Visitors to the Currier Gallery of Art have a rare and exciting opportunity this fall and winter to experience the magic and mystery of photography with Moments In Time: Master Photographs from the Currier. With images that are both striking and memorable, Moments in Time demonstrates that photography is both an important art form and a record of historical events...at times a reflection of the world in which we live, at times a chronicle of people and places that no longer exist.
Moments In Time: Master Photographs from the Currier, which runs through January 4, 1999, is the first comprehensive exhibition to survey the Currier's extensive photography collection. The exhibition is dedicated to Robert "Mac" Doty, director of the Currier Gallery of Art from 1977 through 1987. Doty was a noted expert on photography who did much to build the Currier's collection. Contained in the collection, which is considered to be among the finest holdings of photography in Northern New England, are works by important artists and internationally renowned photographers such as Ansel Adams, Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Julia Margaret Cameron, Walker Evans, Paul Caponigro, Dorothea Lange, Edward Weston, Alfred Stieglitz and Paul Strand.
"Moments In Time has been an exciting and revealing project for us at the Currier," said Andrew Spahr, Curator of The Currier Gallery of Art. "The Currier's collection of over 1,000 photographs is characterized by the high quality of the images and photographers represented as well as the wide diversity of subjects. This quality and variety lent itself well to our primary goal for Moments In Time which was to present a wide selection of themes, subjects and aesthetic approaches that artists have explored through the camera lens during the 160 year history of photography," said Spahr. "Because of the quality and quantity of photographs in the collection, our greatest challenge became selecting which of the images to include in the show," Spahr added.
The more than 125 works chosen for the exhibition span the history of photography and include daguerreotypes from the 1840s, romantic landscapes from the turn of the century, innovations from the early 20th century, as well as master works by contemporary photographers.
Visitors to Moments In Time will be able to see dramatic images of the American West by Carlton Watkins, William Henry Jackson and Ansel Adams. Portraits from the collection include an extremely rare 1903 print of American financier J.P. Morgan by Edward Steichen; a 1951 portrait by Philippe Halsman of a dour and, according to Halsman, "uncooperative" Winston Churchill; and a stunning 1938 photograph of a contemplative Albert Einstein taken by Lotte Jacobi, a fourth generation photographer who moved to New Hampshire in 1955. Important documentary works in the show include a 1909 photograph of children who worked in Manchester's Amoskeag Mills by Lewis Hine and a powerful Depression-era photograph by Dorothea Lange entitled When the River Rose depicting the flooding of the Sacramento River in California.
Of particular interest in Moments In Time is a group of four rare photographs of the Manchester mills that the painter Charles Sheeler made in 1948 during a two-week visit to the city at the invitation of the Currier Gallery of Art. They are lent by the Lane Collection, courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and have never before been publicly exhibited in Manchester. Sheeler took several photographs as part of a commission he received from the Currier to paint the mills, and he used them to compose several paintings. Sheeler's photographs are exhibited with his painting Amoskeag Canal and a tempera Amoskeag Millyard #1 (both in the Currier collection) in a special section of the exhibition.
In addition to the works by Jacobi, Sheeler and Hine, other historic photographs with a Granite State connection include Bridge on the North Branch River, Antrim, NH, a William Manahan photograph taken in 1920. Moments in Time also features works by contemporary New Hampshire photographers including Gary Samson, Carl Austin Hyatt, Dan Habib, Dia Stolnitz, Eleanor Briggs and Doug Prince. "As part of our research and preparation for the exhibition, we had the opportunity to visit with many fine photographers from across the state. Almost without exception we were highly impressed with the quality of work being produced and the exciting new directions in photography that these New Hampshire artists are exploring," said Spahr.
"I think museum visitors will be surprised by the quality and breadth of the collection," said Spahr. "Moments In Time allows the viewer to appreciate and compare the diverse manner in which photographers throughout time have approached similar subject matter. Their methods reflect both the taste of their times as well as the technical limitations inherent to the medium with which they dealt. Perhaps most importantly, however, the exhibition demonstrates artistic inspiration in a way that allows us to understand and appreciate the true beauty and magic of photogtaphy," Spahr concluded.
Moments In Time: Master Photographs from the Currier is made possible by the generous support of KeyBank and the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts. The exhibition is open through January 4, 1999.
From top to bottom: Andre Kertesz, Self Portrait with Life Masks, 1976, Francesco Scavullo, Andy Warhol, 1983; Lotte Jacibi, Portrait of Einstein, 1938; Lewis W. Hine, Children Who Work in the Amoskeag Mills, 1909. All photos courtesy of Currier Gallery of Art.
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