Tag Archives: Julia Margaret Cameron

The First 100 Years of Photography – Exhibition to Open Sept. 2@the DIA

Julia Margaret Cameron, Enid from Idylls of the King, 1874

Julia Margaret Cameron, Enid from Idylls of the King, 1874

On September 2 the DIA opens a new exhibition, Photography – The First 100 Years: A Survey from the DIA’s Collection. Taking a look at the early years of photography and its development as a new art form, the DIA presents a survey of 90 works from its collection. Included are a number of notable rare works from the 19th century as well as iconic imagery from the 1920s and 1930s. Photographs by Julia Margaret Cameron, Edward Weston, Walker Evans, Margaret Bourke White, Dorothea Lange in addition to 50 other pioneers and great innovators of the medium are on view in the exhibition which runs through January 3, 2010.

Unknown Photographer, Soldier and Companion, 1861-65, tintype.

Unknown Photographer, Soldier and Companion, 1861-65, tintype.

One of the highlights from this exhibition is a tintype portrait of an African American couple from the 1860s. The process, a photographic image made on metal, appeared in the 1850s.  The DIA was fortunate enough to acquire it back in 2001, when it went on the auction block with other items from the collection of Jackie Napoleon Wilson, a Detroiter who developed an important and rare collection of 19th-century portraits of African Americans over the years. The exhibition moves onward from the 19th century with sections devoted to the pictorialist, modernist and social documentary eras. Photography – The First 100 Years kicks off a new and exciting season of photography exhibitions this fall 2009 and into spring 2010 at the DIA – here’s the round-up:

Avedon Fashion Photographs 1944-2000– opening October 18, 2009 through January 17, 2010. The DIA will host the first large-scale fashion retrospective since Richard Avedon’s death in 2004. Organized by the International Center for Photography, New York, the exhibition includes 181 images – many are well-known photographs – in addition to magazines and other interesting ephemera that illustrates the long and legendary career of one of America’s most successful and interesting photographers.

Detroit Experiences: Robert Frank Photographs 1955 opening March 3 through July 4, 2010. This exhibition includes over 60 black-and white photographs taken by Robert Frank in Detroit. Made during his travels through the U.S. photographing for his book The Americans, Frank observed Detroiters as they lived and worked at mid century in the U.S. In this rare body of work, many of which will be on view for the first time at the DIA, Frank documented the day-to-day lives of Americans as he tried to mingle with assembly line workers at the Rouge Factory, took in a movie at the Gratiot Drive-In, and experienced public life on Belle Isle and in the streets of Detroit. All were part of the Detroit experience as Frank perceived it over fifty years ago.

Future Photography Exhibitions at the DIA to Focus on the Permanent Collection

 
Migrant Mother, 1936, by Dorothea Lange

Migrant Mother, 1936, by Dorothea Lange

Although the DIA announced last week a 20% reduction in full and part-time staff, I will be staying on in my usual role as associate curator to work out an ongoing schedule of exhibitions in the Albert and Peggy de Salle Gallery of Photography. Over the next two years, the department of prints, drawings and photographs will offer a slightly reduced schedule of six rather than the usual 12 exhibitions from our permanent collection. It’s all part of an effort to scale back operations a bit, but still provide a meaningful museum experience for our visitors.
 
Of these six exhibitions,  three  photography exhibitions are in development,  the first which will open this September with works surveying the  first 100 years of photography. Rare 19th-century prints, pictorialist and modernist works, along with a section devoted to the documentary tradition, will feature many classic images from the history of photography and individuals including Alfred Steiglitz, Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, Edward Weston, and Julia Margaret Cameron among others. Art may be the best reprieve in tough times like these, so stay tuned for upcoming exhibition dates, programs and maybe even a few surprises.  
Broken Stained Glass Window, Wielkie Oczy, 2001, by Jeffrey Gusky (copyright Jeffrey Gusky)

Broken Stained Glass Window, Wielkie Oczy, 2001, by Jeffrey Gusky (copyright Jeffrey Gusky)

As part of our previously scheduled program of exhibitions, the museum will open Of Life and Loss: The Polish Photographs of  Roman Vishniac and Jeffrey Gusky, which is traveling from the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. It will be on view beginning April 19, 2009. I’ll be posting on this exhibition again in the upcoming weeks.