Akron Art Museum Opens Flora Photographs Exhibition

The Akron Art Museum presents Flora an exhibition featuring works from photographers from the early 20th century to present day, Flora is on view July 16 – October 23, 2011, at the Akron Art Museum in the Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell Gallery. Flora includes the Akron debut of recent acquisitions by artists including photographs by Imogen Cunningham, Martha Madigan and Northeast Ohio artists Douglas Lucak, Judith McMillan, J. Dwight Palmer and Stephen Tomasko.

Flowers have proven to be irresistible subjects for painters and sculptors through the ages and, from the early days of photography, for photographers. This exhibition, drawn entirely from the collection of the Akron Art Museum, surveys different approaches photographers have used to depict the plant world.

Imogen Cunningham’s extreme close-up view, Magnolia Blossom, Tower of Jewels, 1925, is one of the artist’s signature images. Part of an extended study she made of magnolias between 1923 and 1925, the photograph was produced for her own pleasure. As personal work, it was relegated to spare moments between sittings for portrait commissions and the duties of raising her three sons.

Flowers for Elizabeth, created by André Kertesz at the age of 82, is a seemingly casual glimpse of the domestic life of the artist. The image is a carefully composed paean to the romance and affection still alive in Kertesz’s four decade-long marriage.

A special treat in Flora is the opportunity to see a group of works by Jeannette Klute, a pioneer of color photography who died in 2009 at the age of 91. Her photographs were featured in Edward Steichen’s 1950 exhibition All Color Photography at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, and solo shows of her work were circulated internationally by the Smithsonian and Kodak International. “My purpose has been to somehow express the feeling one experiences being out of doors,” Klute wrote. “I am concerned with the delight to the senses as much as with the intellectual. The woods are mystical and enchanting to me as well as spiritual.”

This exhibition is organized by the Akron Art Museum and made possible by generous support from the Weisberger Family.

Image: Imogen Cunningham, born 1883, Magnolia Blossom, Tower of Jewels, 1925,Gelatin silver print, 13 5/8 in. x 10 1/2 in.,Collection of the Akron Art Museum


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