The Corcoran Art Museum- A Special Place in DC for Photography

Posted by Lise | Filed under: Events

Whether you are a native Washingtonian or newly relocating to DC, there are lots of wonderful things to do on a summer day.  One of the great museums in Washington is the Corcoran Gallery of Art, a major center of American art, both historic and contemporary.  Founded “for the purpose of encouraging American Genius,” the Corcoran’s extensive collection of 18th, 19th, and 20th century American art represents most significant American artists. The Corcoran possesses a fine collection of European art as well. While continuing its efforts to represent historic American works, the gallery also encourages modern European and American artists by showing and purchasing their work, paying particular attention to artists in the Washington area.

Some of my favorite photography exhibitions have been at the Corcoran – Ansel Adams, Avedon – it seems like the great photographers all have had exhibitions here.  Whether you are living in Chevy Chase, MD or Burke, Virginia, you should put the Corcoran on your summer to do list!

MADS GAMDRUP – RENUNCIATION -June 29–August 14, 2011

Currently, there is a fabulous exhibition by the Danish artist Mads Gamdrup.   In a series of 16 spectacular, large-scale color photographs,  Gamdrup explores the desert as a place of unexpected beauty and hope. For the project, titled Renunciation, he traveled to Egypt, Iceland, Morocco, and the United States to record empty landscapes that could serve as a “metaphor for renunciation of the unnecessary and the retention of essential hope.” Despite their geographical and geological differences, the deserts in Renunciation appear as analogous spaces. With his camera, Gamdrup transforms sprawling, open desert landscapes into abstract visual forms that together reveal a universal narrative about moving from place to place.  Through Gamdrup’s lens, we see a vision of the earth that is sublime, eternal, and ready to be explored anew.

RECENT PHOTOGRAPHY ACQUISITIONS –May 14–August 28, 2011

This exhibition showcases significant and recent donations to the Photography and Media Arts collection made by local collectors and longtime supporters of the Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art + Design.

Featured in one gallery is a selection of major works donated by an anonymous collector in 2010. The exhibition features photojournalists and photographers who locate the spirit of humanity in portraits and in daily life. The photographs on view constitute works made by some of the foremost practitioners of the medium, including Henri Cartier-Bresson, Bruce Davidson, Leonard Freed, Sebastião Salgado, and Alex Webb.

The exhibition also presents photographs donated by Sharon Keim, a former photography dealer who founded the Washington Center for Photography. Between 2006 and 2008, Keim donated an important group of images that explores various traditions in photography, including portraiture, landscape, and experimental work. Among the artists represented in this gift are William Abranowicz, Wynn Bullock, Barbara Crane, Abe Frajndlich, Peter Goin, Kenneth Josephson, Ralph Eugene Meatyard, John Ward, Brett Weston, and Minor White. An avid book collector, Keim also donated limited edition artists’ books to the collection, and her personal trove of photography books to the Corcoran Library.  Books by Ken Ashton, William Eggleston, and Robert Frank are on display.

FREE SATURDAYS AT THE CORCORAN THIS SUMMER

Join the Corcoran on Saturdays this summer for Gallery tours, workshops, demonstrations, and performances! Enjoy our summer exhibitions and programming free of admission Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.

Special programs—many of which feature staff, faculty, and students—have been planned to celebrate the Corcoran’s collections of historic American and European Paintings, Modern and Contemporary art, Photography and Media Arts, and the contemporary exhibitions Washington Color and Light and Chris Martin: Painting Big.

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