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New Acquisitions 2009 on View at the Portland Museum of Art
Berenice Abbott, (United States, 1898 - 1991), "Department of Docks and Police Station Pier A", New York, 1936. Gelatin silver print, 10 1/4 x 12 3/4 inches. Gift of Owen W. and Anna H. Wells.
PORTLAND, ME.- This winter’s new acquisition exhibition is devoted to black-and-white photography, one of the strengths of the Portland Museum of Art’s growing collection. New Acquisitions 2009: In Black and White, on view January 9 through February 21, 2010 will feature 37 photographs, ranging from romanticized scenes of Maine agrarian life in the early 20th century by Chansonetta Emmons, to mid-century documents by photojournalist Verner Reed and contemporary images of an elderly Mainer by Jon Edwards.

Following the exhibition of Diane Arbus portraits in 2004, this past year we received our first Arbus images for the permanent collection from long-time supporters of the Portland Museum of Art, John S. Ames and Mallory and Peter Haffenreffer. Our collection of Berenice Abbott photographs has been significantly augmented by a prime example of her New York work donated by Owen and Anna Wells, as well as a portrait series of Abbott made by her assistant, Maine photographer Todd Watts. Artists’ portraits form an important niche in the collection and the animated images of Portland painter George Lloyd and Skowhegan watercolorist Abby Shahn by Philip Rogers document two contemporary artists whose works are also in the Museum’s collection.

Black-and-white photography has long played an important role in documenting the history of rural life in Maine. Initially, such images by Chansonetta Emmons were made as works of art that rivaled printmaking and genre painting as a means to romanticize agrarian life.

Earle Shettleworth, the Maine State Historian and director of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission, has recently enhanced our significant holdings of her work with a gift of 10 photographs taken near her home in Kingfield. By the mid-20th century, photojournalists like Verner Reed took a more straightforward look at the conditions of potato farming in Aroostook County. Contemporary photographer Jon Edwards combines both approaches in documenting the hard-scrabble life of a mid-coast Mainer who harvests seaweed in the summer and prunes fruit trees in the winter.

Frequently, black-and-white photographic projects get published in book form, as is the case with the work of John Willis and Tom Young. These two photographers from western Massachusetts provided a photographic essay for a new book that examines the environment at a recycled paper factory. But rather than focusing on the machinery or the end product, these photographers were attracted to the bundles of used paper that goes into the process. Like those who preceded them in this genre, these black-and-white photographers combine a keen aesthetic with social concerns.

Portland Museum of Art | Earle Shettleworth | New Acquisitions 2009 | Chansonetta Emmons |




Today's News

January 9, 2010

Sotheby's to Offer a Monumental Sculpture by Alberto Giacometti, L'Homme qui Marche I

Sperone Westwater Shows Recent Sculpture by the Italians Bertozzi & Casoni

Guggenheim Creates Cabinet and Appoints Ari Wiseman as Deputy Director

Gagosian to Present Aaron Young's First Solo Show in Los Angeles

Toledo Museum Acquires First Italian Baroque Painting in 26 Years

Recent Drawings and Color Studies by David Reed at Peter Blum Gallery

Winter Antiques Show Celebrates its 56th Year with Six New Exhibitors

New Acquisitions 2009 on View at the Portland Museum of Art

Cooper-Hewitt will Present "National Design Triennial: Why Design Now?"

Sherry Frumkin Gallery Opens Exhibition by California Artist Dean De Cocker

FLAG Art Foundation Features Works by Felix Gonzalez-Torres and Jim Hodges

National Portrait Gallery Charts the Iconography of Lady Jane Grey

Royal Tapestry Exhibition Travels to U.S. for the First Time

Ogden Museum of Southern Art to Open Six Exhibitions

The Dead Sea Scrolls Spoke Volumes During their Toronto Engagement

Wesleyan University's Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery Presents Julika Rudelius: Projections

Artist Stephen Huneck, 'Dog Chapel' Founder, Dies

Knoxville Museum of Art Featured on Cover of AT&T Yellow Pages Directory

Paris Palais Royal Columns Get 6 Million Euro Facelift

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1.- Greece holds breath as skeleton found in Alexander the Great-era tomb at Amphipolis

2.- Spain mourns the death of art collector Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart, Duchess of Alba

3.- Meet the ancestors: Exhibition at Bordeaux gallery reveals faces of prehistoric humans

4.- Getty Foundation and partners launch free of charge online art collection catalogues

5.- Historic photos of dead Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara resurface in small Spanish town

6.- Exhibition showcases the first two 'Poesie' created by Titian following their restoration

7.- O'Keeffe painting sells for more than three times the previous world auction record for any female artist

8.- Crystal Bridges announces the departure of museum President Don Bacigalupi

9.- artnet Auctions offers a later example of Yayoi Kusama's important Infinity-Nets series

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