Andrew J. Walker, director of the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, is pleased to announce the 2013 spring and summer exhibition schedule. The Amon Carter is delighted to feature exhibitions that offer a diverse array of great American art.
March 5–April 21, 2013
Although many believe that large photographic prints are a recent phenomenon in photography, this exhibition reveals otherwise. In fact, the drive to create ever larger images has intrigued and motivated photographers from the medium’s earliest years. It was not until the latter part of the nineteenth century, however, that prints began to increase in size. Photographers like William Henry Jackson (1843–1942) used mammoth glass-plate negatives to capture images of the grand landscapes of the American West—a subject that called for large-scale depiction.
In the twentieth century, with the advent of photographic enlargers, the size of photographic prints grew bigger still. Photographers like Ansel Adams (1902–1984) and Margaret Bourke‑White (1904–1971) understood that larger photographs resulted in a distinctive shift for the viewer. Such photographs, they realized, allowed for close examination of details while simultaneously compelling viewers to engage with the work’s expansive physical presence.
Today, photographers continue to use ever larger prints to increasingly draw the viewer into the image, creating a unique and powerful personal experience. The 50 works in Big Pictures, drawn largely from the museum’s extensive holdings, date from 1867 to photographs made in recent years by artists such as Richard Misrach (b. 1949) and Abelardo Morell (b. 1948). Together, the works in this exhibition reveal a decades-long movement to make dramatic enlargements that sharply influence viewer interaction and interpretation.
Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey
May 18–August 11, 2013
In 1977, African-American artist Romare Bearden (1912–1988) created a landmark series of collages and watercolors based on Homer’s classic work of Western literature, The Odyssey. The artist’s Odysseus Series expanded his earlier explorations of historical narratives and artistic genres by presenting his own reinterpretation of the subject.
Through approximately 50 collages, Bearden recasts Homer’s celebrated heroes and villains as black people, transforming the epic poem into a poignantly universal story. As the artist stated, “All of us are on a kind of odyssey. And I think this is what makes the story so lasting, so classic, and applicable to everyone.”
Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey is organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service in cooperation with the Romare Bearden Foundation and Estate and DC Moore Gallery. The exhibition and its related educational resources are supported by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.
Marie Cosindas: Instant Color
March 5–May 26, 2013
Marie Cosindas (b. 1925) did not intend to be a photographer. The eighth of ten children in a modestly situated Greek family living in Boston, she studied dressmaking in school and took up a career designing textiles and children’s shoes, also acting as a color coordinator for a company that made museum reproductions in stone. On the side, she created abstract paintings filled with atmospheric color.
Cosindas initially thought of the camera as a means for making design notes. But as so often happens, several photographs she took on a visit to Greece convinced her that such prints could stand on their own as finished works. In 1961, she participated in one of Ansel Adams’s photography workshops in Yosemite Valley. The following year, when Polaroid sought photographers to test its new instant color film before bringing it to market, Adams recommended her.
Cosindas immediately took to the process of instant-developing color film and, in so doing, proved instrumental in revealing the artistic potential of color photography. She made such exquisite still lifes and portraits that even Polaroid’s founder, Edwin Land, was astounded. This exhibition includes 40 of Cosindas’s one-of-a-kind Polaroid photographs and is the artist’s first major show in decades.