Exposure: Photos from the Vault opens April 30, 2010, in the newly remodeled Anthony and Delisa Mayer Photography Gallery on the 7th floor of the North Building. The renovated space will host the first exhibition of the department of photography at the Denver Art Museum (DAM), featuring a diverse selection from the 7,000-object collection including works by Ansel Adams, Diane Arbus, Chuck Close, Alfred Stieglitz and Garry Winogrand as well as recent acquisitions of work by Henry Bosse, Petah Coyne and Shirin Neshat.
“I had a lot of fun digging to the depths of this exquisite collection to create the debut display,” Paddock said. “We’re presenting a wide range of photos, from portraits and landscapes to abstraction and Surrealism that photo enthusiasts and museum visitors will enjoy. This first installation is a way to say hello to the community and start a conversation about photography.”
The Museum began collecting photography in 1937, adding pieces to many curatorial departments over the years including the 1994 acquisition of the Daniel Wolf collection of 19th and early 20th century American landscapes and frequent donations of contemporary work through the 1980s and 1990s. In 2009, the DAM formed a standalone Department of Photography and brought on veteran curator Eric Paddock to lead the charge in creating exhibitions and collection experiences with the museum’s strong collection of historic and contemporary photography.
Exposure is just the first of the department of photography’s upcoming programs that will include traveling and temporary exhibitions. The Place We Live, a comprehensive Robert Adams retrospective organized by the Yale University Art Gallery, will open in Denver in fall 2011. Adams, a Colorado native, photographed the landscape of the American West for more than 40 years. He rose to prominence as part of the photographic movement known as New Topographics which sheds light on manaltered landscapes. His work is inspired by the natural beauty of the world, but also notes the destructive effects of urbanization and population growth. This temporary exhibition will showcase over 200 works highlighting various stages of Adams’ career.
“Forming this new department has allowed the DAM to come to the forefront of photography and actively engage our attentive photography community,” said Christoph Heinrich, DAM director. “We are thrilled to have enthusiastic and dynamic donors who helped realize the DAM’s first photography department and continue to help us be relevant in the local and national photo community.”
The Department of Photography is generously funded by Anthony and Delisa Mayer, Mrs. Frederick Mayer, Evan and Elizabeth Anderman, Rob and Julie Lewis and Devon Dikeou and Fernando Troya.