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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Phillips' photo show ends this weekend

Louis Faurer, Broadway, New York, N.Y., between 1949 and 1950, printed later. Gelatin silver print, 11 x 14 in. Gift of Jerri Mattare, 2013. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC 

Street scenes, modernism, and documentary works are among the 130 photographs by 33 artists which are on view through this weekend in American Moments: Photographs from The Phillips Collection.

It's a modern American history lesson told in pictures, capturing everyday people at work and play.
Louis Faurer, Times Square, New York, N.Y. [Woman with Umbrella], c. 1948. Gelatin silver print, 11 x 14 in. Gift of Randy Kohls, 2013. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC
 Esther Bubley, Girls Entertaining Their Guests, Card Room, Women’s Residence (Arlington, VA), 1943. Gelatin silver print, 10 3/8 x 10 3/8 in. Gift of Kenneth Polin, 2014. The Phillips Collection, 
 Washington, DC 

Some of the artists whose works are included are Harry Callahan, Paul Strand, Margaret Bourke-White, Ansel Adams, Alfred Stieglitz, Brett Weston, Edward Weston, Lewis Hine, William Christenberry, Bruce Davidson, Alfred Eisenstaedt, and Lee Friedlander.

They photographed more than just the bigger cities and New York.
Clarence John Laughlin, Grandeur and Decay No. 1, 1944. Gelatin silver print, 13 3/8 x 10 5/8 in. Acquired from the artist, 1945. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC
Arnold Newman, Marcel Duchamp, 1942, printed later. Gelatin silver print, 20  x 16 in. Gift of Lisa Finn, 2012. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC

Esther Bubley (1921-1998), a "people photographer," who, early in her career,  quickly abandoned a  job at Vogue because she didn't like it, traveled the world, taking pictures for Life magazine, Ladies Home Journal, and for the federal government's Office of War Information, among many employers.

She documented everyday scenes, and a series of her pictures at the Pittsburgh Children's Hospital led to her inclusion in an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in 1952.

Two years later Bubley became the first woman to win first place in competition at Photography magazine, winning a trophy which featured a male photographer. 

Another woman included in the Phillips' display is Berenice Abbott (1898-1991), known for her stark black and white shots of New York City in the 1930s.  

Is it true that the works of most great artists stem from miserable childhoods?  

Ms. Abbott credited hers for her independence, self reliance, and determination, according to the International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum where she was inducted in 2000.  The museum notes her achievements "are wider ranging that anyone else's in the history of American photography."  

The Phillips presents the exhibition "in celebration of recent major gifts," many on view for the first time at the museum.

What: American Moments:  Photographs from the Phillips Collection

When: Now through September 13, 2015, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., with extended hours on Thursday until 8:30 p.m., and Sunday, 12 - 7 p.m.

Where: The Phillips Collection, 1600 21st St., N.W. at Q St., Washington, D.C. 20009

Tickets: $12, $10 for students and those over 62, free for members and for children 18 and under.

Metro Station: Dupont Circle (Q Street exit. Turn left and walk one block.)

For more information: 202-387-2151

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