Media Archive: Photography

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Acclaimed photographer Deana Lawson shows never-before-seen works in new exhibition

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

Deana Lawson
March 15–July 15, 2018
Forum Gallery

Pittsburgh, PA…Carnegie Museum of Art (CMOA) presents Deana Lawson, a new exhibition of never-before-shown photographs by Lawson (b. 1979). The Brooklyn-based artist’s growing body of work addresses critical issues surrounding representations of African Americans and the African diaspora. The exhibition is the 80th edition of CMOA’s dynamic Forum series, uninterrupted since 1990, bringing the work of extraordinary artists to Pittsburgh.

Deana Lawson, 'Nation,' 2017, © 2018 Deana Lawson

Deana Lawson, ‘Nation,’ 2017, inkjet print, © 2018 Deana Lawson

Few photographers working today unpack complexities of race and identity like Deana Lawson. Her strikingly-arranged portraits are packed with details that invite contemplation and close inspection. Lawson depicts people and interiors she encounters in her daily routines and travels, from her own neighborhood in Brooklyn to Soweto, South Africa, and beyond. She also appropriates photographs from other sources to address depictions of African Americans in media and visual culture. The exhibition includes 10 photographs, printed in the largest size ever for the artist. Their life-size scale affords scrutiny of the carpeting, clothing, furniture, hair, and jewelry that impact our perceptions—and perhaps biases—about people and their stories.

Deana Lawson also features photographic installations that burst out of the traditional picture frame and onto the exhibition walls. Lawson taps a variety of sources, including mass media and photo libraries, to explore how images in contemporary visual culture shape perceptions and stereotypes of people and communities.  Each one is site-specific to CMOA and meticulously assembled by the artist in response to the museum and its local context.

We invite everyone to meet Deana Lawson and exhibition curator Dan Leers at the opening reception. The event is on March 15 at 7 p.m., and is free to the public. The museum’s monthly Third Thursday series follows from 8–11 p.m.

CMOA’s Forum series hosts diverse artists working on innovative projects in our Forum Gallery, located in the main lobby of the museum. For over 25 years, the series has offered our curators a dynamic space to show new developments in contemporary art.

Deana Lawson is organized by Dan Leers, curator of photography at Carnegie Museum of Art.

 

Major funding for the Forum series is generously provided by the Juliet Lea Hillman Simonds Foundation. Additional support for this exhibition is provided by the Marty McGuinn Art Exhibition Fund.

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 creates experiences that connect people to art, ideas, and one another.
We believe creativity is a defining human characteristic to which everyone should have access. CMOA collects, preserves, and presents artworks from around the world to inspire, sustain, and provoke discussion, and to engage and reflect multiple audiences.

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.

Teenie Harris Photographs: Service and Sacrifice

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

Pittsburgh, PA…Carnegie Museum of Art (CMOA) presents Teenie Harris Photographs: Service and Sacrifice, open January 27–May 28, 2018. The exhibition is the latest from CMOA’s Teenie Harris Archive, focusing on Harris’s work documenting the experiences of black soldiers.

Charles "Teenie" Harris, Medic soldier with cross arm band and flag, seated on duffel bag, c. 1930-1950, Carnegie Museum of Art, Heinz Family Fund

Charles “Teenie” Harris, Medic soldier with cross arm band and flag, seated on duffel bag, c. 1930-1950, Carnegie Museum of Art, Heinz Family Fund

During World War II, Charles “Teenie” Harris photographed thousands of African American soldiers who fought for a nation that didn’t always fight for them. Separated by years of Army service, Master Sergeant Eugene Boyer Jr. and former Staff Sergeant Lance A. Woods have selected 25 Harris images that speak to their experiences—the honor of military service, and the sacrifices that the families of service members make.

In addition, Harris photographed more than 1,000 soldiers in his studio over the course of his career. Many of these portraits remain unidentified. As part of Service and Sacrifice, the Teenie Harris Archive will make a selection of images available, and seek information about these individuals. Visit the exhibition, or contact 412.622.1011 for more information.

Teenie Harris was one of the great photographers of the 20th century, and his body of work stands as one of the most detailed records of the black urban experience. His photographs of service members, as well as of efforts on the home front, tell stories of black soldiers fighting for the American promise of civil liberties, and the opportunity for a better future.

Charles "Teenie" Harris, 'Man wearing military uniform and cap, standing at chalkboard,' c. 1944 , Carnegie Museum of Art, Heinz Family Fund

Charles “Teenie” Harris, ‘Man wearing military uniform and cap, standing at
chalkboard,’ c. 1944 , Carnegie Museum of Art, Heinz Family Fund

Charles "Teenie" Harris, 'Woman wearing military uniform, with two other women, and sign in background reading "Can YOU Qualify of the WAC or the WAF?"' c. 1949, Carnegie Museum of Art, Heinz Family Fund

Charles “Teenie” Harris, ‘Woman wearing military uniform, with two other women, and sign in background reading “Can YOU Qualify of the WAC or the WAF?”‘ c. 1949, Carnegie Museum of Art, Heinz Family Fund

Curators’ Statements

“During World War II, this country was segregated. If you were a black draftee, you in most cases went to the South to be trained in the South. Your officers were mostly white and mostly Southern, and they were picked because of their Southern background, because it was assumed that they knew how to handle you. There were times when the enemy was nicer than the person who commanded you.

“Today, I would recommend any of our military services to a young black person looking for a career. It’s not easy. It calls for a lot of dedication, concentration, and a love of country. But this is America. This is all our home.”

–Eugene Boyer Jr.

 

“Harris preserves the legacy of black patriotism in Pittsburgh during a time of visible discrimination. His lens permits us to witness the valor and sacrifice of black women and men in our military.

“Working on this exhibit, I tried to put myself in the shoes of black patriots who served during the Jim Crow era. I questioned whether their sacrifice for America afforded them any of its fundamental protections and promises. I questioned how they endured the indignity of being a “solider” abroad but a “boy” at home. Most of all, I questioned how they reconciled their allegiance to America with its long, violent history of subjugating black citizens.

“Nearly 70 years after President Truman desegregated the armed forces, these questions still cause a personal rift. When loyalties to my heritage and my veteran status threaten to tear me apart, I am empowered by the perseverance and triumphs of black patriots who served before me. Listening to veterans like Mr. Boyer and my grandfather, Sidney Ivory, I learn that my pride in my heritage is not compromised by a willingness to serve my country.”

–Lance A. Woods

Teenie Harris Photographs: Service and Sacrifice is guest-curated by Eugene Boyer Jr. and Lance A. Woods, in collaboration with Dominique Luster, Teenie Harris Archivist.

Support
The Teenie Harris Archive at Carnegie Museum of Art is generously supported by the Richard King Mellon 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
CMOA creates experiences that connect people to art, ideas, and one another. We believe that creativity is a defining human characteristic to which everyone should have access. CMOA collects, preserves, and presents artworks from around the world in order to inspire, sustain, and provoke discussion, and to engage and reflect multiple audiences. 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

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.

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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