Minneapois Institute of Arts
New Pictures at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Opening Soon: New Pictures 7 Stan Douglas Then and Now

Posted Sep 25, 2012

For New Pictures at the MIA, Stan Douglas presents six large-scale photographs examining the historical past and present.  Three of Douglas’s prints addressing moments of historic social change will be installed in the Perlman Gallery (368) for the “Then” section.  While the “Now” section will present three recent photographs of accumulated objects juxtaposed with artworks in the MIA’s permanent collection.


Stan Douglas
McLeod’s Books, Vancouver, 2006
Laserchrome print
Courtesy of the artist and David Zwirner Gallery


New Pictures 7:  Stan Douglas, Then and Now will be on view from October 11, 2012 – February 10, 2013.  The Newman Lecture on Contemporary Photography will take place the night of the opening, October 11, 2012, 7-8 p.m., Pillsbury Auditorium.


Support for Newman Lecture is provided by the Arnold Newman Foundation.  Generous support for New Pictures is provided by the W. Duncan and Nivin MacMillan Foundation

Opening soon at MIA: “Strangers in a Strange Land”

Posted Sep 11, 2012

Strangers in a Strange Land:  Photographers’ First Impressions

Thursday, September 20, 2012—Sunday, March 3, 2013
Harrison Photography Gallery (365)
Free Exhibition

Dorothea Lange
Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California, 1936
The Alfred and Ingrid Lenz Harrison Fund

Photographers are avid travelers. Since the late 19th century, they have carried their cameras to unfamiliar neighborhoods and around the world to take pictures of people, places, and cultures. “Strangers in a Strange Land: Photographers’ First Impressions” features photographs that document photographers’ encounters with foreign subjects and lands. These seemingly fleeting first impressions often become lasting records of historical memory. The exhibition looks closely at how photographers translate a sense of culture and place through imagery. It also considers the power of first impressions to shape historical representations of cultures. How do the photographs presented inform our understanding of the global culture, particularly in the early 20th century, before globalism?

Boris Mikhailov
Sots Arts, 1981
The Alfred and Ingrid Lenz Harrison Fund

“Strangers in a Strange Land: Photographers’ First Impressions” will feature a range of classic masterpieces in the MIA’s collection: Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California; Philip Jones Griffiths’s Wounded Female Civilian, South Vietnam; Francis Frith’s The Pyramids of Dahshoor; selections from Diane Arbus’s A Box of Ten Photographs, 1970; and Paul Stand’s Mexico portfolio. The exhibition will also include recent acquisitions, such as Boris Mikhailov’s Luriki, and Martin Parr’s New Brighton, Merseyside.

Remembering photographer Martine Franck (1938-2012)

Posted Aug 21, 2012

Belgian photographer Martine Franck (1938-2012) was a member of Magnum Photos for over three decades, and continued to show her work as recently as a few months ago.  As a freelance photographer, she shot celebrity portraits and documentary images for Time, Fortune and Vogue.  Franck studied art history in her youth before pursuing photography through her own images, and is also remembered for her support for various photographic agencies and humanitarian foundations.

Martine Franck
Col de L’homme Mort, Alpes de Haute Provence
The Ethelyn Bros Photography Purchase Fund

She met Henri Cartier-Bresson at Magnum in 1966, and the two later married.  Franck was a co-founder and president of the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation, which she began in 2002, two years prior to Cartier-Bresson’s death.


Henri Cartier-Bresson

Martine’s Legs, 1968
The Alfred and Ingrid Lenz Harrison Fund


Read about Martine Franck from the photo editors at Time and The Guardian, and see more of her images, here.


Jen Dolen, Photography & New Media intern

New Pictures 5 artist Jason Fulford & Olympics pics

Posted Aug 14, 2012

Watch for photographs by former New Pictures artist, Jason Fulford, in the next Harper’s magazine issue.  Jason just returned from shooting the Olympics in London.  His photographs will appear with text by award-winning writer and journalist, Geoff Dyer.  Dyer’s 2005 book, The Ongoing Moment, offers a history of photography via the metaphorical encounters of famous photographers, from the perspective of a writer who admits he doesn’t even own a camera.


In the meantime, here are some great New York Times images from the Olympics this summer.

Legacy: Margaret Bourke-White

Posted Jun 19, 2012

American photographer Margaret Bourke-White (1904 – 1971), who would have been 108 last week, approached documentary photography with a zeal that left many of her LIFE contemporaries jealous of her “scoops.”

Initially gaining notice from her pictures of economic crisis in 1930s United States, she was the only American photographer in Russia when the Germans bombed Moscow in 1941, and was given access to photograph Joseph Stalin, who she later stated was her most difficult subject because he stood like a stone.

Bourke-White followed stories around Europe, from Italy into Africa.  Not known for traveling light, the photographer carried up to 600 pounds of equipment on assignment until all her gear was lost when her ship was torpedoed en route to Africa in December of 1942.  After surviving the sinking but unable to save her equipment, she downgraded to only 250 pounds but continued to favor larger format cameras due to the negatives’ detail.

Throughout Germany she followed the Allied advance and captured shocking, iconic images at the Buchenwald concentration camp in April, 1945.  In India, Bourke-White shifted from the aftermath of war to a peaceful 1946 portrait of Mahatma Gandhi, who required her to learn how to use a spinning wheel before she was allowed to photograph him.

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts wishes a happy belated birthday to a photographer whose commitment to capturing the best images affected not only her own life and career, but continues to inspire photographers today.


