Paul Strand: Master of Modern Photography opens today, to the general public at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It’s the largest and most comprehensive major retrospective of his work in nearly 50 years- a celebration of the museum’s recent acquisition of more than 3,000 prints from the Paul Strand Archive.
The exhibition explores the evolution of Strand’s work over a spanned period of time; a well-versed turn through the relationships that helped garner his engaging shots.
Along with Strand’s compelling photography are great interactive components that should lure in even the mildly curious. Key photography books that highlight his work in New England, Luzzara, and Ghana, long since out of print, have been digitized allowing you to virtually explore them page by page. Clips from three of his most significant films can be viewed in either of the 2 screening rooms within the exhibit. (The films will be screened in their entirety at the International House later along with four films from other directors that impacted his filmmaking.)
The show also places a reflective look on his travels and relationships with interesting backs stories played out through personal effects such as: travel notes scrawled across a road map of Ghana, key works from photographers who greatly influenced Strand, and two weathered cameras Strand used to take some of these iconic photos.
Peter Barbarie’s curatorial affects have been translated throughout the exhibit with a richness of study that mount up to helping an audience see what made Strand a master at his craft. This is an exhibit you walk away from with more than just the memory of a photo.
Paul Strand: Master of Modern Photography opens at the Philadelphia Museum of Art from October 21, 2014 – January 4, 2015
For more information on the full range of programming built around Strand’s work throughout the duration of the exhibit, visit the PMA’s official site.