Spencer Museum of Art present Conversation XVII: Photographic Memory

. January 27, 2014

The Spencer Museum of Art presents Conversation XVII: Photographic Memory an exhibition on view through May 18, 2014.

The eve of the 20th century was a richly textured and dynamic period of American history, marked by cultural rifts and social reinvention. Using works on paper from the Spencer’s collection, including never-before-displayed pieces, this exhibition explores the intersections between emerging photographic traditions and evolving understandings of Native American culture in the late 19th century. This conversation invites viewers to use hindsight and cultural sensitivity to question traditional notions of ethnicity, identity, and authenticity, especially as they relate to indigenous communities in post-colonial contexts. Highlights include documentary photographs of American Indian life in the northern Great Plains and a selection of cabinet cards, or commercial studio portraits mounted on cardstock that circulated in the last decades of the 19th century. To broaden the conversation, a selection of newly acquired works by contemporary artists will be shown alongside historic photographs. Among the contemporary selections is a series titled An Indian from India by photographer Annu Palakunnathu Matthew; the artist pairs reprinted 19th-century portraits of Native Americans with self-portraits in which she poses in similar scenarios, using modern digital technologies to recreate historic photographic processes to uncanny effect. www.spencerart.ku.edu

Category: Museum News

Comments are closed.