Tuesday, April 22, 2014

IPFH Spring 2014 Exhibitions

by Emily Botkin

The International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum currently has three exhibitions on view at their Museum in St. Louis' Grand Center neighborhood.

Herman Leonard. Palm Court Café, New Orleans. 1995. Gelatin Silver Print. Courtesy of The International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum.

"Decisive Moments: 20th Century Street Photography" is one of the three exhibitions on display at the IPHF. The exhibit began February 7 and runs through June 8*, 2014. "Decisive Moments" looks to the development of street photography over the years. One of the major questions asked in the exhibit is "what is the difference between street photography and photojournalism?" A quote from the exhibit’s information states, “While some of the visual characteristics of journalism might resemble street photography, journalism seeks to report on specific newsworthy events. Street photography is more about every day personal observation. The difference is in the focus and intent. Street photography’s story is ambiguous, reflecting the vagaries of chance happenings and the photographer’s quick observations.”

Ted Croner. Taxi. 1949. Gelatin Silver Print. Courtesy of The International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum.

Ted Croner’s Taxi (1949) shows a great example of street photgraphy. This gelatin Silver Print photograph caught my attention because of the blurred-effect Croner used within his photograph. This shows that the picture was captured in an instant, one quick snap and he caught the taxi in movement at just the right moment to show transition in a motionless picture. Not only does this picture represent street photography, but it also represents Modernism in photography. "The Modernist movement was inspired by the celebration of industry, progress, technology and urban life. Modernism reflected the conceptual and visual changes in art, design and architecture of the period after the first World War." Although this picture was created after the second World War, it shows architecture, industry and urbanization.

Alfred Eisenstadt. Headwaiter Renee Breguet Serving Drinks on the Grand. 1932. Gelatin Silver Print. Courtesy of The International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum.

Another photograph that shows signs of Modernism would be Alfred Eisenstadt’s Headwaiter Renee Breguet Serving Drinks on the Grand (1932). Although this photograph lacks the abstraction that Modernism typically requires (Such as Man Ray’s Electricite (1931), which is also on display in the exhibit); it holds true to asymmetry that is noted in Modern Art. “Modern Artists sought to break down the traditional definition of art as well as the barriers between art and design.” As stated in the Museum’s information on Modernism, this piece clearly breaks the barriers between art and design.

Anna Kuperberg. South Side, St. Louis Series. 1992-2002. Gelatin Silver Print. Courtesy of The International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum.

A second exhibition presented at the IPHF is Anna Kuperberg’s "South Side." This series of photographs that spanned over ten years of dedication to St. Louis, shows how children live and play in the South Side of St. Louis. Although Kuperberg is a San Francisco-based photographer, she studied photography at Washington University and used her opportunity to gain access to the children’s lifestyle. This “outsider’s perspective” shows not only one looking at a neighborhood in St. Louis, but an adult trying to understand children and how they entertain themselves. Anna Kuperberg’s "South Side" series is also on display February 7, 2014-June 8, 2014.

Jarred Gastreich. St. Louis. 2013. Courtesy of The International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum.

"St Louis Shoots: Contemporary Street Photographers from St. Louis," like the "South Side," shows images of St. Louis through the lens of photographers. This exhibit differs from Anna Kuperberg’s though because this exhibit shows photographers strictly from the St. Louis area, capturing contemporary images. St. Louis has a strong photographic heritage and today the “cultural landscape of the city supports a diverse array of photographic artists including a large network of Street Photographers (as quoted by the IPHF’s webpage).”

Also presented February 7-June 8, 2014, this exhibit shows some recognized St. Louis photographers such as Yvette Drury Dubinsky and the late Bob Reuter, yet also includes some newcomers to the photography scene. Jarred Gastreich’s photograph, St. Louis, which shows a little girl standing by a store window, was very interesting to me because it was so similar to Anna Kuperberg’s "South Side" works, yet it also differed: Gastreich’s photograph was rich in color while Kuperberg’s works were in black and white; Gastreich is a St. Louis photographer, while Kuperberg is, as stated above, an outsider looking in.

Comparing "South Side" to "Contemporary Street Photographers from St. Louis" was one of my favorite things to witness at the International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum (and the two exhibits are displayed very close by each other). All three exhibitions are certainly something to witness in person and I recommend a visit to IPHF to view these works for yourself.

*Due to the popularity of all three exhibitions, IPHF has extended the run to June 8.
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Emily Botkin is currently serving as the Winter 2014 Intern at Art Saint Louis. She is a senior at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville working towards a BA in Art History with Minors in Studio Art and German.
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International Photography Hall of Fame & Museum is located in Grand Center at 3415 Olive Street, St. Louis, MO 63103. 314/535-1999. Museum hours are Wednesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Closed Monday and Tuesday. Open until 9 p.m. on First Fridays of the month. These exhibitions remain on view through June 8, 2014.

Admission to the IPHF is $5 for Adults; $3 for Students w/ID, $3 for Seniors. Acrive duty military personnel & families get $2 discount and free admission Memorial Day through Labor Day. Children under 18 and IPHF members are free. Admission is free on the first Friday of the month.

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