In this past Sunday’s A&E section of the Arizona Republic, Richard Nilsen gave us a preview of some exciting shows coming up at the Phoenix Art Museum. As part of the continued collaboration with the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, the P.A.M. will hold three separate exhibits that extend through June of 2010 highlighting the Center’s expansive collection. Curator Rebecca Senf, who splits her time between the Center in Tucson and Phoenix, put together the new series of exhibits.


First up, in September, is Face to Face: 150 Years of Photographic Portraiture.

“Part of what we endeavor to do is teach people about the history of photography,” Senf says. “It’s an extension of our mission at the center. I want it to be lively and dynamic and varied and to capture the incredible span of the history of the medium, from the 19th to the 21st century.”

The show includes 60 prints from early practitioners, including the 19th-century Boston studio of Southworth and Hawes, through the breakthrough of such early 20th-century artists as Gertrude Kasebier, and later artists, such as Diane Arbus and Avedon.

“Photography is an art, but we acknowledge the many ways the medium has been employed over history,” Senf says, “including journalistic purposes, magazine and fashion purposes, publicity purposes for movie studios — all represented in the center’s archives. That complex history is what the center is all about: all the wonderful eddies and whirlpools, not just one stream.”

The second exhibit beginning in January of 2010 at the Steele Gallery is entitled Ansel Adams: Discoveries. The show will feature 120 photographs and other exhibits that will include proof prints, alternative views to some of his most famous prints, negatives, video footage, original correspondence, photographic equipment, and portraits of the photographer. Senf uses her expertise as an Adam’s scholar to compile a more complete examination of the artist’s work. The show will also feature something that Adams is not necessarily known for, color photography.

The third exhibit Exposing Time will be back in the Norton Photography Gallery in March of 2010. This exhibit will examine how photography is used to document the passing of time. It will feature work by Adams, as well as Milton Rogovin, Harry Callahan, Frank Gohlke, and Andrew Phelps.

There are also a series of lectures, demonstrations, and classes associated with each exhibit that you can attend. With the Cézanne show coming up right up after the Exposing Time exhibit ends, it may be a great time to become a Phoenix Art Museum member. For more information on these exhibits or the Phoenix Art Museum, visit their website.