“Color Rush: 75 Years of Color Photography in America” at the Milwaukee Art Museum



Color Rush: 75 Years of Color Photography in America at the Milwaukee Art Museum

From a Milwaukee Art Museum press release:

Color Rush: 75 Years of Color Photography in America captures the medium’s evolution throughout the first seven decades of the twentieth century, exploring the historical developments that led to color photography becoming the norm in popular culture and fine art. With framed photographs, as well as publications, slide shows, and film clips, this exhibition and catalogue present the story of color photography in America as it has never been told before. Color Rush runs February 22 through May 19, 2013 at the Milwaukee Art Museum. The exhibition charts—from magazine pages to gallery walls, from advertisements to photojournalism—the interconnected history of color photography in the United States from 1907 to 1981 through nearly 200 objects.

“Respectively, these years mark the introduction of the first commercially available color photographic process—the autochrome—and the published survey that signified the widespread acceptance of contemporary art photography in color,” said Lisa Hostetler, exhibition co-curator. “In the intervening years, color photography captured the popular imagination through its visibility in magazines such as Life and Vogue, as well as through its accessibility on the marketplace thanks to companies such as Kodak. At the same time, artists were exploring the potential of color photography for their own creative practice.”

Co-curator Katherine Bussard adds, “This exhibition and catalogue give form to the fascinating dialogue that always surrounded American color photography. Together, Lisa Hostetler and I set out to rectify the problematic—if prevailing—notion that color photography prior to the 1970s was either amateur or commercial and only recognized as such. The historical reality was never that simple, never so definitive.”

Among the artists represented in the exhibition: Ansel Adams, Harry Callahan, William Eggleston, Walker Evans, Nan Goldin, Jan Groover, Barbara Kasten, Saul Leiter, Susan Meiselas, Joel Meyerowitz, László Moholy-Nagy, Nickolas Muray, Paul Outerbridge, Eliot Porter, Cindy Sherman, Stephen Shore, Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, Joel Sternfeld, and Edward Weston.

The exhibition is co-curated by Lisa Hostetler, former curator of photographs at the Milwaukee Art Museum and currently McAvoy Family Curator of Photography at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and Katherine A. Bussard, associate curator of photography at the Art Institute of Chicago.

The facts:
Color Rush: 75 Years of Color Photography in America
February 22 – May 19, 2013
Milwaukee Art Museum
700 N. Art Museum Drive
Milwaukee WI, 53202
Phone: 414 224-3200

Photo above left and below:  Paul Outerbridge, Jr. (American, 1896–1958), Avocado Pears, 1936, Carbro print, 10 x 15 5/8 in. (25.4 x 39.69 cm), The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Mrs. Ralph Seward Allen, Paul Outerbridge, Jr.; © 2012 G. Ray Hawkins Gallery, Beverly Hills, CA, Digital image © Museum of Modern Art / Licensed by SCALA / Art Resource, NY

Jan Groover (American, 1943–2012), Untitled, 1979, Chromogenic print, 14 3/4 x 18 3/4 in. (37.47 x 47.63 cm), The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Lois and Bruce Zenkel Fund, Courtesy Janet Borden, Inc., Digital Image © The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA / Art Resource, NY