Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath


Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath


The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, debuts an unprecedented exhibition exploring the experience of war through the eyes of photographers.
WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath features nearly 500 objects, including photographs, books, magazines, albums and photographic equipment. The photographs were made by more than 280 photographers, from 28 nations, who have covered conflict on six continents over 165 years, from the Mexican-American War of 1846 through present-day conflicts.

WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath has been organized by the MFAH curatorial team of Anne Wilkes Tucker, the Gus and Lyndall Wortham Curator of Photography; Will Michels, photographer and Glassell School of Art instructor; and Natalie Zelt, curatorial assistant for photography. After the MFAH premiere, the presentation travels nationally to the Annenberg Space for Photography, Los Angeles; the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; and the Brooklyn Museum.

Accompanying the exhibition is a 600-page catalogue of the same title, with interviews and essays by the curators, contributing scholars and military historians.

The exhibition takes a critical look at the relationship between war and photography, exploring what types of photographs are, and are not, made, and by whom and for whom. Rather than a chronological survey of wartime photographs or a survey of “greatest hits,” the exhibition presents types of photographs repeatedly made during the many phases of war—regardless of the size or cause of the conflict, the photographers’ or subjects’ culture or the era in which the pictures were recorded. The images in the exhibition are organized according to the progression of war: from the acts that instigate armed conflict, to “the fight,” to victory and defeat, and images that memorialize a war, its combatants and its victims. Both iconic images and previously unknown images are on view, taken by military photographers, commercial photographers (portrait and photojournalist), amateurs and artists.

The facts:

Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath
November 11, 2012 – February 3, 2013
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
MFAH Law Building Mezzanine
1001 Bissonnet
Houston, Texas 77005

Photo above: Thomas Hoepker, A US Marine drill sergeant delivers a severe reprimand to a recruit, Parris Island, South Carolina, from the series US Marine Corps boot camp, 1970, 1970, inkjet print, Thomas Hoepker / Magnum Photos. © Thomas Hoepker / Magnum Photos

All photographs copyright the artist.

Alfred Palmer, Women aircraft workers finishing transparent bomber noses for fighter and reconnaissance planes at Douglas Aircraft Co. Plant in Long Beach, California, 1942, gelatin silver print, the MFAH, gift of Will Michels in honor of his sister, Genevieve Namerow.

Jonathan C. Torgovnik, Valentine with her daughters Amelie and Inez, Rwanda, from the series Intended Consequences, 2006, chromogenic print, ed. # 11/25, the MFAH, gift of the artist. © Jonathan Torgovnik