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William Wegman Exhibition Premieres at Allentown Art Museum
William Wegman, American b. 1943. Retriever, 1994, Chromogenic print. Courtesy of the artist.

ALLENTOWN, PA.- The Allentown Art Museum has organized a new exhibition of photography by contemporary artist William Wegman in collaboration with the William Wegman Studio, New York City. “William Wegman: Fay” will be on view in the Museum’s Kress Gallery through September 7, 2008. The exhibition is the first to celebrate the artistic partnership between Wegman and his beloved canine muse, Weimaraner Fay Ray. Their ten-year odyssey (1985-1995) as partners in life and in art is explored in this rich array of photographs from the Wegman Studio, accompanied by Wegman’s own personal commentary on the extraordinary nature of their artistic collaboration. Many of the photographs on view have rarely or never been exhibited publicly. Featured in the exhibition are selected 20 x 24-inch Polaroids, chromogenic prints, gelatin silver prints, and video segments starring the inimitable Fay together with her charismatic offspring, Battina (Batty), Chundo, and Crooky. A $5.00 fee, in addition to regular Museum admission, provides entry to “William Wegman: Fay.” Museum members are admitted free of charge.

The exhibition will be complemented by a full menu of programming at the Museum for visitors of all ages including an installation in Art Ways, the Museum’s Interactive Family Gallery, with the theme “More Than Man’s Best Friend…” Art Ways is open free of charge during regular Museum hours. Other Museum program and event details follow.

William Wegman (1943- ) is a pioneering contemporary artist well known for his photographs, videos, and books featuring his menagerie of Weimaraner dogs. “When we first met in Memphis, Tennessee,” Wegman writes of Fay in the 2002 publication Polaroids, “she was six months old and her name was Cinnamon Girl. I named her Fay after Fay Wray, of course…Her fur was taupe…and she had yellow eyes like in a Rousseau painting… In a short time Fay matured from a coltish youth into a Garboesque beauty. My pictures grew with her. Now she was the muse, the adored one. Skin-deep beauty became the soul of my work.” Wegman and Fay became creatively entwined, resulting in a brilliant body of photographic work for which they are especially known.

Dr. Lee A. Vedder, Museum director of collections and exhibitions, is curator for the exhibition. “We are thrilled to be working with the William Wegman Studio in presenting the first exhibition to commemorate Wegman’s ten-year partnership with Fay Ray. I’ve been a huge fan of Wegman’s photography for years, especially his extrarordinary work with Fay, so this exhibition holds great personal meaning for me.”

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