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Andrew Smith Gallery Tucson Grand Opening
Saturday, November 17, 2018 @ 8:00 am - Wednesday, January 2, 2019 @ 5:00 pm MST
The Andrew Smith Gallery, the leading gallery in the world specializing in buying and selling historic, classic, and contemporary Western American photography is pleased to announce it has relocated from Santa Fe, NM and is now at home in its new gallery in Tucson, AZ.
The first exhibition, Arizona and the West: Surveys, Landscapes, and Portraits, 1858-2018; will open November 17, 2018 with a special reception from 3-7 p.m. in the old Firestone Tire building at 439 N. 6th Ave., Suite 179, Tucson, AZ 85705. (corner of 6th Ave. and 6th St.)
Arizona and the West will be the first in a series of exhibitions highlighting areas in which the Andrew Smith Gallery is the internationally recognized source for such photographs. Since 1974 the Gallery has specialized in work by the legendary 19th and 20th Century Western American Photographers. This exhibition will also introduce work from some of the stable of regional, international, contemporary, Hispano, and Native American photographers the Gallery has been working with since the 1970s.
Arizona and the West:
Surveys, Landscapes, and Portraits, 1858-2018
November 17, 2018 – January 2, 2019
Grand Opening November 17, 2018, 3 – 7 p.m.
Join us for Ruiz Sonoran Dogs and Great Photographs
Part 1, Arizona and the West 1858-1895
There were a handful of photographers whose work gave the world the first magnificent views of the American West from 1861-1890; Carleton Watkins, Alexander Gardner, Timothy O’Sullivan, John Hillers, William Henry Jackson, and Eadweard Muybridge initially used wet collodion on medium and mammoth glass plates from which albumen contact prints were made to create their stunning photographs.
Watkins and Muybridge worked primarily in California, centering on the wonders of Yosemite. Watkins additionally created the most celebrated views along the Columbia River, and throughout California and the West.
Timothy O’Sullivan and Alexander Gardner, the two leading photographers of the Civil War, came West in the late 1860s accompanying Geologic and Railroad exploration and construction surveys.
William Henry Jackson, the most famous photographer during his lifetime in the 19th century, made some of the earliest views of Yellowstone that led to it being named the Nation’s first National Park. He also photographed extensively in the Rocky Mountains, across the American continent, and from Siberia to Moscow. His Detroit Publishing Company (1898-1924) was the major international printer of color landscape views, selling tens of millions of Photocrom prints from postcard size to mammoth plates (16×20 inches or larger).
During this period, America was celebrated as being the chosen land, having the most beautiful natural wonders and unlimited natural resources ready for discovery and exploitation.
Part 2, Native American Portraiture 1858-1892
During this period the Native people were being displaced in constant forced migrations, their populations ravaged by smallpox and other ills due to the encroachments and military actions against them. Ironically, they were both celebrated and reviled by the white immigrant, who claimed all the land and resources as their manifest destiny, while also celebrating the mythological figures whose ancient societies soon would be mere memories. The Vanishing Race trope was officially born.
The U.S Government was interested in a preservation effort beginning in 1818 when Thomas McKenney, the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, began collecting paintings by Charles Bird King, to form an “Archives of the American Indian”. In the 1850s Joseph Henry, the director of the Smithsonian Institution, and Ferdinand Hayden, later leader of the Hayden Geologic Expedition, began discussing commissioning photographers for this effort. When all the paintings were destroyed at a fire at the Smithsonian in 1865, Henry, Hayden and the British speculator and ethnographic collector William Henry Blackmore became the patrons of American Indian portraiture.
They commissioned photographers to make copies of the earliest photographic views made by Thomas Easterly in St. Louis in 1847, and fully supported the two leading photographic studios in Washington D.C., Alexander Gardner and Charles Bell, to photograph Native American Diplomats when they came to Washington.
