Media Archive: 2017 Exhibitions

William Henry Fox Talbot (English, 1800–1877) "Lace," early 1840s, salted paper print from a photogenic drawing negative, 8 15/16 x 7 3/8 in. (22.7 x 18.7 cm) image; 9 x 7 7/16 in. (22.9 x 18.8 cm) sheet
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Purchased with funds provided by The William Talbott Hillman Foundation. 2017.2.1

Carnegie Museum of Art presents exhibition of William Henry Fox Talbot Photographs

The largest Talbot show in years, will include 16 new acquisitions

William Henry Fox Talbot and the Promise of Photography
November 18, 2017–February 11, 2018
Gallery One, Carnegie Museum of Art

Featuring more than 30 works by William Henry Fox Talbot (British, 1800–1877) and his circle from its own collection and from important public and private lenders, CMOA presents the largest US exhibition of Talbot’s photography in the last 15 years. In addition, 16 of the photographs on view will be recent acquisitions or promised gifts to the museum.

A group of people sitting and reclining in the grass. Behind them, stone wall with ivy and shrubs

William Henry Fox Talbot, Rev. Calvert Richard Jones, “The Fruit Sellers,” before December 13, 1845, salted paper print from a calotype negative, H: 6 11/16 x W: 8 1/4 in. image, Gift of the William Talbott Hillman Foundation

A true “gentleman scientist” of the Victorian period, Talbot combined his knowledge of chemistry, mathematics, and optics, with his interest in art, botany, and classics to invent the paper-based photography that dominated the field for most of the 19th and 20th centuries. Due to the fragile nature of the photographs, exhibitions of Talbot’s work are rare. This represents the first time ever that any of these photographs will be on view in Pittsburgh.

Talbot’s first documented experiments from 1839 and 1840 consisted of “photogenic drawings,” what we now call photograms. Talbot would place an object directly on a piece of paper sensitized with silver salts and leave it to expose in the sun. The results are impressions of leaves, flowers, and pieces of lace that are beautiful compositionsthat have other potential uses. Talbot understood that these early photographs could produce a botanical drawing faster and more accurately than ever before, and could instantly and endlessly reproduce lace patterns to facilitate manufacturing during the boom of the Industrial Revolution. Two of CMOA’s recent acquisitions, Buckler Fern and Leaves and Flowers of a Plant were created during this time, and represent some of the first photographs on paper ever made.

In 1841, Talbot patented the “calotype” process, a direct precursor to the positive and negative in darkroom photography that persists today.  The calotype allowed for picture-making in low-light conditions and with shorter exposure times meaning that interiors and portraits were possible.  Talbot relished this expanded subject matter, making photographs around his Lacock Abbey estate of family and friends.  Eventually, he even brought his equipment abroad to make pictures in other parts of Britain and the European continent.

Talbot’s final innovations in photography entailed his incorporation of photographs into printed books.  The reproducibility of his calotypes—and his photoglyphic and photographic engravings which printed images in ink—represented an entirely new way of disseminating pictures. Contemporary photographers continue to grapple with capturing, fixing, and sharing an image in the digital era. As a result, Talbot’s work feels as relevant today as it did 175 years ago.

William Henry Fox Talbot and the Promise of Photography is organized by Dan Leers, Curator of Photography at Carnegie Museum of Art.

Exhibition Catalogue
The exhibition will be accompanied by a beautiful, small-format book that serves as a primer on the work of William Henry Fox Talbot and his circle, featuring an introductory essay by curator Dan Leers and thematic groupings elucidated by noted Talbot scholar Larry Schaaf. With its luminous reproductions of Talbot’s fragile works, this publication demonstrates that early photography required a form of magic-making and innovation that continues to inspire people today.

Dan Leers, with contributions by Larry J. Schaaf
William Henry Fox Talbot and the Promise of Photography
10 x 8 3/8 in.; Hardcover; 96 pages; 50 illustrations
Retail price: $25
Published by Carnegie Museum of Art
Available October 2017 from D.A.P./Artbook and the CMOA Store

Please visit press.cmoa.org for a selection of high-resolution images from the exhibition.

Support
Support for the exhibition is generously provided by the William Talbott Hillman Foundation.

