While the Denver Art Museum began collecting photographs in 1937, it didn’t have a dedicated department with curator and gallery until recently. …
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While the Denver Art Museum began collecting photographs in
1937, it didn’t have a dedicated department with curator and
gallery until recently. The debut exhibition , opening April 30, is
“Exposure: Photos from the Vault” in the newly remodeled Anthony
and Delisa Mayer Photography Gallery on the seventh floor of the
Curator Eric Paddock, former curator of photography with the
Colorado History Museum and visiting professor at local
universities and colleges, joined the DAM staff as first curator of
the Department of Photography in summer 2008 and dove into a
7,000-object collection, selecting more than 50 diverse works,
including photographs by Ansel Adams, Diane Arbus, Chuck Close and
“I had a lot of fun digging to the depths of this exquisite
collection to create the debut display,” Paddock said. “We’re
presenting a wide range of photos, from portraits and landscapes to
abstraction and Surrealism that photo enthusiasts will enjoy. This
first installation is a way to say hello to the community and start
a conversation about photography.”
Upcoming department programs will include traveling and
temporary exhibitions, including “The Place We Live,” a
retrospective of Robert Adams’ work organized by the Yale
University Art Gallery, in fall, 2011.
Paddock’s text about the exhibit says it includes perennial
favorites and items no one has seen before.
“Every person with a camera sees the world in a different way
and every photographer is on a path of exploration. The photographs
in this exhibition are a sampling of the many ways photographers
encounter the world— and show us what they discover.” His comments
about the photos illustrated:
Harold Edgerton, “Milkdrop Coronet:” “The strobe light was an
obscure piece of laboratory equipment before MIT professor Harold
Edgerton got his hands on it and turned it into a common tool—
every flash camera has one nowadays, thanks to him. Edgerton’s
improved strobe could create a burst of light so short and so
bright that he could create a photo of something that could not be
seen with the naked eye. Yet his work was about much more than
stopping time; Edgerton had a real sense of beauty and drama.”
Chuck Close, “Self Portrait:” This self portrait by Chuck Close
is made with a camera the size of a dishwasher. When I look at it,
I almost feel like I’m being watched through the mail slot on my
front door, because the face is so big and crowded into the black
edged of the photograph. Of course I know this is a photograph and
Chuck Close can’t really see me, but it sure feels like he
David Levanthal, “Untitled (Standing Scout With Rifle):” David
Levanthal created this with a tiny plastic cowboy figure — the same
kind he played with in childhood. He posed the cowboy against a
“sunset” that he cooked up in the studio, then photographed it with
a gigantic camera and 24 x 20 inch Polaroid film. When I look at
it, I feel like I’m seeing every cowboy book, movie or comic I ever
saw, all rolled into one picture. It reminds me how much ideas and
images of the West are shaped by fiction, or by wistful notions
that live on in the imagination.”
The opening of “Exposure” kicks off with a Final Friday of the
month celebration: Untitled # 28 (F - Stop). The Untitled series
runs until 10 p.m. and is included in general admission.
Guests can choose between two photographs, by Chuck Close and
Gary Winograd, to fill the final spot in the new exhibit, as well
as listen to Paddock spin stories about assembling the show and
artist Kevin O’Connell talk about his displayed art.
The contest winner will be installed at the end of the
Visitors can decorate their own Polaroid frame, listen to local
bands Still City and Astrophagus in the Duncan Pavilion and DJ The
Postman in the atrium. Buntport Theater will perform its monthly
sitcom, “Joan and Charlie Discuss Tonight’s Theme” in the third
floor freight elevator/stage.
On future days, the photo gallery will be open during museum
If you go:
The Denver Art Museum is located on 13th Avenue between Broadway
and Bannock Streets. (Entrance to parking garage is on 12th, just
west of Broadway). Hours: 10 a.m. to5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays,
Thursdays and Saturdays; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays; Noon to 5 p.m.
Sundays. Admission: Colorado residents, $10/$8; $13 /$10 for
non-residents. $5 for ages 6 to 18. Students with ID can buy 2
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