Photographs are, as writer Roland Barthes affirms, “certificates of presence”: verification that a moment, a person, or a place existed. From the adoration of a loved one or the wonder felt before nature, to the hardship of labor and the devastation of war, photographs are imprinted by human experience.
Arranged thematically, the exhibition explores “presence” in four sections: Portraits, Admiration, and Delight; Expressions of Place; Specters of History; and Politics, Labor, and Justice. From Pictorialism and social documentary photography to Surrealism and street photography, artists such as Merry Alpern, Richard Avedon, Irving Bennett Ellis, Dorothea Lange, Alma Lavenson, Danny Lyon, Sally Mann, Susan Meiselas, Inge Morath, Gordon Parks, Edward Steichen, Joyce Tenneson, James Van Der Zee, and Todd Webb come together to create unique and complex conversations across space and time. Together, the photographs encourage us to consider our development as individuals and members of our communities, ultimately finding meaning and connection across humanity.
This exhibition features a remarkable selection of 20th century photography drawn from the holdings of artist and philanthropist Judy Glickman Lauder. Incredibly, the nearly 110 photographs by 56 artists represent only a fifth of Glickman Lauder's entire photography collection, which has generously been promised to the Portland Museum of Art in Maine.
Presence: The Photography Collection of Judy Glickman Lauder is organized by the Portland Museum of Art, Maine. The exhibition was curated by Anjuli Lebowitz, Judy Glickman Lauder Associate Curator of Photography, Portland Museum of Art, Maine.
Major support for this exhibition at the Norton was provided by the William and Sarah Ross Soter Photography Fund, the Priscilla and John Richman Endowment for American Art, the Lunder Family Endowment, and the Gioconda and Joseph King Endowment for Exhibitions.