General operating support for Carnegie Museum of Art is provided by The Heinz Endowments and Allegheny Regional Asset District. The programs of the Heinz Architectural Center are made possible by the generosity of the Drue Heinz Trust. Carnegie Museum of Art receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Carnegie Museum of Art
Carnegie Museum of Art enriches people’s lives through art. The museum is committed to global engagement and regional advancement. We champion creativity and its importance to society with experiences that welcome, inspire, challenge, and inform. Our core activities—collecting, conserving, presenting, and interpreting works of art—make those experiences possible. Our world-class collection of over 30,000 works emphasizes art, architecture, photography, and design from the 19th century to the present. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Museum of Art was founded by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1895. Learn more: call 412.622.3131 or visit cmoa.org.

Press room banner general

Architecture, Technology collide in Copy + Paste

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

HACLab Hall of Architecture: Copy + Paste
October 14, 2017–May 6, 2018
The Heinz Architectural Center Galleries + Hall of Architecture

Pittsburgh, PA…Carnegie Museum of Art (CMOA) announces HACLab Hall of Architecture: Copy + Paste, an eight-month investigation into the museum’s spectacular Hall of Architecture. Visitors to the Hall are constantly wowed by the nearly 150 building facades, monuments, and fragments from across the Western World. What many people don’t realize is that this collection is entirely plaster copies, painstakingly cast and reassembled in 1906–1907. It is the only remaining collection of its type in the US, and one of Pittsburgh’s most iconic spaces.

Over the course of Copy + Paste, curators, technologists, students, architects, and artists will test new ways of presenting information about this special collection. Activities in The Heinz Architectural Center and the Hall range from augmented reality and 3D printing to creative interventions and hands-on activities. The Hall is a mash-up of geography, styles, and periods, so contextualizing and presenting rich content is a priority for Copy + Paste organizer Alyssum Skjeie.

A screen held up to an architectural column displays text information about that object, showing both the column and text on the screen.

Courtesy of Francesca Torello and Josh Bard

HACLab Hall of Architecture: Copy + Paste activities and visitor feedback will inform future efforts to create a dynamic, active, and inspiring Hall. These activities include:

  • Plaster Re-Cast – Experience the Hall of Architecture with a new augmented-reality app, by Francesca Torello and Josh Bard from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), School of Architecture. See this impressive cast collection in a new light through interactive historical content and virtual 3D models of the original buildings
  • CMU Architecture Studio – professor of architecture Joshua Bard leads a studio exploring the material culture of architectural plaster, examining its historic importance and possible future robotic applications. Students will work in the exhibition galleries, and their resulting experiments will join the Copy + Paste presentation.
  • CopyShop – a space for creative thinking and making inspired by the Hall of Architecture, the Copy Shop hosts visitor activities designed by invited makerspace expert Jennifer Grayburn in collaboration with the CMOA Education and Exhibition departments.
  • Archival Materials – new digitization efforts make available historic documents on the Hall of Architecture’s original 1907 design, the creation of the casts themselves, and the ideals of creating a grand study collection for people who could not travel. Some of the most intriguing items will be on view in the exhibition, with periodic rotations.

HACLab Hall of Architecture: Copy + Paste is organized by Alyssum Skjeie, program manager, The Heinz Architectural Center.

HACLab is a project of CMOA’s Heinz Architectural Center. Each Lab invites creative thinkers to design dynamic experiences investigating architecture in Pittsburgh and beyond. The projects are fluid, experimental, and evolve using visitor participation and feedback. We hope that HACLabs offer visitors a new appreciation of human encounters with the built environment.

Support
General operating support for Carnegie Museum of Art is provided by The Heinz Endowments and Allegheny Regional Asset District. The programs of the Heinz Architectural Center are made possible by the generosity of the Drue Heinz Trust. Carnegie Museum of Art receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Carnegie Museum of Art
Carnegie Museum of Art enriches people’s lives through art. The museum is committed to global engagement and regional advancement. We champion creativity and its importance to society with experiences that welcome, inspire, challenge, and inform. Our core activities—collecting, conserving, presenting, and interpreting works of art—make those experiences possible. Our world-class collection of over 30,000 works emphasizes art, architecture, photography, and design from the 19th century to the present. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Museum of Art was founded by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1895. Learn more: call 412.622.3131 or visit cmoa.org.

