Two must see exhibits at the Philadelphia Museum of Art...
Spectacle: Photographs from the Collection
Philadelphia Museum of Art
June 20, 2009 - September 7, 2009
Mummers Parade. Burk Uzzle. 1978
From the PMA website...
"Comprising more than 40 photographs from the Museum’s collection, this exhibition explores the manner in which photographers from the nineteenth-century through the present day have documented spectacular scenes and events along with the curious spectators who observe them.
Images of rapt sightseers taking in natural and man-made wonders, participants in tightly orchestrated civic or religious productions, and impromptu moments of drama or self-display demonstrate the camera’s unique ability to capture the immediacy of a spectacle as well as the excitement, raw emotion, and even the boredom sometimes exhibited by its spectators.
Photographs by Eugène Atget, Robert Frank, Gordon Parks, Diane Arbus, David Graham, and more than 30 others point to the fundamental relationship between a spectacle, its audience, and photography itself. These images reveal that photographers repeatedly seize the opportunity to record the intense yet fleeting sights, acts, and emotions on public display during spectacular events".
Skyscrapers: Prints, Drawings, and Photographs of the Early Twentieth Century
Philadelphia Museum of Art
June 6, 2009 - November 1, 2009
Skyscraper. Howard Norton Cook. 1929
From the PMA website....
"Icons of modernity and testaments to human achievement, skyscrapers rose to towering heights in major cities across the United States during the early decades of the twentieth century. These technological feats of architecture and design furnished necessary solutions to the problems set by rapid urban growth while simultaneously providing exciting new material for artists. Skyscrapers offered the contemporary artist a way to document a city’s development, a pretext for experimenting with modernist aesthetics, and a subject on which to project personal or collective ideas and emotions.
More than fifty prints, drawings, and photographs chosen from the Museum’s collection demonstrate the many ways artists chose to portray the new giants in their landscape. Roughly spanning the years between 1905 and 1940, the works will reflect a wide range of styles and practices. Among the famous skyscrapers featured are Chicago’s gothic-ornamented Tribune Tower, New York City’s Art Deco Empire State Building, and Philadelphia’s modernist PSFS Building. The exhibition includes prints by John Marin and Charles Sheeler, photographs by Berenice Abbott and Alfred Stieglitz, and drawings by Earl Horter and Abraham Walkowitz"