CT: Hartford


WHERE: Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art.

WHEN: Opening Saturday, September 10 and on view through December 11, 2016.

The Thrill of the Chase: The Wagstaff Collection of Photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum

BRIEF ABOUT: In the first major photography survey displayed at the museum in 27 years, this exhibition offers a selection of nearly 100 photographs from the personal collection of Samuel J. Wagstaff Jr. (American, 1921-1987), and spans the history of photography over 150 years, tracing the artistic and technical development of this art form through the eye of an influential collector.

     “The importance of this exhibition to the Wadsworth Atheneum lies not only in the fact that it has been more than a quarter century since we have largely exhibited the medium of photography, but that this collection was lovingly and expertly gathered by a man who worked within our own museum walls,” said Emily Hall Tremaine Curator of Contemporary Patricia Hickson. “This exhibition serves as an examination of the art of building a collection, but perhaps more pointedly as a tribute to a man who established the photography market and drove it to great heights.”

A leading art curator, patron and collector, Wagstaff was born in New York City in 1921 to a socially prominent family. After graduating from Yale University, he joined the US Navy in 1941 and took part in the D-Day landing at Omaha Beach in World War II. He later earned a master’s degree in art history at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University.

Wagstaff was an art history fellow at the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. (1959-61) before becoming a curator at the Wadsworth Atheneum (1961-68) and at the Detroit Institute of Arts (1968-71), where he championed contemporary art with innovative acquisitions and exhibitions.

This show will illustrate Wagstaff’s prowess as a collector through dozens of works by well-known photographers such as Diane Arbus, Julia Margaret Cameron, Edgar Degas, Walker Evans, Dr. Harold Edgerton, Robert Frank, William Klein, Gustave Le Gray and William Henry Fox Talbot. “Sam Wagstaff as Curator” will explore the impact Wagstaff specifically had on the Wadsworth Atheneum through his organization of innovative exhibitions, his acquisition of cutting-edge art, and his contributions to scholarship and the eventual formation of the museum’s groundbreaking MATRIX program.

MORE DETAILS: After the exhibition closes in Hartford, it will travel to the Portland Museum of Art in Maine, where it will be on view February 1 through April 30, 2017.

Published by on September 2016. Filed under Archives, At the Museums dept, Connecticut, News (Time related), Palette News Arts Network/PNAN, PaletteBoards Section. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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