Selections from the Photography Collection

Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University

So pleased to walk into the Nasher Museum of Art and see my work included in this collection exhibition. The image below is from the “Involuntary Memories” series which I made while I was in residence at the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France (2002). This particular image (below) was made on a short journey to Venice with my son Walker who was ten at the time. At that time I used an old Polaroid camera with positive/negative film. I carried a plastic peanut butter jar with me everywhere to stash the wet negatives in until I arrived back at the hotel room at the end of the day. I also sometimes (as you can see in this image) over processed and cooked the negatives to add an intentional layer of destruction to the images so the viewer would feel they were looking back through time.

There is also an amazing Robert Doisneau photograph in this exhibition. I remember pouring over his work in High School.

Susan Harbage Page


 Exhibitions / Selections from the Photography Collection

 On view May 28, 2016 – January 22, 2017

 The Nasher Museum presents Selections from the Photography Collection, as part of  The Collection Galleries. Drawn from the Nasher Museum’s collection, this installation presents 160 years of photographic history and includes several recent and significant gifts. The earliest works are two portraits from the 1840s by the pioneering Scottish duo, David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson, which were some of the first paper photographic prints made from negatives. Throughout the 19th century, the nascent medium grew to include still life, documentary travel and landscape subjects, represented here in works by Peter Henry Emerson, Adolphe Braun and Ferdinand Finsterlin.

In the first half of the 20th century, photography underwent a radical transformation as artists embraced more modern approaches to the medium. Portraiture remained important, as seen in Ansel Adams’s informal double portrait of the artist Georgia O’Keeffe and Orville Cox, as well as in the keepsake photos of everyday people by small-town Arkansas photographer, Mike Disfarmer. Beginning in the 1940s, innovative practitioners such as Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind undertook photographic experiments with abstraction, concurrent with those in painting, while documentarians, such as French photographer Robert Doisneau, used the camera to capture candid scenes of urban street life.


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