Strangers in a Strange Land: Photographers' First Impressions
September 20, 2012 through October 20, 2013
Harrison Photography Gallery (365)


Photographers are avid travelers. Since the late 19th century, they have carried their cameras to unfamiliar neighborhoods and around the world to take pictures of people, places, and cultures. "Strangers in a Strange Land: Photographers' First Impressions" features photographs that document photographers' encounters with foreign subjects and lands. These seemingly fleeting first impressions often become lasting records of historical memory. The exhibition looks closely at how photographers translate a sense of culture and place through imagery. It also considers the power of first impressions to shape historical representations of cultures. How do the photographs presented inform our understanding of the global culture, particularly in the early 20th century, before globalism?

"Strangers in a Strange Land: Photographers' First Impressions" will feature a range of classic masterpieces in the MIA's collection: Dorothea Lange's Migrant Mother, Nipomo; Philip Jones Griffiths's Wounded Female Civilian, South Vietnam; Francis Frith's The Pyramids of Dahshoor; selections from Diane Arbus's A Box of Ten Photographs, 1970; and Paul Strand's Mexican portfolio. The exhibition will also include recent acquisitions, such as Boris Mikhailov's Luriki, and Martin Parr's New Brighton, Merseyside.