Portland Museum of Art receives photography collection that ‘puts us at another level’

Portland Museum of Art receives photography collection that ‘puts us at another level’

The Portland Museum of Art has acquired a assortment of more than 600 pictures, which includes operates by world-famous 20th-century photographers, that the museum believes will remodel it into a spot for the art type.

The present from photographer, philanthropist and collector Judy Glickman Lauder includes photographs by Berenice Abbott, Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, Margaret Bourke-White and Gordon Parks.

“This collection places us at yet another amount,” said Mark Bessire, museum director. “We’ve always carried out (images), but this just leverages the function we are performing and lets us acquire off. This (selection) could have long gone wherever, but it’s coming here.”

Glickman Lauder, who could not be achieved for an job interview, has homes in Cape Elizabeth and on Great Diamond Island and a longstanding affiliation with Rockport’s Maine Media Workshops. She serves on the museum’s board of trustees and is a properly-regarded photographer in her personal proper, with get the job done hanging in notable museums close to the globe, together with the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York Town and the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

She is giving the PMA the assortment, which features some of her personal do the job, as a “promised reward,” which signifies a pledged donation at some specified long term date, while the museum now has the selection on web page. The museum declined to say how significantly it is value.

Libby Bischof, a heritage professor at the College of Southern Maine who specializes in the background of images and has co-authored a guide on Maine photography, was energized to study about the donation last 7 days.

“Six hundred pictures from artists of this caliber will be incredibly significant not just to the museum but to the state,” said Bischof, who occurred to be sitting down in USM’s Glickman Relatives Library, named for a prior donation of additional than $1 million from Glickman Lauder and her late spouse, Albert Glickman. (Several yrs after Glickman died, she married Leonard Lauder, also a philanthropist and art collector.)

The reality that Glickman Lauder and some others, like Maine artwork patrons Paula and Peter Lunder, chose “to situate their substantial personalized collections of deeply essential and impactful function in a condition which is meant so considerably to them and so substantially to American art signals to other patrons, collectors and practitioners that Maine is a location wherever their work can also are living,” mentioned Bischof, who also serves as government director of the Osher Map Library and Smith Centre for Cartographic Training at USM. “It seriously seeds that perform and Maine’s continued worth in American images.”

The museum sees the collection, alongside with an eventual expanded campus thanks to its acquire of the former Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine, as essential to its foreseeable future progress.

“Glickman Lauder’s present permits the museum to assume broadly about the following chapter of PMA heritage, precisely about how we can make open experiences with artwork, increase and diversify our selection, and open new and dynamic group-centered areas that welcome our myriad communities,” museum spokesman Graeme Kennedy wrote in an e-mail.


Museum readers will have a prospect to see a selection of the photos in October, when the museum is scheduled to mount a important exhibition, “Presence: Photographs from the Judy Glickman Lauder Assortment.” It beforehand showed some of these performs about a dozen yrs ago, Bessire stated, but considering the fact that then the collection has “probably doubled in dimension, and it is continue to rising.”

The exhibition will be curated by Anjuli Lebowitz, the museum’s recently hired, inaugural Judy Glickman Lauder Associate Curator of Pictures.

Anjuli Lebowitz, the new Judy Glickman Lauder Affiliate Curator of Images, revealed at her home, states, “For a long time, the verdict was that images was not artwork,” but Glickman Lauder wasn’t involved with that debate. Brianna Soukup/Staff members Photographer

Glickman Lauder started amassing pictures in the 1970s, Lebowitz mentioned, a time when the sector for shots was exploding as collectors endeavored to build a respected self-discipline.

“Matching photos to specified creative actions was a important topic at the time since they ended up hoping to justify images as art. Due to the fact of its mechanical nature, with images, there was usually a large hold-up about no matter if or not it could be artwork,” Lebowitz discussed. “For a lengthy time, the verdict was that photography was not artwork.”

1 of the factors Lebowitz finds so persuasive about this selection is that Glickman Lauder was not anxious with that debate. A lot of collectors at the time were being seeking only for the “best” photographs, Lebowitz reported.

