New Britain Museum of American Art – Recent Acqisitions in Photography Exhibition


Oceanscape by Renate Aller, (archival pigment print)

In Focus:   Recent Acquisitions in Photography
Nov. 9–Dec. 30, 2012
Opening Reception
Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012, 5:30-7 p.m.

In Focus: Recent Acquisitions in Photography, on view in the McKernan Gallery from November 9 through December 30, 2012, will unveil the Museum’s emergent photography collection to the public for the first time. Although it was not until 1999 that the Museum began to incorporate photography into its holdings, the collection has grown steadily over the past 13 years. Organized in a chronological and thematic fashion, the exhibition consists of approximately 120 works that chart the development of photography over one and a half centuries to illuminate the importance of this medium in shaping this country’s visual culture.

In 2005, the NBMAA received the extraordinary Helen Vibberts Photography Collection from her brother Charles Goss. This collection includes daguerreotypes, tin types, cartes de visite, and other early 19th-century photographs. Spanning almost a century, many of these images were taken by members of prominent New Britain families. More recent acquisitions have focused on contemporary works, including Renate Aller’s minimalist, atmospheric ocean views and Stephanie Lempert’s photographic soundscapes.

The themes represented in the exhibition are: 19th-Century Portraiture and Local Photography; Landscape: Natural and Manmade; Photojournalism; Face and Figure; and Abstraction, Conceptualism, and Beyond. Well-known highlights include ones by New Britain’s own Sol LeWitt, and Dorothea Lange, Lewis Hine, William Wegman, Christine Breslin, Alfred Cheney Johnston and Nelson Augustus Moore. The exhibit will allow viewers to not only delve into the scope of the Museum’s permanent holdings in photography, but also to confront the variety of unexpected directions in which the genre of photography has moved since its inception.

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