Portland Museum of Art receives photography collection that ‘puts us at another level’

The Portland Museum of Artwork has obtained a collection of far more than 600 pictures, including operates by entire world-popular 20th-century photographers, that the museum believes will rework it into a location for the artwork variety.

The present from photographer, philanthropist and collector Judy Glickman Lauder includes photos by Berenice Abbott, Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, Margaret Bourke-White and Gordon Parks.

“This collection puts us at another stage,” explained Mark Bessire, museum director. “We’ve generally done (images), but this just leverages the work we are carrying out and lets us consider off. This (collection) could have gone anywhere, but it’s coming below.”

Glickman Lauder, who could not be arrived at for an interview, has houses in Cape Elizabeth and on Excellent Diamond Island and a longstanding affiliation with Rockport’s Maine Media Workshops. She serves on the museum’s board of trustees and is a properly-acknowledged photographer in her have proper, with get the job done hanging in prominent museums around the world, which includes the Whitney Museum of American Artwork in New York City and the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

She is supplying the PMA the selection, which incorporates some of her have get the job done, as a “promised gift,” which suggests a pledged donation at some specified upcoming day, despite the fact that the museum presently has the collection on website. The museum declined to say how substantially it is worth.

Libby Bischof, a history professor at the University of Southern Maine who specializes in the historical past of photography and has co-authored a e book on Maine images, was excited to find out about the donation final week.

“Six hundred photographs from artists of this caliber will be extremely vital not just to the museum but to the state,” reported Bischof, who happened to be sitting down in USM’s Glickman Family members Library, named for a prior donation of more than $1 million from Glickman Lauder and her late partner, Albert Glickman. (Several a long time soon after Glickman died, she married Leonard Lauder, also a philanthropist and art collector.)

The fact that Glickman Lauder and others, like Maine art patrons Paula and Peter Lunder, chose “to situate their substantial individual collections of deeply important and impactful function in a point out that is meant so considerably to them and so considerably to American art signals to other patrons, collectors and practitioners that Maine is a spot exactly where their do the job can also are living,” Bischof mentioned. “It truly seeds that function and Maine’s ongoing great importance in American images.”

The museum sees the assortment, alongside with an eventual expanded campus many thanks to its purchase of the previous Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine, as critical to its long run growth.

“Glickman Lauder’s gift permits the museum to feel broadly about the upcoming chapter of PMA history, especially about how we can develop open activities with art, develop and diversify our collection, and open new and dynamic group-centered areas that welcome our myriad communities,” museum spokesman Graeme Kennedy wrote in an email.


Museum website visitors will have a possibility to see a variety of the pictures in October, when the museum is scheduled to mount a main exhibition, “Presence: Photographs from the Judy Glickman Lauder Collection.” It previously confirmed some of these will work about a dozen yrs ago, Bessire said, but considering the fact that then the collection has “probably doubled in size, and it is continue to escalating.”

The exhibition will be curated by Anjuli Lebowitz, the museum’s newly employed, inaugural Judy Glickman Lauder Affiliate Curator of Photography.

Anjuli Lebowitz, the new Judy Glickman Lauder Affiliate Curator of Photography, proven at her property, suggests, “For a long time, the verdict was that pictures was not art,” but Glickman Lauder was not concerned with that discussion. Brianna Soukup/Workers Photographer

Glickman Lauder started collecting photographs in the 1970s, Lebowitz explained, a time when the market place for photographs was exploding as collectors endeavored to generate a revered self-control.

“Matching photographs to particular creative actions was a significant theme at the time simply because they were being seeking to justify pictures as art. Mainly because of its mechanical mother nature, with pictures, there was constantly a huge hang-up about irrespective of whether or not it could be art,” Lebowitz explained. “For a long time, the verdict was that images was not artwork.”

One of the things Lebowitz finds so powerful about this assortment is that Glickman Lauder wasn’t involved with that discussion. Numerous collectors at the time were looking only for the “best” photos, Lebowitz explained.

