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Exhibits Starting Tonight at the Sheldon

The Sheldon Art Galleries will unveil several fantastic exhibits tonight from 5:00 p.m. through 7:00 p.m. Two of these exhibits will be of great interest to readers of this blog.

Designing the City: An American Vision
October 1, 2010 – January 15, 2011

Drawn from the Bank of America collection, this exhibition offers a unique opportunity to see some of the great architectural works built across America and the cities for which they are an integral part. Photographers included are Berenice Abbott: Harold Allen; Bill Hedrich, Ken Hedrich and Hube Henry of the Hedrich-Blessing Studio; Richard Nickel; and John Szarkowski. It is through photographs that most of us have come to know major works of architecture. Our experience of great architecture is often not at the building’s actual site, but rather through a two-dimensional photographic rendering of it. In fact, for many buildings, photographs are all that remain. The term, “architectural photography” is widely used and generally understood to describe pictures through which the photographer documents and depicts a building in factual terms. However the artists featured in this exhibition have taken architectural photography beyond its informative purpose and have shown us the importance of architecture in the definition of the urban American landscape.

Group f.64 & the Modernist Vision: Photographs by Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Imogen Cunningham, Willard Van Dyke, and Brett Weston
October 1, 2010 – January 15, 2011

Seminal works by renowned photographers Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Imogen Cunningham, Willard Van Dyke, and Brett Weston, including several spectacular large-scale prints by Ansel Adams — among them Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941 — as well as Edward Weston’s iconic Pepper, 1930, and examples of Imogen Cunningham’s beautiful and sculptural flower closeups are shown in this exhibition alongside rarely seen works by the artists, all drawn from the Bank of America collection.

Founded in 1934 by Willard Van Dyke and Ansel Adams, the informal Group f.64 were devoted to exhibiting and promoting a new direction in photography. The group was established as a response to Pictorialism, a popular movement on the West Coast, which favored painterly, hand-manipulated, soft-focus prints, often made on textured papers. Feeling that photography’s greatest strength was its ability to create images with precise sharpness, Group f.64 adhered to a philosophy that photography is only valid when it is “straight,” or unaltered. The term f.64 refers to the smallest aperture setting on a large format camera, which allows for the greatest depth of field and sharpest image.

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