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Retrospective Exhibition will Highlight the Brilliant Career of Chicago Photographer
Barbara Crane, Chicago Loop Series, 1976-79, gelatin silver print, 8 x 10 in. Courtesy of the artist.
CHICAGO, IL.- This retrospective exhibition, organized by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA), celebrates the 60-year career of Chicago photographer Barbara Crane. Her many separate projects, in both color and black and white images, constitute the largest gathering of her work to date, including some 300 photographs. Guest curated by Kenneth C. Burkhart, the exhibition is accompanied by a major monograph on the artist.

Barbara Crane: Challenging Vision will be on view in the Chicago Cultural Center’s Fourth Floor Exhibit Hall from October 3, 2009, through January 10, 2010 . On Thursday, October 1, curator Kenneth C. Burkhart will lead a gallery talk at 5:30 p.m., which will be followed by an opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Also the opening event for Chicago Artists Month, Barbara Crane will be receiving the DCA’s first Ruth Horwich Award to a Famous Chicago Artist. Named for one of Chicago ’s most steadfast art supporters, the award recognizes the enduring career of an esteemed Chicago artist. For more information on Chicago Artist Month, the annual celebration of Chicago ’s talented and diverse visual arts community during the month of October, visit Additional events related to the exhibition are listed below. Admission to the exhibition and these associated programs is free.

Barbara Crane, artist-photographer and educator, has explored photography as a vehicle for creative expression for over sixty years. The result has been a changing, ongoing body of work conceptually consistent, varied in approach and experimental in style. An early investigator of repetition and deconstruction of visual information, she has experimented with sequences, grids, scrolls, and large modular murals. Crane continues to work in many formats ranging from the intimate to the large scale and to use diverse materials and processes including platinum-palladium, Polaroid formats, gelatin silver, and digital.

Born in Chicago, Crane studied at Mills College in California, completing her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Art History at New York University. She received her Master of Science Degree from the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology. She began teaching photography in 1964 and soon joined the faculty of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she retired as Professor Emeritus in 1995.

Crane has been the recipient of many grants, awards, and fellowships, including the National Endowment for the Arts Grants in 1975 and 1988, a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship in Photography in 1979, and an Illinois Arts Council Artists Fellowship Award in Photography in 2001. Her work is represented in major collections around the country, including the George Eastman House in Rochester, the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

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