“Multiple Exposures:  Highlights from CSULB Special Collections”
“Implacable Witness: Käthe Kollwitz Graphic Works”
June 20 – August 6, 2006

The University Art Museum, located in the Steve & Nini Horn Center on the campus of California State University, Long Beach

1250 Bellflower Boulevard, Long Beach, CA 90840
Contact: Sarah G. Vinci, Director Publications and Public Relations, (562) 985-4299 /
562.985.5761, Fax 562.985.7602
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Please note the University Art Museum has different hours for the summer:
Tuesday-Saturday 12-5 pm, closed Sunday and Monday

Joel Sternfeld, Exhausted Renegade Elephant, Woodland, Washington, June, 1979, c-print, 41 x 51 cm.
© Joel Sternfeld. Image courtesy the artist and Bill Charles, Inc.

June 20 – August 6, 2006

Photography from its infancy has enthralled viewers for its ability to depict the immediate. Magic co-exists with realism. But, however much we question the truth in photography, particularly in this digital age, when presented with a tangible representation, the illusion is sacred. The University Art Museum presents Multiple Exposures: Highlights from CSULB Special Collections, curated by Sarah G. Vinci, Public Relations Director for the UAM.

The group exhibition features a cross section of visually arresting and diverse black and white and color photographs from the 1930s through the 1980s. The original library director for CSULB was Charles Boorkman, who collected fine art, photography, and rare books for the campus. The exhibition includes striking photographs made by Farm Security Administration photographers Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, and Marion Post Wolcott. Wolcott is noted for her images of the downtrodden during the Great Depression in America. The untitled photo of 1939, listed as A Member of the Wilkins Family Making Biscuits on Corn-husking Day evidences the realist documentary style of Wolcott’s work for the FSA. Her compelling images of this period have become emblematic of the Great Depression. The exhibition also includes Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico by Ansel Adams; and numerous photographs by Edward Weston, including Cabbage Leaf, 1931, that were gifted to the collection by Long Beach residents Dr. Fred and Esther Modern. Multiple Exposures also consists of images by contemporary photographers such as Linda Connor and Joel Sternfeld. The luminous photograph Seven Sacred Pools, Maui, Hawaii by San Francisco artist Linda Connor contemplates the poetry and mystery of an ancient site and the timeless realm of the spirit. Connor states, "the strongest and most consistent content in my work is the investigation of the cultural boundaries between the natural and the sacred." Connor uses printing techniques that date back to photography's early beginnings. She makes contact prints by placing the 8 x 10 inch negatives from her large-format view camera on special paper, laying it outside in her garden, and exposing them to the sun acting as active agent in creating these prints. She then tones the prints with gold chloride. Connor does not manipulate the image. In part, her ability to capture light is what makes her photographs appear to reveal the presence of something holy.

Joel Sternfeld uses his color photographs, like Exhausted Renegade Elephant, Woodland, Washington, to interpret what occurs when humans and nature interact. Using an 8-x-10-inch view camera, Sternfeld often takes an ironic approach to his subject matter, allowing the viewer to experience the beauty of landscape but also explore an awareness of the ill effects technology may have on it. Extending from the interests of notable photographers such as Walker Evans, and Robert Frank, Sternfeld’s images of our cities, suburbs and landscape, are comprised of the past and the present, which may give us foresight into our future. “The photographs which I made represent the efforts of someone who grew up with a vision of classical regional America and the order it seemed to contain, to find beauty and harmony in an increasingly uniform, technological and disturbing America,” states Sternfeld.

Artists represented in the exhibition include Ansel Adams, Wynn Bullock, Paul Caponigro, William Christenberry, William Clift, Linda Connor, Walker Evens, Henry Gilpin, Emmet Gowin, Robert Johnson, Michael Kenna, Dorothea Lange, Mary Ellen Mark, Eliot Porter, John Sexton, Henry Holmes Smith, Joel Sternfeld, Arthur Tress, Doris Ulman, Henry Wessel, Jr., Brett Weston, Cole Weston, Edward Weston, Minor White, and Marion Post Wolcott.

