The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art showcases photography in two exhibitions this spring. Spaces, Places and Identity: Robert Frank “Portraits” will open Jan 18 in the Main Gallery, and run through April 17. Also opening Jan. 18 and running through April 17 in the Upper Gallery is the exhibition, Dust Shaped Hearts: Photographs by Donald E. Camp.
Artist and opening receptions are planned for both exhibitions Sunday Jan. 23, from 2 to 4 p.m.
The exhibition Spaces, Places and Identity: Robert Frank “Portraits” explores Swiss-born photographer Robert Frank’s redefinition of the notion of portraiture through his work before, during, and following the production of his most well-known collection, The Americans (1958/59). The works featured in the exhibition are borrowed from the Archives and Special Collections at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. Many of the images have never before been published or exhibited.”
By juxtaposing more traditionally-understood portrait images of Frank’s family members, friends, and colleagues with more broadly, less conventionally-conceived “portrait” images of people and places, the Berman Museum will be able to show a selection of photographs never published and never before exhibited, and will also add a new set of scholarly perspectives and ideas to the discourse about Frank and his work. The Berman Museum’s Associate Director for Education, Susan Shifrin, will co-curate the Frank exhibition with F. Michael Angelo, the University Archivist at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. (Photo shown: Robert Frank: Frogmore SC 1955,” gelatin silver print, 8 1/3 x 13 1/4 in, Penn Family Collection, Scott Memorial Library, Thomas Jefferson University Archives and Special Collections)
With his ongoing series Dust Shaped Hearts, Don Camp, Ursinus Artist in Residence and professor of photography, seeks to counter stereotypes of African American men and women, presenting images of those who have quietly, yet profoundly, enriched our culture. The series has expanded to include men and women of all races, acknowledging that the struggle against ignorance and intolerance is a universal one. Camp’s work is characterized by both the unique process he uses to produce his prints as well as by his in-depth exploration of the dignity and nobility that can be found in the human face. (Pictured: Donald Camp, Ursinus Artist-in-Residence, with image from Dust Shaped Hearts – photo by Liora Kutler 2010)
Camp’s work has been recognized with a number of awards, including a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship and NEA and Pew Fellowships in the Arts. He is an Assistant Professor and Artist in Residence at Ursinus College.
Related to both exhibitions is Look Again, a multi-event public program designed to engage audiences in looking closely — and then looking again — at the images on display in the Museum’s two photography exhibitions.
Some of the events are as follows:
Tuesday February 8,: Photographers’ Roundtable Discussion, 4:30 to 6 p.m., Lecture Hall, Pfeiffer Wing. Reception to follow in Main Gallery from 6 to 7 p.m. Participating artists: Donald E. Camp, Artist in Residence and Assistant Professor of Art, Ursinus College; Ronald (Rusty) Kennedy, Photographer, Associated Press; Amie Potsic, artist/photographer, curator, and writer, and Director of the Career Development Program at The Center for Emerging Visual Artists in Philadelphia; Andrea Baldeck, physician and photographer; and William Williams, photographer, professor of Fine Arts and Curator of Photography, Haverford College. Moderated by Susan Shifrin, Associate Director for Education, Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art.
Wednesday March 2: – Curatorial Talk: Spaces, Places and Identity: Robert Frank ‘Portraits’ by Susan Shifrin, Main Gallery, 7:p.m., Refreshments will be served.
Wednesday, March 16: Screening of Robert Frank films in conjunction with the semester-long Ursinus is Talking About… initiative focusing on the photographs of Robert Frank on view in the Main Gallery. Location: Lecture Hall, Pfeiffer Wing, 7 to 9 p.m. with discussion led by Ursinus faculty.
Tuesday March 22: 7 p.m., Main Gallery, Lecture by award-winning author Mary Cappello, on her biography of Dr. Chevalier Jackson titled Swallow. Philadelphia’s Mütter Museum holds a remarkable collection of neatly-stored small objects meticulously saved on white cards — hairpins and nails, wire and padlocks, tiny toys, jacks, string, peanut kernels, a poker chip, and more were the life’s work of Dr. Chevalier Jackson, Renaissance man, painter, and inventor of the bronchoscope. He perfected a method of safely removing objects from the throats, stomachs, and bronchial areas of patients in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Lecture will be followed by a book signing and reception. This event is in conjunction with a collaboration with the Ursinus College Department of English: The Spoken Word, which will focus on the photographs taken by Jackson of various objects he “extracted” from his patients and in relation to the Robert Frank photographs on view.
Wednesday April 6: Artist Gallery Talk, Dust Shaped Hearts: Photography by Donald E. Camp 7 to 8 p.m., Upper Gallery, Refreshments will be served.
April 2011 “‘Look Again’: Strategic Arts-Based Education in Medical Schools” Symposium.Main Gallery, more information TBA.
In addition, located in the new Henry and June Pfeiffer Wing is The Urban Landscape: Ancient to Contemporary from the Permanent Collection This exhibition features works by Joseph Pennell, Giovanni and Antonio Martino, Albert Jean Adolphe, Dong Kingman, Walter Emerson Baum, Colin Campbell Cooper, Fernand Leger and others.
Celebrating a milestone 20th year, The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College, known for its diverse collection and innovative educational programming, is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and noon to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The Museum is closed Mondays and college holidays. The Museum is accessible to the physically disabled, and admission is free. The museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums. Exhibitions and programs are funded in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and annual support from Epps Advertising. — W.G.