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DeCordova Presents Out of the Box: Photography Portfolios from the Permanent Collection

In collaboration with one of Boston’s premier venues for photography, the Photographic Resource Center at Boston University (PRC), DeCordova has invited their former curator and now independent curator Leslie K. Brown to organize an exhibition from the museum’s extensive photography collection. Open October 24, 2009 – October 28, 2010.

In addition to touching upon the history of photography portfolios as it relates to photohistory and the history of collecting multiples, Out of the Box highlights the history and strengths of the DeCordova’s permanent photography collection. DeCordova’s holdings offer a unique opportunity to explore this topic as nearly one fifth of the photography collection’s over 1,400 prints are from portfolios.

Selections from eleven portfolios will be featured, ranging from the very first photographs to enter DeCordova’s collection in 1980—an abstract portfolio by Calvin Kowal—to well-known leaders in the field such as Larry Fink and Neal Slavin. In addition to the most recently acquired photographs from 2009—a portfolio by Jo Sandman—Out of the Box will also highlight the entire PRC Portfolio, published in 2008, including luminaries such as Emmet Gowin, Laura McPhee, Arno Rafael Minkkinen, Abelardo Morell, and Patti Smith, among others.

This exhibition also initiates a new curatorial program: inviting guest curators and artists to explore DeCordova’s collection and bring to it new viewpoints. This offering is coordinated by Assistant Curator Dina Deitsch.

This exhibition is made possible by a generous grant from the Lois and Richard England Family Foundation.

Image: Jim Dow, All Night Taco Stand, Av. Gustavo Baz Prada, El Country, Naucalpan, Esado de Mexico, 2004 printed 2008, from “The PRC portfolio,” 2008, prigmented inkjet print, 17″ x 22″, Museum Purchase with funds provided by Cathy England and The Dr. Beatrice H. Barrett Fund, 2008.16

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