The Andrew Smith Gallery first began selling this work in 1974 and published its first catalog of early photographs of the American West in 1980. The exhibition “Arizona and West” will feature rare and magnificent examples of these important photographs; from early salt print examples of Sioux delegates in Washington in 1858, to Gardner’s rare and straightforward outdoor views at the 1868 Fort Laramie (Wyoming) Peace Treaty (now remembered as the most famous broken treaty) to views in South Dakota and Washington before and in the aftermath of the Massacre at Wounded Knee.
Part 3, Landscape and Ethnographic Photography 1895-1915
This section features photographs by Adam Clark Vroman, Karl Moon, Charles Lummis, Frederick Monsen, Edward Curtis and George Wharton James. Ethnography, archaeology and photography were the leading sciences of the late 19th century with much of the work in the Southwest being conducted under the auspices of the Bureau of American Ethnology (John Wesley Powell, director, John Hillers chief photographer) and various prestigious universities in the East and Chicago.
In Pasadena, Charles Lummis, a journalist and photographer, became the center of Arroyo Culture focused on preserving and celebrating the Indian and Spanish cultures of the Southwest.
The most skilled and artistic photographer from this group was Adam Clark Vroman. He was the first American photographer to comprehend the beauty and range of tones which could be rendered in platinum prints, previous to his photography albumen and collodion silver prints in sepia tones were the preferred aesthetics and were not light sensitive to skies. For the first time the magnificent clouds of the West were visible in Vroman’s landscape photographs.
Vroman’s landscape techniques and compositions presaged the work 20-40 years later of Edward Weston and Ansel Adams, while his unadorned, straightforward portraits are similar to the later work of the magnificent German portraitist August Sander.
Edward S. Curtis’s famed “North American Indian” project and publication from 1900-1930 will be sampled through rare cyanotypes, gold toned gelatin silver prints, and original platinum prints and photogravures.
Ansel Adams, North House, Kiva Poles and Thunder Clouds, 1929, gelatin silver print, © 2018 Trustees of the Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust
Part 4, The Land and People 1915-1970
The fourth section features work by 20th Century masters of photography; Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, Laura Gilpin, Paul Strand, Alvin Langdon Coburn, Minor White, and Laura Gilpin.
Gilpin, a contemporary of Edward Weston and Ansel Adams, lived the first half of her life in Colorado Springs, Colorado and the second half in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her work among the Navajo and Ute, and her landscape views in the Four Corners area and along the route of the Rio Grande, made primarily from 1920-1965, were the last great views made during this period in the American West
Part 5, Contemporary Western 1970-2018
Lastly the Gallery will sample the work made in the west by contemporary photographers whom they have represented over the last 40 years.
Among them will be photographs of the land, drought, people and the desert by legendary Native American artists Victor Masayesva Jr.. Larry McNeil, Zig Jackson, and Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie.
Leading American Hispano photographers Miguel Gandert and Delilah Montoya document Indo-Hispanic culture in the Rio Grande corridor and explore Mestizo cultural identity in the Southwest, Latin America and American West.
Among the long time gallery favorites are Arizona based Jody Forster and Santa Fe based Alan Ross, whose grand landscapes and exquisite prints carry on the traditions of the iconic Southwest photographers.
New Mexico based Joan Myers works explores the relationship between people and the land and how land shapes culture.
Montana Based Barbara Van Cleve’s work focuses on the ranching and horsewoman cultures of the great American West. Her stunning photographs highlight both the people of the ranches and the incredible light and landscapes of the Western Ranch.
Oregon based Christopher Burkett uses large format cameras and meticulous color printing techniques to create his masterful images of resplendent nature.
Arizona and the Southwest has been a destination for inspiration for generations of famed photographers. East and West Coast photographers have made frequent road trips through the Desert Southwest to explore their particular photographic interests. Arizona and the West features work from modern and contemporary masters of photography; Lee Friedlander, Elliot Erwitt, Patrick Nagatani, Annie Leibovitz, Paul Caponigro, Eliot Porter, Edward Weston, Paul Strand, and Ansel Adams, among others.
Please join us for our grand opening!
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Andrew Smith Gallery, Inc.
439 N. 6th Ave, Suite 179
Tucson, AZ 85705
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