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Ian Cheng’s Artificially-Intelligent Art at CMOA

Contact: Jonathan Gaugler | gauglerj@cmoa.org | 412.688.8690 / 412.216.7909

Opening September 22, 2017
Forum Gallery, Carnegie Museum of Art

Ian Cheng, Emissary Sunsets The Self, 2017, live simulation and story, infinite duration, sound, Courtesy of the artist, Pillar Corrias London, and Standard (Oslo)

Ian Cheng, Emissary Sunsets The Self, 2017, live simulation and story, infinite duration, sound, Courtesy of the artist, Pilar Corrias London, and Standard (Oslo)

Pittsburgh, PA…Carnegie Museum of Art (CMOA) announces a solo exhibition by Ian Cheng (b. 1984). Cheng presents Emissary Sunsets The Self, an open-ended digital simulation displayed on a massive, 13 foot-wide LED screen in CMOA’s Forum Gallery. The artist is best known for his digital simulation works that draw on his background in cognitive science and employ rudimentary forms of artificial intelligence (AI). Coding these unpredictable animated worlds from the ground up, he uses the language of video games to probe complex themes such as evolution, human behavior, and the history of consciousness.

Emissary Sunsets The Self is the third work in the artist’s Emissaries trilogy (2015–2017). Each simulation in the series—set on the same volcanic site separated by thousands of years—explores a pivotal moment in Cheng’s interpretation of cognitive evolution, past and future. His protagonists, or Emissaries, are equipped with a unique AI composed of multiple competing inner models, allowing them to shape—and be shaped by—their strange environments as they work to accomplish narrative tasks.

“In each episode,” Cheng writes, “the Emissary—caught between unraveling old realities and emerging weird ones—attempts to achieve a series of deterministic narrative goals, an analogy to the narrative nature of consciousness. But crucially these goals can be set off course, procrastinated, disrupted by the underlying simulation and its non-narrative agents who vex the Emissary with other kinds of minds.”

Ian Cheng, Emissary Sunsets The Self, 2017, live simulation and story, infinite duration, sound, Courtesy of the artist, Pillar Corrias London, and Standard (Oslo)

Ian Cheng, Emissary Sunsets The Self, 2017, live simulation and story, infinite duration, sound, Courtesy of the artist, Pillar Corrias London, and Standard (Oslo)

Emissary Sunsets The Self takes place many millennia in the future on a volcanic atoll now under the control of MotherAI. We observe the confrontation between radical mutations in the sentient atoll and the local inhabitants who were long ago engineered to immunize the landscape from monstrous deviations.

Read about the Emissaries series, including narratives,  technical overview, and behavior diagrams, at the artist’s website.

Support
This exhibition is made possible through the generous support of AVS, Ltd.

General operating support for Carnegie Museum of Art is provided by The Heinz Endowments and Allegheny Regional Asset District. The programs of the Heinz Architectural Center are made possible by the generosity of the Drue Heinz Trust. Carnegie Museum of Art receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Carnegie Museum of Art
Carnegie Museum of Art enriches people’s lives through art. The museum is committed to global engagement and regional advancement. We champion creativity and its importance to society with experiences that welcome, inspire, challenge, and inform. Our core activities—collecting, conserving, presenting, and interpreting works of art—make those experiences possible. Our world-class collection of over 30,000 works emphasizes art, architecture, photography, and design from the 19th century to the present. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Museum of Art was founded by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1895. Learn more: call 412.622.3131 or visit cmoa.org.

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William Henry Fox Talbot (English, 1800–1877) "Lace," early 1840s, salted paper print from a photogenic drawing negative, 8 15/16 x 7 3/8 in. (22.7 x 18.7 cm) image; 9 x 7 7/16 in. (22.9 x 18.8 cm) sheet
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Purchased with funds provided by The William Talbott Hillman Foundation. 2017.2.1

CMOA Acquires Important Photographs by William Henry Fox Talbot

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Jonathan Gaugler | gauglerj@cmoa.org | 412.688.8690 / 412.216.7909

Exhibition, Publication coming in November 2017

Pittsburgh, PA…Carnegie Museum of Art (CMOA) announces the acquisition of five photographs from the dawn of the medium. These images were created by William Henry Fox Talbot, and join an exhibition of this pioneering inventor’s work, opening November 18.