Jen Dolen, Photography & New Media intern

Werner Bischof’s “dream of purity,” continued

Posted Jun 18, 2012

Like many of us, Werner Bischof wrote letters and journal entries chronicling his thoughts, concerns and expectations.  In retrospect, such correspondence among artists offers valuable depth into the legacy of their work and lives.

In 1953 Bischof wrote to fellow Magnum photographer, Robert Capa, whom Bischof referred to as a father-figure, “I am sick of doing nothing and eager to leave for South America. It is the only place I am interested in – as far as possible from civilization, back to nature”.  Six months later, even less fond of the masses of highways and “assembly line” way of living, he wrote to Henri Cartier-Bresson, “I am soon going on my great trip over Central America [...] to see simple people with more heart and less [...] television sets.”

Unfortunately, all did not go well in Peru, where Bischof died in a car accident.  Despite his short life, he made masterful work, and though he photographed difficult subjects like war and famine, he continued to “seek out beautiful things.”  Filling his compositions with strong visuals, Bischof framed rich design elements around both natural studies and action shots.  His lighter scenes of children playing and people at rest are as effective as his heavier pictures of active soldiers and emaciated figures.

Werner’s eldest son, Marco, manages his father’s estate and frequently communicated with former MIA curator Ted Hartwell. After a 1996 visit from Zurich, Marco wrote of the Boundary Waters, “we spent a wonderful week exploring more of the beauty of your country. Full with memories [...].  Physically we are here now – I guess our souls need some time till they arrive.”

Marco continued collaborating with the MIA, which presented Werner Bischof Photographs 1932-1954 in 2003-04, along with a CD biography by Marco Bischof, Carl Philabaum and Gary Brandenberg, Werner Bischof: Life and Work of a Photographer 1916-1954.  The CD, which Marco initially referred to as Werner Bischof: Dream of Purity, housed an archive of 1,000+ images and included notes, sketches, interviews, and letters such as the following excerpt written by Werner from Calcutta in 1952, to his wife, Rosellina:

Of course, my dearest – there is beauty too, temple dances of dreamlike beauty in the south …     I am an observer in the abattoir of beauty.


On display at the MIA again soon, view Bischof’s gelatin silver print “In the Court of the Meiji Temple, Tokyo, Japan” from 1951.  Related post: Werner Bischof’s “dream of purity”

Jen Dolen, Photography & New Media intern

Shout Out: Tom Arndt at Haggerty Museum of Art

Posted Jun 12, 2012

Recently opened and on view through August 5th, Marquette University’s Haggerty Museum of Art presents NYC July 4, 1981: Photographs by Tom Arndt.

Documentary images picture a place at a moment; the best work of the genre give life to the event with a critical perspective.  Minnesota-based photographer Tom Arndt described the experience of approaching New York’s Little Italy and Chinatown 1981 Independence Day celebrations as entering a “wall of sound.”  In the dark evening rain, without icons of the national anniversary, Arndt’s images picture the balance of trouble and triumph. Are we viewing the aftermath of protests, raids or war, rather than the revelry of independence?  With dark silhouettes framed by smoke and crowds cowering from explosive shooting sparks, this is gritty freedom.


Dates  June 6 – August 5, 2012

Time  Gallery hours

  • Monday to Saturday:  10am – 4:30pm
  • Thursday:  10am – 8pm
  • Sunday:  Noon – 5pm
  • Admission is free.

Location  Haggerty Museum of Art at Marquette University
13th and Clybourn
Milwaukee, WI  53201


Jen Dolen, Photography & New Media intern

Congratulations 2012-2013 McKnight Artist Photography Fellowship Recipients

Posted Jun 6, 2012

The McKnight Artist Photography Fellowship annually awards $25,00 to four mid-career Minnesota artists, enabling the research, exploration and creation of new projects.

The MIA wishes congratulations to this year’s fellows:  Jenn Ackerman, Teri Fullerton, Jason Pearson and Katherine Turczan!  To view more of Turczan’s images, visit The Sports Show: Minnesota at the MIA, featuring her commissioned large diptychs of local sports figures.



Jen Dolen, Photography & New Media Intern

MPR covers the Sports Show

Posted May 1, 2012

Yesterday, Chris Roberts of Minnesota Public Radio discussed MIA exhibition, The Sports Show, and its examination of  sports and media.  These intermingling spheres reach into wider culture, as shown by the range of new museum visitors, many of whom “know more about some of the pieces” than curator David Little, an odd combination of an art historian and avid sports fan.


The Sports Show runs through Sunday, May 13th

Henri Cartier-Bresson, The Indecisive Negative

Posted Dec 14, 2011

A letter from the photographer in the MIA files reveals that Cartier-Bresson’s notion of the decisive moment was not about perfection of the photographic negative, the material basis of the photographic image.

In 1995, Ted Hartwell, the MIA’s founding curator of photography, was in the midst of purchasing 39 works by Cartier-Bresson. Standard museum practice requires that a registrar review the condition of the prints. When the prints arrived, a young registrar noted that he saw several imperfections on the photographs’ surfaces. When Cartier-Bresson received a report of this, he had a very different perspective:

“I am taking all your remarks extremely seriously, with one exception: when you mention
‘touch up spots.’ Films are like human beings, only babies have no wrinkles, and you can’t expect negatives shot fifty or sixty years ago, with all their authenticity, not to have little spots to be retouched.”