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Due to Popular Demand the Boston Athenaeum Extends "Vanderwarker's Pantheon: Minds and Matter in Boston"
Zakim Bridge at night, 2003. © Peter Vanderwarker.
BOSTON, MA.- Due to popular demand, The Boston Athenæum will extend for an additional week “Vanderwarker’s Pantheon: Minds and Matter in Boston,” an exhibition of photographs by the distinguished Boston artist Peter Vanderwarker. The exhibition must close on May 9, 2009, in The Boston Athenæum’s gallery, located at 10 ½ Beacon Street on Beacon Hill near the State House.

Although Peter Vanderwarker’s commissions and teaching assignments take him around the world, the center of his interest has always been Boston. His work appears regularly in Architectural Record, Architectural Digest, Design New England, Dwell, and other magazines. His techniques and interests were formed training in both photography and architecture. Readers of the Boston Sunday Globe know Vanderwarker’s work through the “Cityscapes” series co-authored with architecture critic Robert Campbell.

“Peter Vanderwarker is passionately immersed in Boston,” says Sally Pierce, the Boston Athenæum’s curator of prints and photographs and curator of the exhibition. “He has spent a lifetime looking at, photographing, thinking and writing about Boston’s buildings and civic spaces. He has come to know many of the people who contribute to the city to make it more habitable, participatory, and just. This exhibition expresses Vanderwarker’s vision of the best of Boston, his Pantheon of people and places that make the city great.”

The portraits of Vanderwarker’s selected “minds” -- people who inspire him -- were created in 2008 expressly for this exhibition. The subjects were photographed in settings representative of their particular spheres of engagement. All of the photographs are amplified by personal statements from the portrait subjects describing the importance of what they do or from the photographer describing his response to the scene. The views of the built Boston, or the “matter” - the Big Dig, Hancock Tower, Zakim Bridge – include elements that date from 1882 to the present and therefore help define the city as a continuum of history, innovation, and public participation.

According to Vanderwarker, “I have produced a series of portraits of people I admire because they have reinvented the world in creative and productive ways. These people have broken the mold, or made extraordinary contributions, or in some way helped define Boston culturally. Boston excels as a place where all the arts count, indeed where physicians, writers, athletes, and teachers all regard what they do as an art.”

Vanderwarker’s interest in the evolution of the city of Boston led to several books: Boston, Then and Now: 59 Sites Photographed in the Past and Present (1982), and Cityscapes of Boston, with Robert Campbell (1992). In 1989 Vanderwarker was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts grant to make a photographic document of Boston’s Central Artery Project, which resulted in The Big Dig: Reshaping an American City (2001). His work is in the collections of the Boston Athenæum, the MIT Museum, and the Boston University Art Gallery, and in private and corporate collections.

Vanderwarker earned a Bachelor of Architecture degree at the University of California, Berkeley in 1971, and received an Institute Honors award from the American Institute of Architects in 1992. From 1996-1997 he was a Loeb Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and he received the Commonwealth Award from the Boston Society of Architects in 1999. He teaches visual arts at the Codman Academy Charter Public School and serves on the boards of the Bostonian Society and the Boston Natural Areas Network.






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