This exhibit illuminates the work of four contemporary photographers with local roots--Paula Chamlee, Catherine Jansen, Brian Peterson, and Michael Smith--who represent four distinct approaches to the medium. This exhibition will include Chamlee's incisive studies of surface and place; a selection from Jansen's project 1008, an "experiential journey into sacred storytelling" created in more than 25 trips to India; Peterson's melodic explorations of nature and light; and a range of Smith's rarely-exhibited portraits from across the globe. Despite their differences in process, technique, and equipment, all four artists emphasize the power of photography to represent connection and to communicate an experience of environment, energy, and spirit. On the occasion of the Michener's 30th anniversary, View Finders celebrates the contributions of these artists and recognizes photography as a significant force in the legacy of the region.
At the turn of the century, artists began to rebel against traditional modes of expression and exhibition. Although it is frequently associated with Impressionism, the Delaware Valley region launched some of the most important developments that transformed American art in the 20th century: the roots of the Ashcan School; the leading proponents of Precisionist painting; and some of the first artists to explore non-objective painting. A remarkable gift of 27 works from Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest in 1999 enabled the Michener Art Museum to highlight the significant contributions to the development of modern art in America as seen through the prism of our region. Artists such as Charles Frederick Ramsey, Louis Stone, Charles Evans, Lloyd Ney, and Charles Rosen were actively engaged in the artistic dialogue that resulted in major shifts in American art at mid-century. For the first time in thirty years, these works will be on view together in one gallery, underscoring the lasting contributions of our region's artists to the evolution of 20th-century American art.