Saturday, January 30, 2010

Irving Penn's "Cuzco Children" - Museum of Fine Arts Friends of Photography

At midday we left the craziness of Gasparilla (the people, neighborhood and especially traffic) for downtown St. Petersburg and the Museum of Fine Arts. The occasion was a gathering of the museum's Friends of Photography. Our host was the new president of the Friends, Simone Bennett, the museum director, Dr. John Schloder, and Jennifer Hardin, Chief Curator. The Friends of Photography is a small group of men and women of all ages who admire and truly appreciate the history of photography, photographers and the images created since the mid-19th century until the present. We gathered just before the closing tomorrow of the exhibit Legends of Photography. Afterward we went across to the Parkshore Grill, a fine restaurant, to continue our fascinating conversations. The group includes collectors, photographers, those just started to explore photography, spouses, friends and young couples who work in photography. Terrific folks! I was also looking forward to going to the museum because of the unprecedented exhibition The Baroque World of Fernando Botero. See Tampa Daily Photo HERE for one of my all time favorite Botero sculptures. (The show runs through April 4.)

This exhibition featured more than sixty images chosen from the MFA's collection. The photographs range the very earliest to late 20th century color photographs. Many of the major photographers working from 1900 to 1975 are represented, including Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, Irving Penn, Gertrude Käsebier, W. Eugene Smith, Paul Strand, Lewis Hine, Walker Evans, Berenice Abbott, Man Ray, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Alfred Eisenstadt, Barbara Morgan, Minor White, Aaron Siskind, Harry Callahan, Lucien Clergue, Diane Arbus, Gary Winogrand, Lee Friedlander, William Christenberry, Stephen Shore and and Jerry Uelsmann. Some of the finest images created by these artists are are on the walls.

The prints I've chosen are Irving Penn's 1948 photograph "Cuzco Children," Edward Weston's nude photograph of his lovely muse and wife, Charis Wilson Weston - who died last year at age 95, and Harold Edgerton's dramatic color print from 1957, "Milkdrop Coronet." Dr. Edgerton was the first photographer to take high-speed color photographs and was a pioneer of multi-flash and microsecond imagery. Many of his gorgeous images were reproduced by the now, sadly, discontinued Kodak Dye Transfer process, the finest process ever in color fidelity and most archival of all photographic images.


  1. He is one of those great photographers.

  2. Hi Frank...terrific post today. I shall have to visit this museum!

    I didn't know you were part of this group. How nice to have such a group in your community supporting the art of photography!

  3. Just wondering what the Cuzco Children have in their hands on the table??