Notes from Underground

Carter Works at Home and Abroad

The Carter currently has several works out on loan to other museums, including three in exhibitions that opened very recently.

First, our 18th-century etching of a Cherokee man, Outacite, is on view at the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa in the exhibition Emissaries of Peace: The 1762 Cherokee and British Delegations through January 2010.

We also have two photographs on view at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (or if you prefer, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montreal) in the exhibition Expanding Horizons: Painting and Photography of American and Canadian Landscape, 1860-1918 through September 27, 2009.

Karl Struss, The Avenue--Dusk, platinum print, 1914-1915

Frank Jay Haynes, Cascades of Columbia, albumen silver print, 1885

Carter's Curtis on Art & Seek

KERA's Art & Seek blog has a nice little post today about the Carter's recent purchase of a complete set of Edward Curtis's The North American Indian publication. Consisting of 20 bound volumes and 20 portfolios, with a total of over 2000 images, it is a very important acquisition for the Carter. And since I am the person in charge of cataloging it, you will be definitely be seeing more of it here on the check back!

Photo of the Week: Yelling "Fire"

The office buzz this morning was all about yesterday's fire that forced the evacuation of the Getty Center in Los Angeles.

It hits home - obviously Texas has its share of grass fires, as do other ridiculously hot, arid, windy parts of the country. Fire has shaped the history of the West and, not surprisingly, it is a major theme across the Carter's collection, from some of the first artworks to enter the collection, to the present. In the past two years alone, the Carter has acquired 3 photographs depicting fires. Our Photo of the Week is the most recent of these acquisitions:

Debbie Fleming Caffery, Burning Cane, 1999, gelatin silver print
Purchase with anonymous donation to the Stieglitz Circle of the Amon Carter Museum
© Debbie Fleming Caffery

Photo of the Week: Express Yourself

Every July 4th, Americans stop and consider the personal freedoms enjoy in this country - including the freedom of self-expression. This can take many forms, like writing, art, music...or as this Photo of the Week demonstrates, fashion.

Artist unknown, [Boy in dress clothes], tintype, ca. 1870s, Gift of Sally Wilder

Gotta love that outfit. Happy July 4th!

Kelley Exhibition on Art & Seek

Nice story on KERA this week about the Carter's exhibition, The Harmon and Harriet Kelley Collection of African-American Art: Works on Paper, which is on view here until August 23.

Ron Adams (b. 1934), Blackburn, 2002, Courtesy Landau Traveling Exhibitions

Photo of the Week: Cooling Off

Our current hot weather is the inspiration for Photo of the Week. What better antidote to a blistering hot Texas summer than a shot of a lovely ice cave? This photograph comes from one of Eliot Porter's trips to Antarctica aboard the National Science Foundation's research vessel, the Hero, in the mid-1970s when Porter was in his mid-70s.

Eliot Porter, Ice Cave, Scott Base, Ross Island, Antarctica, December 7, 1975, dye transfer print

Photo of the Week: Blue Prints and Blueprints

This week marks my seventh anniversary at the Carter, so our Photo of the Week comes from an exhibition that was installed when I first arrived here in the summer of 2002, Out of the Blue: Cyanotypes from the Permanent Collection.

Cyanotype is a process that basically produces a monochromatic image like any other black-and-white photograph, but the chemicals used in the process produce a blue-and-white photograph. The process was invented in the 1840s and was used for certain applications, such as blueprints, for the next century because the process was cheap and easy – only requiring sunlight, water, and two chemicals. You can make your own cyanotypes quite easily by purchasing pre-treated photosensitive paper or fabric from art supply stores, or making your own. I've used the pre-treated fabric to make photograms in the backyard and can attest that it's pretty fun.

Without further ado, one of the 102 cyanotypes in the Carter's permanent collection:

Frederick A. Greenleaf, [Men in wagon fording stream running between low hills], cyanotype, 1877-1885

Photo of the Week: Winter in Sarasota

This installment of Photo of the Week features photographer Marion Post Wolcott (1910-1990), who would have turned 99 this week. Wolcott is best known for her body of work created for the Farm Security Administration during the Great Depression. Her sister, Helen Post (1907-1979), was also a photographer whose archive of 11,000 prints and negatives is here at the Carter!

Now on to the photo...

Marion Post Wolcott, Winter Tourists Picnicking on Beach near Sarasota, Fla., 1941, gelatin silver print, Gift of Dr. John Wolcott, Los Alamos, New Mexico

Robert Colescott (1925-2009)

The painter Robert Colescott passed away last week at age 83. Although I was exposed to Colescott's work in college, I didn't know until I read the his obituary in the New York Times that he studied with Fernand Leger and represented the US at the 1997 Venice Biennale. A Colescott lithograph from the Harmon and Harriet Kelley Collection of African-American Art will be on view in the Carter's special exhibition galleries through August 23.

Edited to add: More info on Robert Colescott over at Time Magazine's Looking Around blog.

Carter Art @ MOMA & SFMOMA

The Carter has five photographs in MOMA's current exhibition Into the Sunset: Photography's Image of the American West, which closes June 8. If you're going to be in NYC, stop and check them out.

White Birch, one of the Carter's six paintings by Georgia O'Keeffe, is also currently on view at SFMOMA until September as part of the exhibition Georgia O'Keeffe and Ansel Adams: Natural Affinities.