Picturing What Matters: An Offering of Photographs from the George Eastman House Collection
Nov. 19, 2005 – Jan. 8, 2006
SARASOTA, Fla. – Sept.2, 2005 – Some photographs have the power to give tangible meaning to the things, people, and events in our lives. They shape our memory as individuals, as a community and as a nation by asking the question of what we value, as brilliantly evidenced by The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art’s new photography exhibition, “Picturing What Matters: Photographs from the George Eastman House Collection,” running from Nov. 19 – Jan. 8, 2006.
Photographs that reflect the poignancy, the naïveté and the iconic moments in history come together and underscore that these photographs are ones that matter – to someone at one time or another. The Eastman House chose these works from a collection of over 400,000 prints from strangers portraying their values, hopes and dreams. “Life as we know it is made up of millions of moments that flash by us continuously, but as this exhibition proves, it is these fleeting moments that quantify the richness of our lives and demand that we take more time and look longer and harder, “ said Joanna Weber, exhibition curator and Associate Curator at the Ringling.
The 108 photographers that contribute to the show are also diverse. Giants of photography are represented as part of the exhibition’s 114 prints: Eugene Smith’s The Walk to Paradise Garden; Thomas Franklin’s evocative, 9/11-inspired Three Firefighters; Joe Rosenthal’s Old Glory Goes Up on Mt. Suribachi; Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother and Ansel Adams’s Clearing Winter Storm, Yosemite, California; Robert Frank; Lewis Hine; Walker Evans; William Henry Jackson; Mark Cohen; and Danny Lyon—all make significant contributions to the exhibition.
“As part of the Ringling display, we will also feature a special companion exhibition commissioning digital photographs shot by kindergarten through 12th grade students from Sarasota and Manatee Counties entitled, What Matters to Us. These revealing images, designed to document and represent what matters from the students’ perspective, will be displayed from Nov. 19 - Jan. 8, 2006. Together, these two components will make for a powerful display that transcends nostalgia, propelling us to seek meaning in our daily life,” Weber explained.
For more than fifty years, George Eastman House has collected and preserved photographs that matter to our world, to our nation, to our community and to ourselves. This is the essential nature of photography as a visual medium and also reflects its intrinsic role in our daily and cultural lives. “Picturing What Matters” promises to stir memories and evoke meaning from the nation’s common visual history. An eight-page, two-color companion guide is available at the Museum Gift Shop.