September 2010 – September 2011
Starting this month, the Birmingham Museum of Art kicks off a yearlong celebration of the photographic medium. The celebration showcases works from the Museum's permanent collection as well as major traveling exhibitions. The photographs on display range from iconic Depression-era images by Walker Evans in the exhibition In Friendship: Gifts from David and Natalie Sperling to striking shots by rock and roll photographers such as Annie Leibovitz and David LaChapelle in Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 to the Present.
“Photography is such a diverse artform,” says Ron Platt, The Hugh Kaul Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. “There is so much it can express and convey, and the exhibitions we're presenting over the coming year demonsrate that breadth.”
Throughout The Year of Photography, the BMA will offer a host of exciting programs related to the photographic exhibitions and to photography in general, including lectures, studio classes, and other events. Programs related to the yearlong celebration will continue to be announced as the year progresses. Most installations, exhibitions, and programs offered during The Year of Photography will be free to public, except for the major exhibition Who Shot Rock & Roll, which will be a ticketed show.
The Year of Photography at the Birmingham Museum of Art
Warhol Portrait Studies
Contemporary Arts Galleries, Stephens Gallery, September – October 2010
A small installation examines Andy Warhol's process for creating his famous portrait paintings through a group of Polaroid studies and large-scale paintings of Birmingham art philanthropists Charles and Caroline Ireland.
Collectors Circle Lecture: “Andy Warhol Paints a Portrait” by Neil Printz
Friday, October 22 at 6 pm
Neil Printz, Editor of the Andy Warhol catalogue raisonné, presents selections from Warhol’s 40-year love-affair with the human face.
The John Morton Lecture in Photography with artist Carlin Wing
Thursday, November 4 at 6 pm
Carlin Wing is an interdisciplinary artist whose Hitting Walls brings together three disciplines—photography, anthropology, and athletics.
In Friendship: Gifts from David and Natalie Sperling
Arrington Gallery, November 7, 2010 – February 6, 2011
This exhibition celebrates the generosity of two Birmingham collectors and highlights a broad spectrum of photography, from classic European black-and-white to contemporary works.
Darkroom: Photography and New Media in South Africa, 1950 – Present
Jemison Galleries, January 30 – April 17, 2011
Darkroom brings together the work of 18 photographers, new media and video artists who primarily lived and worked during South Africa’s apartheid era (1948-1994). The title Darkroom refers to several “dark rooms” in South Africa’s history: the actual darkroom where photography is made and video is viewed, the artistic isolation created by apartheid, and the psychological and physical hardship of making adventurous work under threat of imprisonment, torture or exile. South Africa’s emergence from apartheid has many parallels with the Civil Rights struggles in the US that make Darkroom a particularly relevant project for Birmingham.
Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 to the Present
Jemison Galleries, June 24 – September 18, 2011
This exhibition of approximately 175 works by 105 photographers is a history not of rock and roll, but of the men and women who have photographed it and given the music its visual identity. Among the works on view are such iconic images as William “Red” Robertson’s erotic 1955 photo of a pelvis-thrusting Elvis Presley that appeared on his first album; The Clash’s London Calling album cover by Pennie Smith depicting Paul Simonon smashing his Fender bass guitar; the contact sheet of Bob Gruen’s portrait of John Lennon in a sleeveless New York City T-shirt; Don Hunstein’s photograph of Bob Dylan walking with his girlfriend Suze Rotolo down a snowy Greenwich Village street; David LaChapelle’s image of Lil Kim as a bikini-clad cop; and Anton Corbijn’s shoot of U2 for their Joshua Tree album. The exhibition will also feature photographs by Diane Arbus, Annie Leibovitz, Woodstock photographer Barry Feinstein, Jim Marshall, Ryan McGinley, Linda McCartney, Mark Seliger, and Albert Watson. The exhibition is curated by photographic historian and author Gail Buckland and features many rare and never-before-exhibited photographs.
Visit www.artsbma.org for the latest information about these and other exhibitions and programs at the Birmingham Museum of Art.
About the Birmingham Museum of Art: Founded in 1951, the Birmingham Museum of Art has one of the finest collections in the Southeast. More than 24,000 objects displayed and housed within the Museum represent a rich panorama of cultures, including Asian, European, American, African, Pre-Columbian, and Native American. Highlights include the Museum’s collection of Asian art, Vietnamese ceramics, the Kress collection of Renaissance and Baroque paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts from the late 13th century to the 1750s, and the Museum’s world-renowned collection of Wedgwood, the largest outside of England.