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"Picturing Guatemala: Images From the CIRMA Photography Archive, 1870-1997"
2000-02-18 until 2000-04-16
Americas Society
New York, NY, USA United States of America

The Americas Society is pleased to announce the exhibition Picturing Guatemala: Images from the CIRMA Photography Archive, 1870-1997 the first survey of Guatemalan photography to be presented in the United States. This exhibition will explore the history and development of photography in Guatemala in over 100 images, from temples to plantations, travelers to politicians, soldiers to families. The almost completely unknown wealth of images in Picturing Guatemala will also offer an exhilarating view of over one hundred and twenty years of the nation’s cultural history. The exhibition will also celebrate the third year of peace in Guatemala after the cease fire agreement of December 4, 1996.

Many of the photographs on view will be rare vintage prints, including a number of nineteenth-century cartes de visite and large-format works. Others are prints made from original glass plate negatives in the CIRMA photography archive in Guatemala collection. The exhibition also features several exceptional photographic albums, including a unique example by Eadweard Muybridge from 1875, an album assembled by Joaquín Alcain in 1886, and an album depicting the Guatemalan pavilion at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1889. Images by nineteenth-century ethnographic photographers Emilio Herbruger and Alberto Valdeavellano, as well as by several anonymous practitioners, will precede the work of early twentieth-century figures such as Juan José de Jesús Yas, José Domingo Noriega, and Tomás Zanotti, whose portrait work is posed and theatrical. Mid-twentieth-century artists who portrayed modernization, industrialization, and political events in Guatemala during the 1940s and 1950s include Sol Libsohn, and many unknown photographers. Images of both daily life and social upheaval from the end of the century by Moisés Castillo, Daniel Chauche, Mitchel Denburg, Patricia Goudvis, and María Cristina Orive will also be exhibited.

Picturing Guatemala has been organized by the Centro de Investigaciones Regionales de Mesoamérica (CIRMA), which was founded in 1968 in Antigua, Guatemala. CIRMA remains the largest photographic archive in Guatemala, and one of the most important in all of Central America. CIRMA is not affiliated with any governmental body and maintains an independent political perspective. The curator of Picturing Guatemala is Valia Garzón Díaz, who is the curator of CIRMA. The exhibition traveled to the Museo Latino in Los Angeles, its only other presentation in the United States. An illustrated black-and-white catalogue documenting the exhibition will be available for sale. A related exhibition of recent work by contemporary Guatemalan photographer Luis González Palma will be on view at Throckmorton Fine Art (153 East 61st Street, New York) from January 12 until February 26, 2000.

The Americas Society Art Gallery is open to the public Tuesdays through Sundays, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., admission is $3, $2 for students and seniors, and complimentary admission for members.

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