New Installations at the Amon Carter Museum Feature Captivating Photographs, Rare Prints

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Release date: 
May 13, 2008

A visit to the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth right now promises three new experiences as three new exhibitions drawn from its renowned collection of American art are on view.

Admission to the Amon Carter Museum is free.

Nell Dorr: From Everlasting to Everlasting features more than 50 poignant photographs in this first ever opportunity to see a comprehensive survey of the work of Nell Dorr (1893--1988). Regarded as one of the 20th century’s most spiritual and empathetic photographers, Dorr rose to prominence in the 1950s as a chronicler of the intimate relationships between mothers and young children. She was also an explorer of evocative concepts such as mood, atmosphere, and feeling. Although Dorr’s life was rocked by the Great Depression, the historic wars of the 20th century, and the emergence of modern mass culture, she consistently made photographs that turned away from the everyday toward a romantic and rustic world in which past and present intermingled and women and children predominated. Increasingly throughout her life, she strove to create images that reflected spiritual rather than material values. The photographs in this exhibition are drawn from Nell Dorr’s archive, one of several archives that are housed at the Amon Carter Museum. These works will on display through October 6.

The new Masterworks of American Photography installation, on view through November 16, celebrates some of the Carter’s recent acquisitions, intermixed with photographs to which these new prints relate. The museum began collecting and exhibiting photographs within months of its opening in 1961 and has sustained a strong commitment to the medium ever since. Today the photography collection holds more than 40,000 exhibition prints that span the medium’s American history from 1840 to the present. The collection has particular strengths in images of the American West, yet the holdings encompass all facets within the classic traditions of fine art photography. Any collection of this size and stature is assembled through a mixture of purchases and gifts assembled by multiple people over time. Newer works are added not merely to reflect the finest examples of American photography but with careful attention to how these images fit and amplify on existing holdings.

Visitors will also see a stunning group of prints that renowned sculptor Louise Nevelson (1899--1988) created in 1963 and 1967 during fellowships at the famed Tamarind Lithography Workshop in Los Angeles. These inventive prints, in which she created patterns with fabrics such as lace and cheesecloth, share with her sculpture an interest in silhouetted forms and the layering of elements, but distinguish themselves by their incorporation of vivid color. An example of Nevelson’s monochromatic sculpture, Lunar Landscape Wall (1959--60), can be seen on the second floor of the museum. Senior Curator of Prints and Drawings Jane Myers and Paper Conservator Jodie Utter will present a gallery talk on these virtually unknown lithographs on Thursday, July 24, at 6 p.m.