654

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Our goal was the minimum we need to launch the project. Your further support will make it happen in an even bigger way!

HARD ART DC 1979 is a forthcoming book and traveling exhibition of photographs by Lucian Perkins with writing by Alec MacKaye and a contribution by Henry Rollins.

We launch the exhibition in Washington, DC at Civilian Art Projects this winter and already have two traveling shows booked:

Good Children, New Orleans, LA (January/February 2012)

Austin Details Art + Photo, Austin, TX (March 2012)

We hope to travel the show to many other cities and towns. 

To see more images, click here.

The story of HARD ART DC 1979

HARD ART DC 1979 is a forthcoming book and traveling exhibition of photographs by Lucian Perkins with writing by Alec MacKaye and a contribution by Henry Rollins. The exhibition is curated and edited by photographer and photo editor Lely Constantinople and Jayme McLellan, director of Civilian Art Projects, Washington, DC., with photographs being shown as a group for the first time.


In 1979, a soon to erupt punk scene took hold in Washington, DC with the Bad Brains, Trenchmouth, Teen Idles, the Untouchables, and the Slickee Boys, among others, at the forefront. Lucian Perkins, later a Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist for the Washington Post, was then a 26-year-old intern who photographed several shows over a pivotal five-month period. Alec MacKaye, then 14, was at most of the shows and appears in Perkins' photographs.

Years later, in 1995, Lely Constantinople was hired by Perkins to manage his extensive photographic collection spanning a twenty-five year career with the Post. While looking through negatives in his basement, she found the punk images and recognized MacKaye, her then boyfriend (now husband). She asked to make contact sheets to show him, thinking he might recognize himself and others, and was surprised by how excited MacKaye was to see the images. “Those pictures were the holy grail! Not that many people brought cameras to shows then so I always wondered who he was and what happened to the pictures he took. He was at some of the best shows.”

MacKaye's text offers an intimate exploration of the moment from two perspectives: that of a fourteen-year-old experiencing music on his own terms for the first time, and a look again at a movement that fueled an underground generation musically and philosophically. His examination is not a nostalgic review of glory days gone, as much as a present conversation about the continuation of a way of thinking that still endures.

HARD ART, DC 1979 is an intimate snapshot of "the time before the time" that punk rock found firm footing in the U.S. These images capture the cathartic, infectious energy present in any group of people who seek to change their communities through music and art.

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Personal email thank you from one of the members of the project team.

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    Personal thank you and thanked on website and Facebook page.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    All of the above plus thanked in book and donor receives one artist designed & printed poster.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Thanked in book, copy of the book when published, 5x7” artist proof print signed by Lucian Perkins.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Thanked in book, copy of the book when published, artist designed & printed poster, and 8x10” artist proof print signed by Lucian Perkins.

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    57 backers
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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Thanked in book, copy of the book when published, artist designed & printed poster, 8x10” artist proof print signed by Lucian Perkins, and one 1979 show flyer reproduction.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Thanked in book, copy of the book when published, artist designed & printed poster, 11x14” artist proof print signed by Lucian Perkins and four 1979 flyer reproductions.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Thanked in book, copy of the book when published, artist designed & printed poster, all four 1979 reproduction flyers, and a limited edition 16x20” silver gelatin print signed and numbered by Lucian Perkins.

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    Thanked in book, copy of the book when published, artist designed & printed poster, all four 1979 reproduction flyers, invite to private reception, and TWO limited edition 16" x 20” silver gelatin prints signed and numbered by Lucian Perkins.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Listed as a patron or sponsor (with your permission) of the exhibition and the book; receives 3 copies of the book when published, receives ten 16" x 20" silver-gelatin prints signed and numbered by Lucian Perkins, and invited to a private reception. The donor gets to pick the prints!

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    Listed as a patron or sponsor (with your permission) of the exhibition and the book; receives 5 copies of the book when published, invite to a private reception, twenty 16" x 20" silver-gelatin prints signed and numbered by Lucian Perkins and presented in a custom artist designed box (by Cynthia Connolly) plus all 4 flyers. The donor gets to pick the prints!

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Funding period

- (60 days)