Exhibition in Minneapolis honors Curatorial Legacy of Carroll T. Hartwell

“Masterpiece Photographs from the Minneapolis Institute of Arts: The Curatorial Legacy of Carroll T. Hartwell

Saturday, October 4, 2008—Sunday, January 25, 2009
Harrison Photography Gallery 365
Free Exhibition

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts holds the Upper Midwest’s most significant permanent collection of fine photographs. Numbering about 10,000 photographs, it covers the entire history of the medium, from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day.

This exhibition features the fifty most salient and fully-realized photographs in the museum’s holdings. It begins with a 1845 salt print by the English inventor William Henry Fox Talbot and ends with a 2002 color portrait by Alec Soth, from his series “Sleeping by the Mississippi.” In between, the genres of documentary photography, photo-journalism, and street photography are well represented in the show. Included are Dorothea Lange’s “Migrant Mother” and Arthur Rothstein’s “Dust Storm,” both iconic images from the Great Depression. Among the most recognizable pictures are Edward Weston’s “Pepper No. 30” (1930) and Ansel Adams’s “Moonrise, Hernandez” (1941). The names of other photographers represented reads like a Who’s Who? of photography: Berenice Abbott, Diane Arbus, Eugene Atget, Richard Avedon, Walker Evans, Robert Frank, Lee Friedlander, Lewis W. Hine, Man Ray, W. Eugene Smith, Alfred Stieglitz, and Paul Strand.

This exhibition marks the first time the MIA has presented such a select grouping of its most important photographs together. The exhibition and its accompanying publication commemorate the significant collecting legacy of Carroll T. (Ted) Hartwell, the founding curator of the department, who died in 2007. It reveals Mr. Hartwell’s critical eye for singular historical pieces as well as his belief in the influence and vitality of accomplished living photographers.

Major support for this exhibition is provided by Alfred and Ingrid Lenz Harrison, Elisabeth J. Dayton, Cy and Paula DeCosse through The Minneapolis Foundation, Walt McCarthy and Clara Ueland, Frederick and Virginia Scheel, Harry M. Drake, Martin and Lora Weinstein, and Myron and Anita Kunin.”

Readers of this blog will recall my remembrance of my mentor Ted Hartwell, first posted on July 11, 2007.

I hope many of you will have the great pleasure of seeing the collection that Ted built, much of it through the generosity of the photography community he inspired in Minnesota.

Aperture published “The Making of a Collection” in 1984 celebrating this wonderful collection.

This exhibition is on view until January 25th, 2009; see related events on JANUARY 15th, including a tour of the exhibition with curator Christian A. Peterson. A must! Christian has worked in the department alongside Ted since the early 1980’s; his insights on the making of this exhibition will be wonderful to hear.


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