The subject of Inner Grace is the multi-handicapped individual. This includes the mentally challenged, the blind, and the cerebral palsied.
All photos © Abraham Menashe
Grace is defined as, elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion or act... the influence or spirit of God operating in man to regenerate or strengthen him. It is a state that exists in the joy of being as well as the effort of trying. The photographs embrace moments of innocence, accomplishment, serenity, pride, and struggle.
In accepting the limitations that life imposes on us, we can often overcome them. This is demonstrated by the youth in the pool who, despite a twisted spine and limited muscle movements, yields to the water, and in so doing learns how to swim.
The images reveal beauty in the distorted body and bring us closer to the conquering spirit in man. As we learn to carry our burdens well, in the yielding and in the striving, we become imbued with the favor and love of God. This assistance, the influence of the freely given, is grace.
The photographs form a prayer, not only in the making of them, but now in the sharing of them.
New York City, 1978
by Abraham Menashe
Alfred A. Knopf, © 1979
Abraham Menashe is committed to images that affirm life, provide refuge and offer healing. His photographs have graced the pages of numerous publications, including Newsweek, Scientific American, The New York Times, and Time-Life Books. Menashe's distinct brand of humanistic photography is internationally acclaimed for its poetic beauty and compassion.
Born in Egypt in 1951, Abraham Menashe now lives in New York City. Menashe's eight books include Inner Grace (Knopf, 1979), about America’s multi-handicapped population, published in conjunction with an exhibit at the Witkin Gallery, and The Face of Prayer (Knopf, 1980), images made around the world, published in conjunction with a show at the International Center of Photography, New York.
Abraham Menashe's photographs are in several museum collections, including New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Museum of the City of New York, the New York Historical Society, the Jewish Museum, the Kosciuszko Foundation, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Commissioned work includes a permanent installation at the Church Center of the United Nations, New York.
Menashe is a conscientious objector who worked with the Quaker community on behalf of the peace movement during the Vietnam War. He is a student of Nonviolent Communication, and Attitudinal Healing—the practice of letting go of fear and letting in non-judgmental attitudes. Abraham is an avid aquarist who enjoys aquascaping. He is moved by random acts of kindness, and is in rapture upon reading poets offering their YES to the world.