Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Discovering the Addison Collection

This spring the art department at Phillips Academy is offering Visual Culture: Discovering the Addison Collection, a course focusing on American landscape photography within the context of the Addison Gallery’s collection. Taught by art instructor Elaine Crivelli and museum staff, the enthusiastic students meet regularly at the museum to learn about our current exhibitions, particularly Accommodating Nature: The Photographs of Frank Gohlke, and common museum practices that they will later apply to their own exhibition in the Addison’s reading room this June.

Here, Kelsey Thorn and Stephanie Schuyler, both in the PA class of 2008, examine potential objects for their show in the museum’s print storage. Students have been introduced to a range of both historical and contemporary photographers. Conversations have ranged from how the photograph acts as documentation, views of the untouched landscape versus man-altered sites, and images that function as conceptual statements. After reviewing a number of images, students were particularly drawn to the work of Ansel Adams, Barbara Bosworth, Henry Callahan, William Christenberry, William Eggleston, Tony Feher, Ralph Steiner and Minor White. They will be conducting research on the aforementioned aritsts for Thursday’s in-class presentations. (If you click on the an artist's name above, then it will link you to the exact works under careful consideration by the students and you can share their experience.)

Moving forward, the students will agree on the exhibition’s theme and finalize their checklist. Today the class will tour Gohlke’s mid-career survey to learn about his process and photographs as well as its design and layout. Stay tuned for an update on these intelligent young curators!

Jaime DeSimone
Charles H. Sawyer Curatorial Fellow

No comments: