DOYLESTOWN, PA.- Humorous and insightful photographs exploring the quirky relationships between dogs and their owners are on view in the Wachovia Gallery at the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown beginning April 26, 2008. Dog Dogs, a sampling from an extensive series by American photojournalist Elliott Erwitt (b. 1928), includes over 60 black-and-white photographs taken around the world between the years 1946 and 2000. Erwitt sees the dignity of the ankle-high Chihuahua; the anxiety of the homeless hound; the patience of the pom-pommed poodle; and the matchless joy of the homely but well-loved pug. Organized by Magnum Paris and art2art Circulating Exhibitions, these acute observations of the canine world prove that human relationships with furry friends are often due to mutual resemblance and emotion.
Elliott Erwitt: Dog Dogs is sponsored by Doylestown Animal Medical Clinic and Novartis Animal Health US, Inc. with additional funding by DeAnna's Restaurant/Bar, Lambertville, New Jersey, Jane M. Yeuroukis, Inc. and Tutto Metal Design.
"Elliott Erwitt is one of the real masters of 20th-century photography," says Brian H. Peterson, Senior Curator at the Michener Art Museum. "His style is low-key and unobtrusive, but as you get to know his pictures you gradually begin to see their wit, insight and visual skill. We're very excited to bring this work to the Micheneranyone who knows and loves both dogs and people will enjoy this show, as will anyone who appreciates a finely-made photographic image."
Erwitt's images have appeared in such publications as Life, Look, Holiday and Collier's, as well as in the renowned 1955 Museum of Modern Art, New York exhibition The Family of Man. Born in Paris to Russian parents, Erwitt spent his childhood in Milan, then emigrated to the United States via France, with his family in 1939. As a teenager living in Hollywood, he developed an interest in photography and worked in a commercial darkroom before experimenting with photography at Los Angeles City College. In 1948 he moved to New York City and completed his formal education through film classes at the New School for Social Research. After service in the United States Army as a photographic assistant, Erwitt joined the prestigious Magnum Photos agency in 1953 with such famed photographers as Edward Steichen, Robert Capa and Roy Stryker. Over the years, Erwitt has published numerous books as well as feature films, television commercials and documentaries, but he is probably best-known for his candid photographs of ironic and absurd situations within everyday settings.
The tentative closing date for this exhibition is August 31, 2008, which is subject to change due to an expansion project at the Museum. Visitors are encouraged to call ahead at (215) 340-9800 for specific information.
An accompanying paperback entitled Dog Dogs is available for $9.95 in the Museum Shop. Published by Phaidon Press (1998), the book includes 500 black-and-white photographs. A variety of whimsical dog-inspired merchandise including notebooks, greeting cards, posters, pet treats, sterling silver jewelry, chocolates and toys for children is also available.
An engaging series of lectures, family programs and gallery tours accompanies this exhibition. For more information or to register for programs, please visit www.michenerartmuseum.org or call (215) 340-9800.
Annual support for the Michener Art Museum is provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts, the Bucks County Commissioners and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.