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Hood Museum of Art
Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH 03755

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Press Release

Contact: Rachel Tardelli Vermeal
Communications and Public Relations Coordinator
(603) 646-2426

Focus on Photography
Marks the First Museum Survey of Post-1950 Photography Works

HANOVER, NH—Focus on Photography marks the first ever survey of post-1950 works from the Hood Museum of Art's photography collection.  In anticipation of and in collaboration with this fall's landmark Modern and Contemporary Art at Dartmouth: Highlights from the Hood Museum of Art, this exhibition closely examines the museum's modern and contemporary holdings in photography. Over the past decade, the Hood has engaged significantly with the art of photography, adding nearly two thousand photo or photo-based works to their permanent collection.

On view through March 8, 2009, Focus on Photography introduces a selection of these works, examining the collection along three themes: landscape, photojournalism, and portraiture. Exposing the diverse nature of contemporary photography, this exhibition concentrates on these thematic trends and, within each, a number of subgroupings.

Once viewed as the most literal of mediums, able to record the precise details of the world at a particular moment in time, photography’s image has evolved with the changing times, revealing a complex nature and the capacity to evoke the most individual of visions and interpretations while also suggesting symbolic meanings. Technological advances drove many of these developments as artists pushed the medium to produce a myriad of outcomes. Focus on Photography underscores how artists working today continue to look to traditional subject matters, styles, and methods, despite new developments that have had drastic effects on the processes and results of this medium.

Photographers in this exhibition include artists from twelve other countries, representing the global perspective of contemporary art. Highlighted are works by Joel Sternfeld’s, Dartmouth Class of 1965, surreal and powerful images of the American landscape; German artist Loretta Lux’s “imaginary portraits” of children (created using photo editing software); documentary and photojournalist works by major figures such as James Nachtwey, Dartmouth Class of 1970, Sebastião Salgado, and Eugene Smith; as well as images acquired during Walker Evans’s stay as Dartmouth’s first artist-in-residence in photography in 1972.

Focus on Photography presents a mere sampling of post-1950 photography, surveying the Hood Museum’s permanent collection in a directed manner. While mapping contemporary themes in the medium’s subjects and touching upon trends in processes and techniques, this exhibition also emphasizes the diversity of photography as a fine art and portrays the breadth and depth of the Hood’s holdings.

Photographer Andrea Modica, known for her haunting and dreamlike photographs, will give a lecture Treadwell and Fountain on Tuesday, February 24, in the Loew Auditorium at 4:30 P.M., with a reception to follow in Kim Gallery.

Additional programming includes a Lunchtime Gallery Talk on February 10 at 12:30 P.M. with curator Emily Burke, discussing themes in contemporary portraiture, including adolescence and coming-of-age, social and cultural identity and stereotypes, the power of representation and self-representation, and a focus on process. Also, an introductory tour of Focus on Photography will take place on March 7 at 2:00 P.M.

This exhibition was organized by the Hood Museum of Art and is generously supported by Philip Fowler 1927 Memorial Fund. An Exhibition Guide can be found in the gallery. For more information about the collections, exhibitions, and programs, visit

Last Updated: 2/13/09