Shudders! Photography Goes Public

3 May—27 May 2012

In the sixteen years between 1929 and 1945, American photography underwent an astonishing transformation. Suddenly—and also surprisingly, since for most of those sixteen years the country was in the throes of extraordinary economic hardship—photography blossomed into a wide variety of commercial, fine art, journalistic, and documentary practices.

Shudders! Photography Goes Public is an exploration of many aspects of the era’s photography. Conceived by students studying the function and fortunes of documentary photography in Art History 342, the exhibition utilizes the MHC Art Museum’s varied collection of photographs including examples of social documentary, serial cityscapes, prurient tabloid pictures, popular photojournalism, dance photography, f/64 photography, and even the anonymous pictures found inside police stations and on the factory assembly lines. Some of the photographers are today well-known, others may not be so. Celebrated or not, they all made up the era’s multifaceted photography cultures.