Through the Lens: Photography from the Permanent Collection at the Lowe Art Museum

From its inception, photography has enticed scientists, artists and amateurs alike. Whether used for capturing historical moments or as an art form, the lens has played a significant role in human life. To fulfill this innate sentiment, Through the Lens: Photography from the Permanent Collection will be on view from June 27 through October 4, 2009 at the Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami. Curated by Lowe Associate Director, Denise M. Gerson, the exhibition features 100 photographs from over a thousand photographic holdings. The collection, unique in South Florida, spans the development of the art form from earliest years of its invention around mid-19th century to the present. Genres include early travel and portraiture, landscape, international modernism, the world of celebrity, documentary, and contemporary idioms.

Prints from the century of photography’s birth include examples of early photographic processes; including tintype, ambrotype, and daguerreotype, made by pioneers of the new medium. A fine portfolio of hand-pulled photogravures, created through an intaglio printmaking process, is part of a recent addition to the collection titled “The Golden Age of British Photography.” It includes prints by Francis Frith, Julia Cameron, and Fox Talbot. Modern masters from the first decades of the 20th century include Edward Steichen, Lewis Wickes Hine, Berenice Abbott, and Man Ray. Photography through mid-20th century comprises of prints by Edward Weston, Paul Strand, and Manuel Alvarez Bravo, among others.

Among the Lowe’s most remarkable holdings is an important collection of photographs by Walker Evans, dating from the 1920s through 1940s. Post-World War II photography features such notables as Gary Winogrand, Elliott Erwitt, Imogen Cunningham, and Arnold Newman. Newman’s photographs are the subject of a complementary exhibition at the museum.

Finally, contemporary photography forms an important and growing aspect of the Lowe’s collection. Recently acquired works by Cindy Sherman, Gregory Crewdson, Nan Goldin, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Martin Parr, join earlier acquisitions by John Baldessari, Sandy Skoglund, and William Wegman, demonstrating the dynamic direction that the Lowe’s photography collection is taking.

Through the Lens: Photography from the Permanent Collection will be accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue. The publication will feature an essay by J. Tomás López, University of Miami Professor of Photography.

The Lowe Art Museum is located at the University of Miami at 1301 Stanford Drive, Coral Gables. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 12 to 7 p.m. Thursdays and 12 to 5 p.m. Sundays. Regular Admission (not including special events) is $10; $5 for Seniors and Non-UM Students; Free for Lowe Art Museum Members, University of Miami students, faculty and staff, and children under 12. For more information, call (305) 284-3535 or visit www.lowemuseum.org.

Top