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April showers bring May flowers to George Eastman House

“In the Garden” photography exhibition to open at Eastman House on May 9

Rochester, N.Y., March 20, 2015—George Eastman House will open its summer photography exhibition, In the Garden, on Saturday, May 9. Spanning the history of photography and photographic processes—from daguerreotype to inkjet prints—the exhibition addresses the relationships between photography, botanical images, and the cultivated landscape. The exhibition also features a section focused on George Eastman and his extensive gardens at 900 East Avenue. In the Garden will be on view through September 6.

Since its invention in the nineteenth century, photography has been used to document plant life and humans’ relationship to nature. Early photographic processes required vast amounts of light during exposure, and subjects were often posed in gardens flooded with sunlight. Both scientists and artists have recorded the beauty of plant structures, watching fiddlehead ferns unfurl and observing flowers as they bloom and decay. For amateur photographers, a photograph could capture a prizewinning flower or the image of a loved one among the splendor of the garden.

“George Eastman House holds a unique selection of photographs that explore uses of gardens and how humans cultivate the landscapes that surround them,” said Jamie Allen, assistant curator, Department of Photography, George Eastman House. “From famous locations such as Versailles to the simplest home vegetable garden, from worlds imagined by artists to food production recorded by journalists, the subjects in this exhibition broaden our understanding of photography and how it has been used to record the cultivated landscape.”

More than 75 photographers will be represented in the exhibition, including Anna Atkins, Eugene Atget, Edward Steichen, Imogen Cunningham, Stephen Shore, Robert Mapplethorpe, Barbara Norfleet, Mark Klett, Andrew Buurman, Sharon Core, and Rachel Sussman.

In addition, a portion of In the Garden will be dedicated to George Eastman and his historic gardens at 900 East Avenue. The exhibition includes film clips of the gardens from the 1920s, watercolors by John C. Wenrich, one of Eastman’s watering cans, and original vegetable and bulb orders.

Wish You Were Here Lecture: Rachel Sussman
Thursday, May 21, 6 p.m.
Photographer Rachel Sussman, who whose work is featured in the exhibition, will speak as part of a special installment of the Wish You Were Here lecture series on Thursday, May 21. Her lecture will begin at 6 p.m. in the Dryden Theatre, and the galleries at the museum will be open until 8 p.m. that evening. The event is free for Eastman House members, $10 for general admission, and $5 for students with a valid ID.