Exhibit Archive

A portrait!

What could be more simple and more complex, more obvious and more profound.  Charles Baudelaire

 

Telling Portraits

Portraits were once the exclusive province of monarchs and nobles, symbols of privilege and prosperity. With the development of the daguerreotype in 1839, working class people soon had a means of capturing their own likeness inexpensively and, by 1901, cameras like Kodak’s Brownie became so affordable, anyone could take pictures!

Andy Warhol, one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, comes closest to the notion of the valet de chambre or court painter. He, himself, was famous as a chronicler of the rich and famous, though his monumental paintings began as the humble Polaroids on view here. Similarly, photographer Hans Neleman records not only the likeness of his subject, but also the rich tradition of tattooing known as ta moko, a practice that signals one’s status within Maori society. In contrast, Sean Kernan’s subjects are kept separate and apart from society. Locked behind the walls of maximum security prisons, we are offered only fractured features reflected in a mirror, the very inverse of celebrity and rank.

Taking pictures of people as they move about their day, unaware they are being observed, is at the very heart of candid photography.  Renowned street photographer, Henri Cartier-Bresson, conveys a bit of humor with his “portrait” of a small child laboring to carry a portrait as large as herself. Larry Silver takes unplanned photos of people and situations as well. As a little boy gazes off into the distance unaware of Silver’s presence, his puppy stares directly into the camera lens. With over one hundred Rolling Stone covers to his credit, the celebrated portrait photographer, Mark Seliger, caught this young girl contributing her teddy bear to one of the many memorials that materialized in New York City after 9/11. These photographs are not meant to document a particular person, but rather, to capture “decisive moments” as they unfold.

Material, motion and mood are employed by Robert Klein, Kenda North and Deborah Dancy to reveal, instead of a likeness, the personality of their subjects. A woman, fully clothed replete with red shoes, is seated at the bottom of a pool; another woman dances with her mother’s wedding dress while an “empty suit” leans against a lamp post. Sensitive and poetic or social and political, image by image, these photographs create portraits that both show and tell.

  • William Noyes

    William Noyes

    American, 1918

    Pedro E. Guerrero, 1984
    Gelatin silver print

    Gift of the artist

    1995.26.211.136

  • Robert Klein

    Robert Klein

    American, 1952

    Untitled, 1976-1978
    Black and white photograph

    Gift of the artist

    1985.19.07

  • Henri Cartier-Bresson

    Henri Cartier-Bresson

    French, 1908-2004

    Gelatin silver print

    Gift of the artist

    1992.20.11.04

  • Mark Seliger

    Mark Seliger

    American, 1959

    Untitled from “here is new york, 2001
    Digital print on paper

    Gift of Robert Thornton

    2002.16.09

  • Sean Kernan

    Sean Kernan

    American, 1942

    Prison, West Virginia, 1977-1979
    from “Without, Mercy, Pardon or Parole Gelatin silver print

    Purchased with funds from Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation

    2003.13.02

  • Sean Kernan

    Sean Kernan

    American, 1942

    Prison, Alabama, 1977-1979
    from “Without, Mercy, Pardon or Parole Gelatin silver print

    Purchased with funds from Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation

    2003.13.02

  • Andy Warhol

    Andy Warhol

    American, 1928-1987

    Dolly Parton, 1985
    Rhonda Ross, 1981
    Pia Zadora, 1983

    Polacolor ER

    Gift of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

    2009.05.17, 2009.05.25, 2009.05.26

  • Andy Warhol

    Andy Warhol

    American, 1928-1987

    Grilled Corn
    Black and white photograph

    Gift of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

    2009.05.115

  • Marvin Schwartz

    Marvin Schwartz

    American

    Christo with wrapped telephone, New York City, 1972
    Selenium archival silver print

    Gift of Mark Greenstein

    2010.11.13

  • Deborah Dancy

    Deborah Dancy

    American, 1949

    Dancing with my Mother, 1/10 2010
    Digital photograph

    2015.11.01

  • Robert Von Sternberg

    Robert Von Sternberg

    American, 1939

    Pasadena Rose Parade, 1971
    Photograph, archival ink jet print

    Gift of The Museum Project

    2017.15.13

  • Kenda North

    Kenda North

    American, 1951

    Bliss, 2017
    from the Submerged series

    Ultra chrome pigments printed on Hahnemule William Turner paper

    Gift of The Museum Project

    2017.15.43

  • Kenda North

    Kenda North

    American, 1951

    Red Shoes, 2009-2017
    from the Urban Pools series

    Ultra chrome pigment printed on Hahnemule William Turner paper

    Gift of The Museum Project

    2017.15.44

  • Photograph by Hans Neleman from the book Moko – Maori Tattoo

    Photograph by Hans Neleman from the book Moko – Maori Tattoo

    Lauren (Piata) Heenan

    Iwi: Father’s side,Ngati Kahungunu. Mother’s side, Ngai te Rangi

    “My moko is the moko of a student, the moko of a woman proud to be a wahine”

    2018.04.03

  • Sara Augenbraun

    Sara Augenbraun

    American, 1953

    Untitled (from the series Carnival)

    Color photograph

    On loan from Robbin Zella

    L2018.02.01

  • Larry Silver

    Larry Silver

    Child with Puppy, 1950

    Gelatin silver print

    1984_10_02

  • Herb Ritts

    Herb Ritts

    Mask, Hollywood, 1989

    Gelatin silver print

    1996_05_43_17

  • Larry Silver

    Larry Silver

    Headstand, Muscle Beach, Santa Monica, CA, 1954,

    Silver gelatin print

    2016_03_02

  • Photograph by Hans Neleman from the book Moko – Maori Tattoo

    Photograph by Hans Neleman from the book Moko – Maori Tattoo

    Whare

    Iwi: Ngai te Rangi, Ngai Tuhoe

    2018_04_04

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