William Henry Fox Talbot (English, 1800–1877)
Lace, early 1840s
salted paper print from a photogenic drawing negative
8 15/16 x 7 3/8 in. (22.7 x 18.7 cm) image; 9 x 7 7/16 in. (22.9 x 18.8 cm) sheet
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Purchased with funds provided by The William Talbott Hillman Foundation. 2017.2.1

Talbot made many photographs of lace because its delicate, geometric patterns highlighted the potential of this new medium to faithfully reproduce complex designs. Though his interest here lies in the documentary possibilities of photography, Talbot also understood its potential to beautifully frame and describe lace’s intricate detail. Photographs like these would help revolutionize and industrialize the lace-making trade.

lace

Articles of China, 1844
salted paper print from a calotype negative
5 ½ x 7 1/8 in. (14.0 x 18.2 cm) image; 7 3/8 x 8 ¾ in. (18.7 x 22.2 cm) sheet
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Purchased with funds provided by The William Talbott Hillman Foundation. 2017.2.2

The desire to order and structure our environment is a deep-seated human instinct. Talbot’s balanced, pleasingly composed arrangement speaks to this. He also recognized a new, evidentiary function of photography, “And should a thief afterwards purloin the treasures—if the mute testimony of the picture were to be produced against him in court—it would certainly be evidence of a novel kind.” Insurance claims were made eminently easier with Talbot’s invention.

 

Portrait of Venus, early 1840s
salt print from a calotype negative
3 7/8 × 3 in. (9.9 × 7.5 cm)
Carnegie Museum of Art, Gift of William T. Hillman, 2017.30.1

Marble bust of a woman, facing sideways from viewer. Her hair is swept up in a bun

A Barouche Parked in the North Courtyard of Lacock Abbey, April 1844
Salted paper print from a calotype negative
5 7/8 × 7 in. (15.2 × 17.9 cm) image; 6 × 7 1/8 in. (15.5 × 18.2 cm) sheet
Carnegie Museum of Art, Gift of William T. Hillman, 2017.30.2

Bust of Patroclus, August 9, 1842
salt print from a calotype negative
5 1/8 × 5 in. (13.8 × 12.9 cm) image; 9 × 7 1/2 in. (23.1 × 19.1 cm) sheet
Carnegie Museum of Art, Gift of William T. Hillman, 2017.30.3

 

Upcoming Exhibition

William Henry Fox Talbot and the Promise of Photography
November 18, 2017–February 11, 2018
Gallery One, Carnegie Museum of Art

Featuring more than 30 works by William Henry Fox Talbot (English, 1800–1877) and his circle from its own collection and from important public and private lenders, CMOA presents the largest US exhibition of Talbot’s photography in the last 15 years. A true “gentleman scientist” of the Victorian period, Talbot combined his knowledge of chemistry, mathematics, and optics, with his interest in art, botany, classics, and foreign languages to invent the paper-based photography that dominated the field for most of the 19th and 20th centuries. Due to the fragile nature of the photographs, exhibitions of Talbot’s work are rare. This represents the first time ever that any will be on view in Pittsburgh.

Exhibition Catalogue
The exhibition will be accompanied by a beautiful, small-format book that serves as a primer on the work of William Henry Fox Talbot, featuring an introductory essay by curator Dan Leers and thematic groupings elucidated by noted Talbot scholar Larry Schaaf. With its luminous reproductions of Talbot’s fragile works, this publication demonstrates that early photography required a form of magic-making and innovation that continues to inspire people today.

Dan Leers, with contributions by Larry J. Schaaf
William Henry Fox Talbot and the Promise of Photography
10 x 8 3/8 in.; Hardcover; 96 pages; 50 illustrations
Retail price: $25
Published by Carnegie Museum of Art

Available October 2017 from D.A.P./Artbook and the CMOA Store

William Henry Fox Talbot and the Promise of Photography is organized by Dan Leers, curator of photography at Carnegie Museum of Art.

Please visit press.cmoa.org for a selection of high-resolution images from the exhibition.

Support
Support for the exhibition is generously provided by the William Talbott Hillman Foundation.