Multiple Exposures: Highlights from CSULB Special Collections will be on view at the University Art Museum from June 20 through August 6, 2006. Accompanying Multiple Exposures the UAM will present a Summer Film series of documentaries highlighting select artists from the exhibition, and photographers whose oeuvre has made an enormous influence on the aesthetics of American photography such as Imogen Cunningham and Man Ray. Films will be screened every Friday and Saturday afternoon at 2:30 PM during the run of the exhibition. Film Schedule attached.

The UAM, a division of the College of the Arts, has received funding for this project thanks to the generosity of the Instructionally Related Activities Fund, the College of the Arts, CSULB, and the CSULB Library. The Bess J. Hodges Foundation, the Dwight Stuart Youth Foundation, the Arts Council for Long Beach, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services provide education program funds.

UAM @ noon
July 11, 12:15 – 1 pm
Gallery talk with curator Sarah G. Vinci

Implacable Witness: Käthe Kollwitz Graphic Works
June 20 – August 6, 2006

The UAM presents Implacable Witness: Käthe Kollwitz Graphic Works, an exhibition examining the etchings, lithographs, and woodblock prints of this extraordinary German artist. Curated by UAM Associate Director Ilee Kaplan, this project explores Kollwitz’s signature themes—social injustice, rebellion, poverty, parents and children, and a rigorous scrutiny of her own visage.

“While I drew, and wept along with the terrified children I was drawing, I really felt the burden I am bearing. I felt that I have no right to withdraw from the responsibility of being an advocate. It is my duty to voice the suffering of man, the never-ending sufferings heaped mountain-high. This is my task, but it is not an easy one to fulfill”1 –Käthe Kollwtiz

Throughout her long career (1867 – 1945), Kollwitz advocated social and political change through her intense and powerful graphic works. After her marriage to physician Karl Kollwitz in 1891, she was inspired by her husband’s patients, residents of a working class neighborhood in Berlin. Kollwitz’s first etching series’ (The Weavers and Peasant Wars) describe the revolution of the working class in 18th century Germany. Revolt, featured in Implacable Witness, includes a famous historical figure, “Black Anna,” who incites the group to battle.

As her work developed, Kollwitz strove for greater simplicity both in the image and in the message. Using strong patterns of dark and light as well as concise linear work, she repeatedly explored themes of human suffering. About the woodcut Memorial for Karl Leibknecht, Kollwitz says:

“As an artist I have the right to extract emotional content wherever I sense it, to internalize it and to reveal its impact. Thus I also have the right to depict the workers’ farewell to Liebknecht, ... without being interpreted as his political follower."  Karl Liebknecht was an attorney and left-wing member of the German parliament (Reichstag). In 1919, he and compatriot Rosa Luxemberg were abducted, tortured, and murdered by the Freikorps—an ultraconservative militia.

Kollwitz lost one of her two sons in World War I and a grandson in World War II. She endeavored through numerous graphic works and sculpture to visualize her grief and the grief of all parents at the death of their children. She was the first woman elected to the Prussian Academy of Art in 1919. In 1937, Kollwitz’s work was included in the infamous Degenerate Art exhibition organized by the Nazi Regime. She died in 1945. Kollwitz’s legacy of unforgettable prints, drawings, and sculptures are a timeless protest against the evils we impose on each other and the sufferings of humankind.  This collection of prints has been selected from the Special Collections Department at California State University, Long Beach. The UAM, a division of the College of the Arts, has received funding for this project thanks to the generosity of the Instructionally Related Activities Fund, the College of the Arts, CSULB, and the CSULB Library. The Bess J. Hodges Foundation, the Dwight Stuart Youth Foundation, the Arts Council for Long Beach, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services provide education program funds.

UAM @ noon
June 27, 12:15 – 1 pm
Gallery talk with curator Ilee Kaplan

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