MUUS Collection exhibits a series of collection highlights to celebrate its 10th anniversary, introducing the public to its archive and mission, at AIPAD New York.
For the past ten years, MUUS Collection has brought to light 20th century photographers whose work never received the proper accolades and attention it was deserving of. Through the acquisition, conservation, and promotion of each of their estates, MUUS has brought many exceptional artists to the public, including Deborah Turbeville and Rosalind Fox Solomon. Since its inception, MUUS has built up a very rich collection of nearly half a million images, and now, MUUS is showing a series of collection highlights in their inaugural exhibition at The Photography Show presented by AIPAD as a new programming partner.
Highlights from the Archive: Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of MUUS Collection presents the work of five leading photographers from the collection: André de Dienes, Fred W. McDarrah, Deborah Turbeville, Rosalind Fox Solomon and Alfred Wertheimer. With more than sixty works on display, the exhibition explores each photographer’s approach to portraiture while also providing a broader overview of their work.
As a photojournalist, Fred W. McDarrah bore witness to the artistic and political New York of the 1950’s, ‘60s, and ‘70s. In his photographs, we see Andy Warhol trying out his first camera, or Allen Ginsberg wearing an Uncle Sam hat during a march against the Vietnam War. After the Stonewall Uprising, McDarrah captured the formation of the gay rights movement, underscoring the power and importance of photojournalism.
From Times Square to Harlem, Alfred Wertheimer also documented the daily life of New Yorkers, when he was not busy photographing a young Elvis lost in a kiss, well before the fame and glory he later received. Wertheimer was innovative in his use of shadow, which he used to frame his images, rather than light.
Rosalind Fox Solomon, with her keen sense of portraiture bringing out a certain uniqueness in each of her subjects, has documented the lives of people within different communities around the world. Always going beyond stereotypes, she has captured some of the defining events of the 20th century with sensitivity and frankness: segregation in American South, post-war Cambodia, apartheid in South Africa, Irish unrest between Protestants and Catholics, and the ravages of AIDS in the 1980s.
André de Dienes, best known for his portraits of Marilyn Monroe, was also a proponent of a surrealist approach to photography, experimenting with distorting the bodies of his models or playing with textures to create a dreamlike world. In the same vein, Deborah Turbeville changed fashion photography with her collages and ethereal photographs, transforming it into an avant-garde art form through her dreamlike and often melancholy images, which turned women into the protagonists of mysterious atmospheres.
Five photographers and five very different styles reflect the richness of photography, which MUUS Collection has been promoting for ten years now through exhibitions, publications, grants, donations and myriad other endeavours. Highlights from the Archive: Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of MUUS Collection is a testament not only to the breadth of this archive, but also to the extraordinary power of photography.
From March 31 to April 2, 2023
415 5th Avenue
(between 37th and 38th streets)
New York, NY 10016