General operating support for Carnegie Museum of Art is provided by The Heinz Endowments and Allegheny Regional Asset District. Carnegie Museum of Art receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Carnegie Museum of Art
Carnegie Museum of Art enriches people’s lives through art. The museum is committed to global engagement and regional advancement. We champion creativity and its importance to society with experiences that welcome, inspire, challenge, and inform. Our core activities—collecting, conserving, presenting, and interpreting works of art—make those experiences possible. Our world-class collection of over 30,000 works emphasizes art, architecture, photography, and design from the 19th century to the present. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Museum of Art was founded by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1895. Learn more: call 412.622.3131 or visit cmoa.org.

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CMOA to launch new Bradford Young installation

Contact: Jonathan Gaugler | gauglerj@cmoa.org | 412.688.8690 / 412.216.7909

Carnegie Museum of Art (CMOA) announces REkOGNIZE, a new multichannel video work by artist and Academy Award-nominated cinematographer Bradford Young (Selma, Arrival). Part of the Hillman Photography Initiative’s LIGHTIME, the work will be installed in CMOA’s Scaife Galleries of contemporary art, opening June 16.

Still from Bradford Young, "REkOGNIZE," 2017, Three-channel video (color, sound), Courtesy of the Artist. REkOGNIZE is commissioned by the Hillman Photography Initiative, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh

Still from Bradford Young, “REkOGNIZE,” 2017, Three-channel video (color, sound), Courtesy of the Artist. “REkOGNIZE” is commissioned by the Hillman Photography Initiative, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh

REkOGNIZE is a meditation on photography, memory, and movement. Young finds inspiration in Pittsburgh’s Hill District neighborhood, a site of the early 20th-century Great Migration. During this time, millions of African Americans moved from the rural southern United States to cities in the north and west. The Hill District saw a flourishing of culture during these years and was a site of artistic development for luminaries such as August Wilson, Charles “Teenie” Harris, Errol Garner, and many others. REkOGNIZE takes its visual cues from the Pittsburgh landscape, especially the city’s tunnels, which serve not only as literal entry points into the city, but also as metaphors for this movement of people and culture.

The work is three-channel video featuring Young’s footage of the Hill District, shots of Pittsburgh’s tunnels, and a translation of several Teenie Harris photographs into matrices of metadata. This digital code is also the basis for the work’s musical score by jazz pianist and composer Jason Moran. Young is a constant collaborator across artistic disciplines, working with Creative Time, artist Leslie Hewitt, and director Ava DuVernay, as well as musicians Common and Gingger Shankar, among others. For REkOGNIZE, Moran picks up on the patterns and visual rhythms found within the code, creating music that enters into conversation with Young’s imagery. Young and Moran’s interdisciplinary approach to Harris’s images asks us to reflect on the power of photographs from the past to inspire work today. In doing so, they blur the boundaries between still and moving image, analog and digital, and visual and auditory experiences.

Bradford Young

Bradford Young

For its June 16 debut, Young hosts a screening and discussion of Black America Again, a short film directed by Young featuring Common. The discussion places REkOGNIZE in the context of his larger practice, which shares a focus on community, memory, and ritual.

The work is part of LIGHTIME, a year of programming from the Hillman Photography Initiative. At its essence—and since its beginnings—photography measures light and time. The four artist projects unfolding in 2017 expand upon this notion, using it as a springboard to investigate contemporary social issues.

REkOGNIZE is commissioned by the Hillman Photography Initiative at Carnegie Museum of Art. Support for the Hillman Photography Initiative is provided by the William T. Hillman Foundation and the Henry L. Hillman Foundation.

cmoa.org/lightime

General operating support for Carnegie Museum of Art is provided by The Heinz Endowments and Allegheny Regional Asset District. Carnegie Museum of Art receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Carnegie Museum of Art
Carnegie Museum of Art enriches people’s lives through art. The museum is committed to global engagement and regional advancement. We champion creativity and its importance to society with experiences that welcome, inspire, challenge, and inform. Our core activities—collecting, conserving, presenting, and interpreting works of art—make those experiences possible. Our world-class collection of over 30,000 works emphasizes art, architecture, photography, and design from the 19th century to the present. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Museum of Art was founded by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1895. Learn more: call 412.622.3131 or visit cmoa.org.

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