September 29, 2005–January 1, 2006
This first retrospective of photographs by John Szarkowski introduces the art of a famous Wisconsin native. Although best known for his pioneering curatorial vision as the Director of the Department of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Szarkowski was also an accomplished photographer with an impressive record of exhibitions and publications at the time of his appointment to MoMA in 1962. Upon his retirement in 1991, he returned to making pictures, revisiting and extending projects he had begun much earlier. This exhibition considers the full trajectory of Szarkowski's career as a photographer whose life-long engagement with the American landscape shapes his perspective on man's place within it. The show's 70 exquisitely printed black-and-white prints provide a long overdue survey of his entire oeuvre, from early studies of architect Louis Sullivan's Chicago skyscrapers and visual explorations of the rural Midwest to recent images of upstate New York's vernacular architecture and Arizona's desert landscape.
John Szarkowski: Photographs is organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The exhibition is generously supported by Randi and Bob Fisher and Charlotte and David Winton. The Milwaukee Art Museum installation is coordinated by Lisa Hostetler, assistant curator of prints, drawings and photographs, and is sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. John and Kathy MacDonough. It is accompanied by a catalogue.
John Szarkowski, From Country Elevator, Red River Valley, 1957. Gelatin silver print. Collection the Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Family of Man Fund; © John Szarkowski.
John Szarkowski, Flag, Fourth of July, 1997. Gelatin silver print. Courtesy the photographer and Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York; © John Szarkowski.
John Szarkowski, Winesap from Barn, 1997. Gelatin silver print. Courtesy the photographer and Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York; © John Szarkowski.