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George Eastman House celebrates Where We Live, with hundreds of photographs of Rochester from the collections, the community, and renowned photographers

Rochester in focus as city commemorates 175th anniversary

Rochester, N.Y., September 24, 2009—George Eastman stated, “I want Rochester to be the best city in which to live, work, and raise and family.” In that spirit, George Eastman House International Museum of Photography & Film will showcase this fall Where We Live – Rochester depicted through hundreds of photographs, plus motion pictures — as the City of Rochester celebrates its 175th anniversary. The Where We Live exhibition opens Oct. 17, with some portions opening Oct. 3. It will on view be through Jan. 24, 2010. The exhibition debut coincides with the city of Rochester’s “Coming Home” celebration this fall.

Featured will be images submitted by the community as well as Rochester through the lens of professional photographers and unique images from the Eastman House collections. This is the first time in Eastman House’s 60-year history that it has focused its galleries on Rochester, presenting a rare glimpse of never-before-seen collections.

Among the variety of photographs featured will be the first photograph of Rochester, a daguerreotype of Main Street from 1852; Coloramas, the famed Kodak giant photos from Grand Central Terminal; recently acquired work by Roger Mertin; historic and contemporary images from the City of Rochester’s official photographer, shot in the same location over decades, in the early 1900s, in 1984, and again in 2009; digital displays of recent photo essays by sevenDemocrat and Chronicle photographers; color autochromes of early 20th-century Rochester; a variety of panoramic images of Rochester groups assembled; collection photographs of Rochester at play and at work; plus, locally made films from the motion picture collection, projected in the galleries.

Where We Live is designed to prompt a dialogue among visitors and community leaders about perceptions of Rochester as a place to live, work, and play. The larger goals are to explore the challenges and celebrate the strengths. “In 2009 it is Rochester’s 175th anniversary and George Eastman House’s 60th anniversary,” said Dr. Anthony Bannon, Eastman House director. “With that convergence, Eastman House will commemorate both events by encouraging community dialogue about the city — where it is today, and what challenges and triumphs it has experienced and may face in the future.”

Part of this conversation will be illustrated through photographs from the community plus professional photographers commissioned to photograph Rochester, looking at the community with an outside view. These two sections within theWhere We Live exhibition are titled “Picturing Rochester” and “How Do We Look?”

Picturing Rochester

George Eastman House has invited submissions of photographs taken by community residents identifying our challenges and strengths. The images can depict the Greater Rochester region, extending beyond the city. Categories for consideration are waterways, neighborhoods, family, cultural heritage, education, faith, economic development, landmarks, and sports and recreation. Submissions will continue to be accepted throughout the run of the exhibition (visit eastmanhouse.org to share an image).         (more)

Also featured in “Picturing Rochester” will be photographs by community leaders and video segments featuring first-person stories, captured by WXXI-TV.

How Do We Look?  

This display offers a view of Rochester from three internationally renowned photographers, who were commissioned to travel to Rochester to photograph its people and places in August and September. Subjects include “Black In Rochester,” multi-generational Kodak families, and Rochester’s music scene. The photographers are Pep Bonet, Kristen Ashburn, and Magnum photographer Eli Reed.

Where We Live is presented in partnership with JP Morgan Chase Foundation, with additional support from Rowe Photo Video Audio; CSX Transportation; Eastman Kodak Co.; WXXI; and Democrat and Chronicle.

Where We Live Programs:

Home Movie Day

2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17

George Eastman House and Visual Studies Workshop team up for annual Home Movie Day, which will focus on home movies made in Rochester. Free admission, with donations accepted. For more information, visit homemovieday.com/rochester.html or call (585) 271-3361 ext. 370. Admission is free but donations are accepted. Visual Studies Workshop, 31Prince St., Rochester.

Sweet Creations Gingerbread House Display

Nov. 11 through Dec. 16, 2009

Bakers and submitting organizations are being encouraged to focus on Rochester landmarks and themes for this year’s popular holiday exhibition of 65 confection creations. Included with museum admission.

Reshaping Rochester

6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16

The Rochester Design Center will present a lecture about urban design, with a focus on Rochester issues. Guest lecturer will be Dr. Emily Talen, Arizona State University. Admission is $15 in advance/$20 at the door. For more information, visit rrcdc.org.

Rochester in Photographs

1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21 and  1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12

A gallery talk with Joe R. Struble, Eastman House photography archivist, who will discuss images of Rochester today and yesterday from the museum’s collections. Included with museum admission.

Rochester on Film

1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19

Returning by popular demand! Ed Stratmann, associate curator of Motion Pictures at George Eastman House, presents “Rochester on Film,” a popular program he debuted in September. However, for the Dec. 19 program he is adding some local holiday-season films from the archive. This fun and fascinating program offers more than a glimpse of Rochester’s past with rare 16mm and 35mm films. Included with museum admission. Dryden Theatre.

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