Indepth Arts News: |
"Voyages and Visions: Early Photographs from the Wilson Family Collection"
2000-10-24 until 2001-02-18
J. Paul Getty Center
LOS ANGELES, CA,
In early 1839, news spread around the world of an entirely new way of
making pictures: photography. The exhibition Voyages and Visions:
Early Photographs from the Wilson Family Collection invites visitors
to explore a selection of works dating from the emergence of this new
medium through the 1850s. Many of the photographs are on view for
the first time.
As photographic methods were refined and materials improved,
photographers began to venture further afield in their attempts to
document the world. Drawing from the collection of Michael and Jane
Wilson as well as from the Getty's own holdings, the exhibition covers
most of the world's continents through diverse photographs by such
masters as William Henry Fox Talbot, Roger Fenton, and Gustave Le
Gray. These photographers were keen to document the various
moments, landscapes, and people of distant lands-not only as personal
record of their own journeys but as visual resources for an audience
who could not travel.
Whether recording man-made and natural monuments like cathedrals
and rock formations or incorporating current events into their pictures,
the photographers considered themselves artists. For example, Fenton's
photographs of the Crimean War focus not on live battle action but on
the soldiers themselves, capturing traces of the war's impact on these
men. And full of light and atmosphere, Le Gray's evocative image of a
sailing schooner pulled by a new steam-powered boat was made before
the word Impressionism was applied to painting.
llustrated: Roger Fenton.
The Artist's Van, 1855. Salted paper print.
The Wilson Center for Photography, LLC.