“Judy is also looking for ‘What are the ideal images?’ but she is also looking for images that go her. She is not on the lookout to fill in gaps – ‘I require 1 photo from this artist and 1 photograph from this movement’ – that is not the issue. Still, she has wonderful photographs that are portion of the canon, but she provided them because they go her, due to the fact she connects to them, and I think that is a genuinely unique tactic to forming a big selection like this,” Lebowitz reported.

Bessire underlined that issue.

“One of the most fascinating things for us is that she is a photographer herself,” he said about Glickman Lauder. “It’s fascinating to see what another person driving the lens collects. A photographer brings to accumulating a distinct eye and a diverse way of looking at pictures. Her eye goes to illustrations or photos. She’s incredibly democratic in her selections. Just due to the fact anyone is not perfectly recognized doesn’t necessarily mean it is not a wonderful graphic.”

The selection encompasses is effective “by essential contributors to the medium’s history” whose names are much less familiar to the standard general public, these kinds of as Graciela Iturbide, Lotte Jacobi, Alma Lavenson and Ben Shahn, the museum explained in a news release.

Maine Media Workshops + School President Mark Mansfield described these and other photographers highlighted in the assortment as “the canon of photographic history.”


Bessire explained the assortment facilities on images shot by revolutionary feminine photographers, pictures of American civil rights struggles, photos of the vogue and superstar worlds and photos that depict the legacy of the Holocaust and of war. (Glickman Lauder is recognised for her personal ebook, “Beyond the Shadows,” showcasing photos she shot in excess of 3 a long time of concentration camps, camp survivors and the Danes who risked their life to help save Danish Jews during World War II.)

Irving Bennett Ellis, father of philanthropist and collector Judy Glickman Lauder, built this 9- by-7-inch, double-exposure gelatin silver print of Glickman Lauder’s mother, Louise Ellis, circa 1936. It is aspect of the Judy Glickman Lauder Assortment. Image courtesy of Luc Demers

In a release announcing the reward, the museum incorporated a number of pics that “really reveal the power of the selection,” Lebowitz stated. A single demonstrates a double publicity of Glickman Lauder’s mom, Louise Ellis, that was shot by her father, Irving Bennett Ellis, a physician and a renowned photographer himself. Lebowitz explained it as an “incredible composite portrait demonstrating distinctive psychological states of Louise Ellis.”

Another is “American Gothic,” a photograph by the celebrated African American photographer and film director Gordon Parks. It depicts Ella Watson, a charwoman at the federal Farm Security Administration workplace the place Parks was operating at the time, in a pose modeled just after the Grant Wooden portray of the very same name. Rather of a pitchfork, Watson is shown with a mop and a broom instead of a farmhouse in the track record, there is an American flag.

“Judy has a incredibly powerful social justice streak, and that photograph is so famous and so extraordinary and by one of the most critical photographers of the 20th century, but I also adore that it was a collaboration with the subject matter, Ella Watson,” Lebowitz reported. It’s 1 of a collection of virtually 100 prints that Parks created with Watson. “And it so succinctly can make the issue that we as a nation can do better. It shows equally adore of state and a rightful criticism as nicely,” she claimed.

Photographed by Richard Avedon, Audrey Hepburn and Artwork Buchwald, with Simone D’Aillencourt, Frederick Eberstadt, Barbara Mullen and Dr. Reginald Kernan, at Maxim’s in Paris in August 1959. A gelatin silver print, 19½ by 29 inches. “Talk about a photograph with wow energy,” claimed Portland Museum of Art Director Mark Bessire. Richard Avedon

A third, by trend photographer Richard Avedon, is shot at Maxim’s in Paris and demonstrates actress Audrey Hepburn and humorist Art Buchwald.

“I think it definitely captures the spirit of the collector, as (Glickman Lauder) is rather exuberant and entertaining as nicely,” Lebowitz mentioned. “The presence of pleasure and ponder is definitely why the selection is so distinctive, and why I’m so happy it’s below and that I have come to Portland to function with it.”

Lebowitz has worked in such massive town museums as the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York Town, and the Countrywide Gallery in Washington, D.C. A selection like that of Glickman Lauder has a much even bigger influence on a more compact institution, she claimed.

“Even 600 photographs can be swallowed up when you are speaking about a larger sized place that has 50,000 pics. Right here it can have pleasure of area,” she said. “It really is the star of the show.”

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