From the Collection: Photographs by Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons

Cuban artist Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons created this work – titled Voyeurs & Beholders of . . . – in response to the Iraq War. “When I see what is going on in the world, I feel like crying,” she said in a 2008 interview.

Pons 1

Voyeurs & Beholders of . . . is made up of five photographs in which Campos-Pons subtly confronts the viewer with issues of gender and race. She has outlined the large eyes in the foreground with long strands of frizzy black hair, which reflects her own concern with the voyeuristic perception of women—especially black women. The absence of faces, however, makes the eyes ambivalent. While hair and crying conventionally suggest the “weaker sex,” the act of watching—of being a voyeur—has traditionally masculine connotations.

Pons 2

Voyeurs & Beholders of . . . is on view in the exhibition New Arrivals: Modern and Contemporary Additions to the Collection through June 29.

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Photographs by Frank Paulin

The following photographs by American artist and photographer Frank Paulin joined the Mead’s collection in 2010.

2010-14Woman with Arms Crossed, Ridgefield, New Jersey, July 4, 1980

2010-03Carousel, New Orleans, 1952 (printed later)

2010-05Girl on Steps, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1952

“My interest in photography developed during World War II, when I spent two years in the Signal Corps in Europe, and wandered through the ruins of bombed cities… Following the war, I enrolled at the Chicago Institute of Design where Harry Callahan, Arthur Siegel and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy were among my instructors… My talent for drawing served me well while allowing time to pursue photography, what I really loved most. I also worked for some time as a fashion photographer, but preferred wandering the streets of American and European cities, especially those of New York City and Paris, taking pictures of people doing ordinary things, seeking discovery on every corner.” –Frank Paulin, frankpaulinphotography.com

To see more works from the collection by Frank Paulin, click here.

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From The Collection: Photographs by Jim Dow

The following chromogenic prints by American photographer Jim Dow, featured in the upcoming exhibition New Arrivals: Modern and Contemporary Additions to the Collection, were gifted to the Mead in 2012.

2012-355
Window at Jess’s Lunch. US 11 & 33. Harrisonburg, Virginia, 1998

2012-357
Facade of the Martin Theatre. Talladega, Alabama. 1978

2012-356
Bar at Mrs. Turner’s Restaurant. New Orleans, Louisiana, 1977

2012-359
Stand Selling Tomatoes. Yardley, Pennsylvania. 1979

2012-358
Dairy Queen at Night. Iowa City, Iowa. 1988

To see even more works from the collection by the artist, click here.

Monday Morning Muse: Untitled, Female Figures

This drawing by Henry Spencer Moore joined the collection in 1959.
1959-139

“Moore took the human figure as a point of reference throughout his career, although he often reduced the figurative qualities to a minimum. With their indeterminate lines, colors, and tones, and various artistic media, his Female Figures seem both to emerge from and dissolve into the background. As Moore once described works of this kind: ‘My drawings are done mainly as a help towards making sculpture; as a means of generating ideas for sculpture, tapping oneself for the initial idea; and as a way of sorting out ideas and developing them. Also, sculpture compared with drawing is a slow means of expression and I find drawing a useful outlet for ideas which there is not time enough to realize as sculpture. And I use drawing as a method of study and observation of natural forms (drawings from life, drawings of bones, shells, etc.).’” -Bettina Jungen, Senior Curator

Untitled: Female Figures, 1956
Henry Spencer Moore, British (1898-1986)
Gift of Richard S. Zeisler, Class of 1937
image source: AC 1959.139

From The Collection: New Years Eve

This photograph is one of our favorites from the collection: New Years Eve, NYC (Kiss me, stupid) by American artist Joel Meyerowitz, 1965.
2000_441_11

“A prominently featured marquee in this photograph advertises the romantic comedy Kiss Me, Stupid, in which a piano teacher hires a woman to play the part of his wife when a lascivious performer comes to visit. The title of this photograph indicates that Meyerowitz captured this scene on New Year’s Eve. With this knowledge, a viewer may begin to imagine that a theater employee put those words on the marquee that day in the spirit of the holiday. The quotation marks around the phrase seem to imply an unseen, omnipresent speaker, hinting at the romantic notion this couple might have had that the words were meant for them, inspiring them to follow direction with a kiss.” –Maggie Dethloff, PHOTOdocument exhibition, 2012

Thanks for following us in 2013! Until next year…

image source: New Years Eve, NYC (Kiss me, stupid)

From the Collection: Prints by William H. Bradley

The following prints by American Art Nouveau illustrator and artist William H. Bradley joined the collection in 1979. Nicknamed the “Dean of American Designers” by the Saturday Evening Post, Bradley was the highest paid American artist of the early 20th century. (source)

1979-116The Chap Book, Thanksgiving No., 1895
The Chap-Book was a literary journal published in Chicago between 1894-1898.

1979-52Christmas, Harper’s Bazaar, 1895

1979-53Poster for Springfield Bicycle Club Tournament, Sep. 1985

1979-51Lithographic Poster for Narcoticure, ca. 1895
This amazing poster illustrates “Narcoticure,” a product made by the Narcoti Chemical Company of Springfield, MA, meant to cure “the tobacco habit.”

1979-50Untitled, from The Echo, ca. 1895

To see more illustrations by Bradley from the collection, click here.

image sources: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5