Shall Not Be Recognized Exhibition Records, 2007


In the November 2006 general election, Wisconsin voters passed a resolution to amend the state constitution to make it unconstitutional for the state to recognize or perform same-sex marriages and civil unions. In response, Will Fellows collaborated with photographer Jeff Pearcy to create Shall Not Be Recognized, an exhibit of photographic and verbal portraits of thirty same-sex couples in long-term, committed relationships. The name of the exhibit was taken from the amendment itself. Fellows conducted interviews with the couples, all residents of the Milwaukee area, and created the text for the exhibit. Pearcy conducted photo sessions with the couples and created the images for the exhibit.

Will Fellows, born in 1957, grew up near Evansville, Wisconsin. After completing undergraduate and graduate degrees at Cornell University, he returned to Wisconsin. Fellows and his life partner, Bronze Quinton, have been Milwaukee residents since 1994. Fellows's first book, Farm Boys: Lives of Gay Men from the Rural Midwest was published by the University of Wisconsin Press in 1996. His second book, A Passion to Preserve: Gay Men as Keepers of Culture, was published by the University of Wisconsin Press in 2004.

Jeff Pearcy began a career as a traditional newspaper reporter and later became a photojournalist. For ten years he was the chief photographer for the Oshkosh Northwestern, making several career changes before opening Jeff Pearcy Photography.