“Judy is also searching for ‘What are the very best pics?’ but she is also seeking for photographs that transfer her. She is not searching to fill in gaps – ‘I have to have one particular image from this artist and one particular photograph from this movement’ – that’s not the worry. However, she has remarkable shots that are section of the canon, but she included them mainly because they go her, due to the fact she connects to them, and I consider that’s a seriously one of a kind tactic to forming a huge assortment like this,” Lebowitz explained.

Bessire underlined that stage.

“One of the most exciting items for us is that she is a photographer herself,” he claimed about Glickman Lauder. “It’s attention-grabbing to see what another person behind the lens collects. A photographer brings to amassing a diverse eye and a distinctive way of on the lookout at images. Her eye goes to photos. She’s quite democratic in her choices. Just due to the fact another person is not effectively acknowledged does not indicate it is not a lovely image.”

The selection encompasses operates “by critical contributors to the medium’s history” whose names are fewer common to the common community, such as Graciela Iturbide, Lotte Jacobi, Alma Lavenson and Ben Shahn, the museum reported in a news launch.

Maine Media Workshops + Faculty President Mark Mansfield explained all those and other photographers showcased in the assortment as “the canon of photographic historical past.”


Bessire explained the assortment facilities on photographs shot by pioneering feminine photographers, illustrations or photos of American civil rights struggles, photographs of the manner and celebrity worlds and pictures that depict the legacy of the Holocaust and of war. (Glickman Lauder is known for her have e book, “Beyond the Shadows,” that includes pictures she shot in excess of three many years of focus camps, camp survivors and the Danes who risked their lives to help you save Danish Jews during Entire world War II.)

Irving Bennett Ellis, father of philanthropist and collector Judy Glickman Lauder, created this 9- by-7-inch, double-exposure gelatin silver print of Glickman Lauder’s mother, Louise Ellis, circa 1936. It is section of the Judy Glickman Lauder Selection. Image courtesy of Luc Demers

In a release announcing the reward, the museum included various photographs that “really exhibit the toughness of the collection,” Lebowitz explained. Just one exhibits a double exposure of Glickman Lauder’s mother, Louise Ellis, that was shot by her father, Irving Bennett Ellis, a doctor and a well-known photographer himself. Lebowitz described it as an “incredible composite portrait exhibiting various psychological states of Louise Ellis.”

A different is “American Gothic,” a photograph by the celebrated African American photographer and movie director Gordon Parks. It depicts Ella Watson, a charwoman at the federal Farm Stability Administration place of work the place Parks was operating at the time, in a pose modeled following the Grant Wooden portray of the same title. Instead of a pitchfork, Watson is demonstrated with a mop and a broom in its place of a farmhouse in the history, there is an American flag.

“Judy has a really robust social justice streak, and that photograph is so famed and so remarkable and by a person of the most critical photographers of the 20th century, but I also appreciate that it was a collaboration with the subject matter, Ella Watson,” Lebowitz said. It’s a person of a sequence of approximately 100 prints that Parks made with Watson. “And it so succinctly can make the stage that we as a nation can do better. It reveals both of those enjoy of state and a rightful criticism as perfectly,” she reported.

Photographed by Richard Avedon, Audrey Hepburn and Artwork Buchwald, with Simone D’Aillencourt, Frederick Eberstadt, Barbara Mullen and Dr. Reginald Kernan, at Maxim’s in Paris in August 1959. A gelatin silver print, 19½ by 29 inches. “Talk about a photograph with wow electricity,” claimed Portland Museum of Artwork Director Mark Bessire. Richard Avedon

A 3rd, by vogue photographer Richard Avedon, is shot at Maxim’s in Paris and reveals actress Audrey Hepburn and humorist Artwork Buchwald.

“I feel it really captures the spirit of the collector, as (Glickman Lauder) is very exuberant and fun as properly,” Lebowitz explained. “The presence of joy and speculate is truly why the selection is so unique, and why I’m so pleased it’s listed here and that I’ve occur to Portland to function with it.”

Lebowitz has worked in these kinds of huge metropolis museums as the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, and the Nationwide Gallery in Washington, D.C. A collection like that of Glickman Lauder has a a lot greater affect on a smaller sized institution, she explained.

“Even 600 photos can be swallowed up when you are conversing about a bigger place that has 50,000 pics. Right here it can have pride of area,” she explained. “It seriously is the star of the clearly show.”

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