At the Crossroads of American Photography: Callahan, Siskind, Sommer

January 31 - May 13, 2009


Catalogue for the exhibition

The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) announces the arrival of the highly anticipated hardbound 172-page photography catalog for the Museum's new spring exhibition At the Crossroads of American Photography: Callahan, Siskind, Sommer. The catalog is published by Radius Books of Santa Fe (renowned for its remarkable sensitivity and delicate mastery with art photography publications), in conjunction with the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, and printed by Hatje Cantz, Germany. Catalog essay authors include: Keith F. Davis (curator of photography, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the Hallmark Collection), Britt Salvesen (director, Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona, Tucson), Susan Krane (former director of SMoCA and Oshman Executive Director, San Jose Museum of Art) and an intertwined chronology of the artist's lives, which includes previously unpublished correspondence between the three artists by Claire C. Carter (co-curator and curatorial coordinator at SMoCA).

Former SMoCA director Susan Krane remarked that "This exhibition and catalog bring classic, landmark photographs by three pivotal American masters-one of whom lived in Arizona-to SMoCA's audiences for the first time. It has been an honor to organize a project of such great historical importance and local significance. At the Crossroads of American Photography truly reflects a collaborative effort. It has been my pleasure to work side-by-side scholar Keith Davis; the Frances and Frederick Sommer Foundation; and SMoCA's curatorial coordinator Claire Carter to bring this project to fruition. The works of Harry Callahan, Aaron Siskind and Frederick Sommer provide exquisite moments of reflection and pure visual magic. At the same time, these artists remind us of the spirit of friendship and generous exchange that underlies the history of art in America."

The book features 66 duotone illustrations, with 19 image plates per artist. The print-run for the catalog was very small -- with a mere 2,000 copies available and pre-orders already flowing in to the Museum. With such a limited supply, the publication is sure to become a coveted and collectible classic. The At the Crossroads of American Photography: Callahan, Siskind, Sommer catalog is available at the Store @ SMoCA. Visitors who would like to order a copy by phone can call the Museum store at 480-874-4666.


(above: Frederick Sommer Untitled (Colorado River Landscape), 1942, gelatin-silver print,7 5/8 x 9 9/16 inches. © Frederick and Frances Sommer Foundation, Prescott, Arizona.)


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