Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Visualizing Albuquerque

The Visualizing Albuquerque exhibit runs from January 31 to May 3, 2015 at the Albuquerque Museum of Art.  It was not until my second visit that I noticed the sign out front said that photography is allowed at this show.  So I snapped a few shots with Tri-X in my Zorki 2-C, mounted with the Jupiter 12 lens.

Mildred Murphey. "Self Portrait", Aluminum

Ford Model T Speedster (1912)

I have taken quite a few photographs at the near-by Natural History Museum over the past few years.  Photography is not normally permitted in the Art Museum, so this exhibit presents an unusual opportunity to explore the museum experience.  I'll likely return several times with my cameras to try a variety of techniques.


Jim Grey said...

I have noticed over the years that more and more museums allow photography. I wonder if it is due to the ubiquity of (and impossibility to police) mobile phones. I also wonder if it is due to modern digital cameras' ability to take usable photographs in low light. Back in the day, the average Joe's camera could get indoor shots only with flash, and my memory is that flash was the real problem as it could damage some art (somehow; I was never clear on how).

Mike said...

Exposure to light does degrade some media components including those in traditional photographic prints. Flash photography also degrades the experience of museum visitors. While recognizing those issues, I do think some museums have gone a bit overboard in dimming exhibit lighting. The UNM museum, for instance, lights its photo exhibits so dimly that it is difficult to appreciate the qualities of the art work which make it worth showing. It seems like it would be more worthwhile in many cases to just show good reproductions appropriately illuminated.

Of course, there are instances in which showing the original works is important to understanding the work. I recall an example of that being an exhibit of prints by Bill Brandt which dated from the WWII era. I had the pleasure of viewing that show at the Albuquerque Museum along with my on-line friend, Craig Nelson, who materialized one day in Albuquerque. We were both impressed and amazed by the amount of manual manipulation which was evident in the prints. In addition to the apparent signs of dodging and burning, close examination also showed a good deal of negative scraping to smooth the image, as well as ink spotting to cover dust spots on the prints. Such practices were common in the age of darkroom printing, but I would guess few people now days are conscious of that fact.

Julio F said...

Nice documents. I like the results from the J-12. Many art museums have too dim lighting for my taste. Some museums will allow photography but not tripods, probably not to spoil circulation of visitors. In any case I am glad you were allowed!