Peter Henry Emerson (English, 1856-19136),
Gathering Waterlilies, 1886, from
Life and Landscape on the Norfolk Broads book, platinum print, The McClurg Photography Purchase Fund
Saturday, May 3, 2008Sunday, September 7, 2008
Harrison Photography Gallery 365
Peter Henry Emerson (1856-1936) was a leading nineteenth-century English photographer who spearheaded a style he termed “naturalistic photography.” He argued for photography as a fine art, encouraged his colleagues to use nature as their standard, and introduced the theory of “differential focusing,” whereby the main subject was in focus and everything else fell off into moderate softness.
Many young Americans admired Emerson’s work, forming a movement of naturalistic photography in this country that lasted from the 1890s to about 1930. Like Emerson, they emphasized the beauty of Mother Nature and humankind’s harmony with her. They photographed the land in all its seasons, as well as the devoted individuals who lived on and off it.
This exhibition was organized by the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and comprises 90 photographs, drawn largely from the permanent collection. Among those represented are Edward Curtis, Rudolf Eickemeyer, Alfred Stieglitz, and Doris Ulmann. The show is accompanied by the first major book on the subject and will travel to museums in University Park, Pennsylvania, and Roanoke, Virginia.
"P. H. Emerson and the Invention of Naturalistic Photography"
By Bonnie Yochelson
Saturday, May 10, at 6 p.m., in Pillsbury Auditorioum.
Admission: $5; free for MIA members. Call (612) 870-6323 for tickets.