Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Southern Photography at the Ogden Museum in New Orleans

There are a couple of important shows for Southern photography up now at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans.

One of these shows gives us a historic overview of Southern photography; the other brings together work by, as they say, "Rising Stars" in the field. Both shows are on view through January 5th, 2014.

The first of these shows draws on the Ogden's own holdings, already one of the most comprehensive collections of Southern photography in the nation.

The  title of this show is Into the Light: Photographs from the Permanent Collection of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. The show includes photographs by Shelby Lee Adams, William Christenberry, George Dureau, William Eggleston, Birney Imes (see image above), Roland L. Freeman, Marion Post Wolcott, and, as they say, many others.

The other show, with the title Seeing Beyond the Ordinary, includes work by Atlanta-based photographer Laura Noel, from her Smoke Break portfolio (see image above), work by Tennessee-based photographer Joshua Dudley Greer, from his  Somewhere Along The Line portfolio (see image below), and work by Richmond, Virginia-based photographer Susan Worsham, from her By the Grace of God  portfolio (see image below Greer's image).

The Ogden groups Noel, Greer, and Worsham together because in the eyes of the Ogden's curators, these folks photograph the obvious, yet, as the Ogden says, "It is the obvious – the simple and everyday – that have produced some of photography’s finest images."

The Ogden goes on: "Photographers are always battling with the obvious. They are in a constant struggle to see beyond the obvious to form and create a new personal vision.

"These photographers confront the ordinary and make extraordinary photographs from everyday moments that are often overlooked or taken for granted.

"Their photographs are meditations on the present, and what seems to be lurking under the surface. The mundane and banal are revealed with a quiet intensity, giving the viewer a new appreciation of life’s rich pageant."

There you have it, in the words of the folks at the Ogden. Great to see Noel, Greer, and Worsham getting this richly deserved exposure at a museum that is doing an outstanding job of presenting Southern photography to us.

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