The Amon Carter Museum of American Art Announces Exhibition of Photography from the Carter’s Collection

Press Release

The Amon Carter Museum of American Art Announces Exhibition of Photography from the Carter’s Collection

Looking In: Photography from the Outside examines six photographers’ documentation of communities they are not part of, exploring how artists  navigate their identity as “outsider” and ethically represent their subjects.

three pohtographs of people

Fort Worth, TX, November 12, 2019 — The Amon Carter Museum of American Art announces Looking In: Photography from the Outside, on view December 21, 2019, through May 10, 2020. Drawing from the Carter’s world-renowned photography collection, this exhibition features over 60 works by twentieth-century artists Richard Avedon, Morris Engel, Laura Gilpin, Dorothea Lange, Danny Lyon, and Paul Strand.

Looking In examines the way artists have photographed groups they are not part of, exploring how they navigate their identity as “outsider” to an insular community. Twentieth-century books and magazines often employed artists to photograph unfamiliar communities and cultures for photo-essays, offering readers an opportunity to learn more about people they may never meet, but sometimes creating an implied dichotomy between the audience and the subject. These images walk the line between privacy and ethics, raising complicated questions about perception, representation and power. Looking In provides an opportunity for visitors to encounter these questions through the presentation of six different series by artists who each approached their project in a different way.

The represented projects include: Richard Avedon’s Hutterite images from In the American West, the 1979 commission by the Carter that sent the celebrated fashion and portrait photographer to document the people of the American West; American photographer and cinematographer Morris Engel’s 1949 photographs of a Texas dairy farming family published in the “How America Lives” series for Ladies Home Journal; landscape photographer Laura Gilpin’s decades-long project photographing Diné, or Navajo, people that culminated in her 1968 book The Enduring Navaho; documentary photographer Dorothea Lange’s work from her 1953 project with Ansel Adams photographing Mormon communities in southern Utah for Life magazine; journalistic photographer Danny Lyons’ photographs of motorcycle riders for his 1968 book The Bikeriders; and images from pioneering photographer Paul Strand’s three years in Mexico following its 10-year civil war.

Looking In: Photography from the Outside is a wonderful example of our renewed effort to present work from our renowned photography collection as part of our recently redesigned galleries and reinvigorated collection rotations,” said Andrew J. Walker, Executive Director. “This installation not only highlights our important holdings but allows each of us to ask important questions about the interaction with and interpretation of communities outside of our own.”

Looking In offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore the Carter’s photography collection. The Carter houses one of the most significant American photography collections, comprised of over 250,000 objects that represent the history of the medium from the nineteenth century to the present day. Looking In provides an in-depth look at a selection from these rich holdings. Of the over 60 works on view, visitors can expect to see well-known highlights alongside some lesser-known treasures that have not been on view for decades, if ever.

“The breadth and depth of the Carter’s collection makes possible exhibitions that explore the history of photography from fresh angles,” stated Kristen Gaylord, Assistant Curator of Photographs. “These important twentieth-century artists—some of whom had very strong relationships with the museum—represent a photographic approach that is still with us today and holds special relevance in the age of digital publishing and social media. Each found different and creative ways of navigating the sometimes tricky dynamics of representing a community one is not part of, and I hope they inspire our audience to ask questions about representation and power that might impact their own lives.”

Looking In: Photography from the Outside is on view at the same time as The Perilous Texas Adventures of Mark Dion, Eliot Porter’s Birds, and Tracing the Past: Scott and Stuart Gentling’s Birds of Texas. Together, these four shows build a museum-wide investigation of related themes and interests: the observation of others (human and animal); twentieth- and twenty-first-century artists modeling their practice off nineteenth-century artist-explorers; and engaging with the history, people, and landscape of America.

The exhibition opens to the public on December 21. Visitors will have the opportunity to dig deeper into the themes of Looking In during our quarterly book club series Bookish on March 5 and in our spring lecture series Experts Talk on the Carter (etc.). For dates, prices, and details, visit cartermuseum.org.

Looking In: Photography from the Outside is organized by the Amon Carter Museum of American Art and is included in the museum’s free admission.

Images: Paul Strand (1890–1976), Boy. Hidalgo, 1933, photogravure from The Mexican Portfolio, 1967, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas © Aperture Foundation, Inc., Paul Strand Archive; Morris Engel (1918–2005), Buda, Texas. Dairy Farmer—Rylander Family, 1949, gelatin silver print, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Kurt A. Olden, Sarasota, Florida; Richard Avedon (1923–2004), Freida Kleinsasser, Thirteen Year Old, Hutterite Colony, Harlowton, Montana, 6/23/83, 1983, gelatin silver print, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas.

About the Amon Carter Museum of American Art
Located in the heart of Fort Worth’s Cultural District, the Amon Carter Museum of American Art explores the breadth and complexity of American creativity through an important and dynamic art collection. The Carter opened in 1961 to benefit its community by sharing the wonder of American art, fostering the growth of a vibrant cultural spirit, and stimulating everyone’s artistic imagination. Housed in a building designed by Philip Johnson (1906–2005), the Carter features one of the great collections of American art including masterworks of painting, sculpture, and works on paper by artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe, Jacob Lawrence, John Singer Sargent, Frederic Church, Thomas Eakins, Grant Wood, Alexander Calder, and Stuart Davis. The Carter is also home to a world-renowned photography collection that spans the history of the medium from the nineteenth century to today. It is also home to Amon G. Carter Sr.’s collection of nearly 400 works by Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell, two of the most significant artists of the American West. Admission is free. Open: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Thursday 10 a.m.–8 p.m.; Sunday 12–5 p.m. Closed Mondays and select holidays. cartermuseum.org @theamoncarter