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Indepth Arts News:

"Building Images: Seventy Years of Photography at Hedrich Blessing"
2005-06-03 until 2005-07-31
Price Tower Art Center
Bartlesville, OK, USA United States of America

Price Tower Arts Center, Bartlesville, Oklahoma, will open the exhibition, Building Images: Seventy Years of Photography at Hedrich Blessing, on June 3, 2005. Hedrich Blessing is the world’s most renowned group of architectural photographers. Founded in Chicago in 1929, Hedrich Blessing currently has two offices in the United States and eleven staff photographers. Hedrich Blessing photographers have photographed worldwide for leading architects, interior designers, hoteliers, graphic designers and furniture manufacturers.

While the impact of Hedrich Blessing on the look and design of the built environment is difficult to quantify, it can be truthfully said that its influence has been dramatic. Most young architects and designers “know more about American architecture and design though its interpretive presentation in photographs than they could ever know through personal experience. No other individual or firm has done more of this interpretation of architectural aesthetic facts and thus guided our knowledge of the built environment, than Hedrich Blessing.

In honor of the first 70 years of Hedrich Blessing and in recognition of its many accomplishments, Building Images: Seventy Years of Photography at Hedrich Blessing, has been curated from a much larger retrospective displayed at the Chicago Historical Society in 2000-01, organized in recognition of the Historical Society’s acquisition of the Hedrich Blessing archives. This collection now totals more than 300,000 prints and negatives and is one of CHSs most prized and heavily used photographic collections. The Bartlesville exhibition is made possible in part by ConocoPhillips, the Oklahoma Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. >

The photographers of Hedrich Blessing are acclaimed for both the creative interpretation of their vision and their technical artistry. Beginning with Ken Hedrich, the photographers of Hedrich Blessing revolutionized the way buildings were seen. Instead of a straight forward recording of a three quarter view of the whole building or space, Hedrich Blessing photographers selected a vantage point where the design intent of the architect was revealed to its best advantage. Through insight and selection, the complexity of a three dimensional building was represented and reinterpreted into a photograph, where the part revealed more than the whole. This new vision of architecture became highly prized, and Hedrich Blessing photographers are now commissioned by and have close working relationships with some of the foremost architects and designers of our time.

The works of Frank Lloyd Wright, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Albert Kahn, Eliel and Eero Saarinen., Skidmore Owings and Merrill, Minoru Yamasaki, Holabird and Root, Ralph Johnson of Perkins and Will, C.W. Fentress, J. H Bradburn, Gensler and Associates, Krueck and Sexton, Richard Keating, Harry Weese, and Powell/Kleinschmidt, are all substantially known to the larger community through the photographs of Hedrich Blessing.

The high quality of craft and vision has been maintained throughout its 70-year history via apprenticeship. Each of the current eleven photographers served as an assistant to a photographer between 2 and 8 years before going on camera themselves. These Hedrich Blessing photographers have been both long lived and exceedingly prolific. In the 70 year history of the firm, there have been just 19 photographers performing over 55,000 assignments and producing well in excess of half a million images.

While the impact of Hedrich Blessing on the look and design of the built environment is difficult to quantify, it can be truthfully said that its influence has been dramatic. Most young architects and designers “know more about American architecture and design though its interpretive presentation in photographs than they could ever know through personal experience. No other individual or firm has done more of this interpretation of architectural aesthetic facts and thus guided our knowledge of the built environment, than Hedrich Blessing.

In honor of the first 70 years of Hedrich Blessing and in recognition of its many accomplishments, Building Images: Seventy Years of Photography at Hedrich Blessing, has been curated from a much larger retrospective displayed at the Chicago Historical Society in 2000-01, organized in recognition of the Historical Society’s acquisition of the Hedrich Blessing archives. This collection now totals more than 300,000 prints and negatives and is one of CHSs most prized and heavily used photographic collections. The Bartlesville exhibition is made possible in part by ConocoPhillips, the Oklahoma Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.


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