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Eastman House to acquire important photographs of Rochester by 10 Magnum photographers

Panel talk at conclusion of two-week survey project at Eastman House on Saturday, April 28

Rochester, N.Y., April 19, 2012—Ten renowned photographers from Magnum Photos are visiting Rochester from April 14 through 29 for a comprehensive photographic survey of the city and its people. The participating artists in the House of Pictures project are Bruce Gilden, Jim Goldberg, Susan Meiselas, Martin Parr, Paolo Pellegrin, Alessandra Sanguinetti, Alec Soth, Larry Towell, Alex Webb, and Donovan Wylie. They will explore multiple facets of Rochester covering subjects from gangs to gardens, youth and weddings to aging strippers, as well as George Eastman House.

At 2 p.m. Saturday, April 28, the Magnum photographers will participate in a panel discussion at the conclusion of the project, at the Dryden Theatre at George Eastman House. The talk will be moderated by Dr. Alison Nordström, Eastman House senior curator of photographs, and followed by a booksigning with all artists. This event is included with museum admission.

“Magnum represents the continued vitality of photography as a tool for exploration, interpretation, and thought,” Nordström said. “It is fitting that George Eastman House, which shares these values, is participating in this project to tell our story at this moment in time.” 

The project will result in a series of publications, a pop-up show at Visual Studies Workshop, and a limited-edition archives box, produced in an edition of five with two artist proofs. As a sponsor of the project, Eastman House will acquire one of two museum sets. Each box will contain approximately 1,000 prints by the participating photographers, all taken during the course of the project, and printed from high-resolution files.

In addition, Eastman House will receive two signed exhibition prints to be chosen by the curator from the images in the archives box. While earlier work by Goldberg, Meiselas, Parr, Towell and Webb are among the Eastman House's current holdings, this will be a first acquisition of the work of Gilden, Pellegrin, Sanguinetti, Soth, and Wylie. 

One of the things the photographers are most excited about on this project," said Magnum representative Christopher Klatell, “is being able to continue, and build upon, their long and very warm relationship with Eastman House.

The 10 photographers leading the Rochester project — who are living, working, and exhibiting together — are among the most active and distinguished of today’s members. This project is part of an ongoing series of collaborative attempts by Magnum photographers to investigate a fragmented and often anxious American landscape. Rochester, with its deep connection to the history of photography, provides a particularly resonant and meaningful setting, according to Magnum. Chien-Chi Chang, a Magnum photographer and filmmaker, is also in Rochester to document the project itself.

House of Pictures builds on an earlier project in which Goldberg, Meiselas, Pellegrin, and Soth travelled with Mikhael Subotzky and the writer Ginger Strand through the American Southwest in May 2011. Like the first Postcards from America trip (postcards.magnumphotos.com, @magnumpostcards), House of Pictures will be presented live on magnumphotos.com and through various social media outlets.

The public is invited to post photographs of Rochester past or present for possible inclusion in a project by the Magnum photographers. You may upload new or scanned pictures to the project's flickr group and tag them "Rochester”: http://www.flickr.com/groups/postcardsfromamerica/

In Rochester, the Magnum photographers are processing and displaying their work daily at the Visual Studies Workshop, 31 Prince St., which is an open studio for public viewing in the auditorium. Public lectures by Magnum photographers are taking place at the Webb Auditorium at Rochester Institute of Technology at 8 p.m. Monday, April 23 (Alessandra Sanguinetti) and Thursday, April 26 (Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb). The photographers also will be on site at Rochester’s Public Market on Saturday, April 21.

“The legacy of Kodak is everywhere,” Meiselas said, after arriving in Rochester. “It’s hidden, but if you look for it, you realize that it permeates everything.”

Admission to George Eastman House is $12 for adults; $10 for senior citizens (65 and older); $5 for students; and free for children 12 and under. For more information, please visit eastmanhouse.org or call (585) 271-3361.


About Magnum Photos

Magnum Photos, the home of documentary photography, is a photographic cooperative of great diversity and distinction owned by its photographer members. With powerful individual vision, Magnum photographers chronicle the world and interpret its peoples, events, issues, and personalities. It was founded in 1947, (the same year Eastman House was established) by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, George Rodger and David “Chim” Seymour.