The Bauhaus 1919-1933: Celebrating the 90th Anniversary
Shine: Vintage Photographs and Shoe Shine Boxes
Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery
Through Nov. 14, 2009
Post by Samantha Collie
Gallery upon gallery lines both sides of Dragon Street, an offshoot from Oak Lawn Avenue in Downtown Dallas. It is early afternoon on a weekday and unsurprisingly, the street is quiet. Entering the Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery (PDNBG), I’m immediately drawn to the front desk where pamphlets detailing the current exhibits on show. I had come to see The Bauhaus 1919-1933: Celebrating the 90th Anniversary exhibit but was a bit puzzled by the presence of another show on display – Shine: Vintage Photographs and Shoe Shine Boxes.
Now, the Bauhaus School of Design had sounded familiar to a former art student such as myself when I first read of its appearance in a Dallas gallery. The school originated in Weimar, Germany in 1919, started by Walter Gropius and has been responsible for shaping modernist design in art, architecture, typography, graphic design and industrial design. Following the school’s breakdown due to Nazi pressure in the early years of WWII, the students and founders fled and continued to set the trends of the times. The school was founded on the idea of fusing art and architecture with mass production, all too evident in the furniture and lamps on display in the local gallery.
Simplistic and modern, the Bauhaus movement revolutionized how people thought about art and design. It becomes apparent how much of an influence this movement had when you see what is on display at Bauhaus: armchairs, lamps, magazine racks and even doorknobs. Everything about this style was practical and the architectural element is prevalent in every piece of work. I found the design elements very familiar in current modern furniture, solidifying the impact.
The Bauhaus 1919-1933: Celebrating the 90th Anniversary exhibit is presented in collaboration with Collage 20th Century Classic.
Now, Shine: Vintage Photographs and Shoe Shine Boxes is a different exhibit all together, yet lies inter-mingled in this small gallery. The exhibit is made up of vintage photographs and old shoe shine boxes that once belonged to young children and grown-ups whose first jobs were making living polishing shoes on the streets from the 1930s through the 1970s. Many of the photographs are shot in New York City. I was instantly charmed by the variety of shoeshine boxes, all similar in design but all with distinctive details that gave you some clue to the original owner. One was an ornate wooden and brass design from Turkey in the 1950s while another was bright, colorful and tacked with little toys from Mexico in the 1950s. What was really striking were the stories behind some of these boxes, giving you a summary of that person’s life – usually an entrepreneur who made his money yet had such humble beginnings.
When I spoke to Missy Smith Finger, co-owner and gallery manager of PDNBG, I was curious to know how these two exhibits came to be in the same place. Apparently it was just the timing of the two shows but Ms. Smith Finger did comment that a lot of people felt they meshed well together. I agreed with that sentiment.
The walls are lined with these memories of entrepreneurs and people trying to make a living in hard times while the Bauhaus movement symbolized the idea of entrepreneurial design and innovation. Overall a lovely gallery that I plan to keep my eye on for future exhibits.
About Photographs Do Not Bend (From Web)
Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery is an art gallery dedicated to photo-based art. We are now located in the Design District of Dallas, at 1202 Dragon Street, Suite 103. The gallery opened its original Uptown location in 1995. The move to Dragon Street took place the summer of 2006.
Artists exhibited range from the early 20th Century to the present. Our gallery stable includes regional, national and internationally recognized artists. A list of these artists can be found on our Artists page.
All photographs offered within our website are for sale. We also provide curatorial services for those requesting guidance in collecting. Interior Designers and Corporate Clients are welcome. The gallery also offers appraisal services.
If you are searching for an artist not listed within this site, please call or email us with your requests.
Photographs Do Not Bend
1202 Dragon Street, Suite 103
Dallas, TX 75207
Tuesday – Saturday
11 a.m. to 6 p.m.