fbpx The George Eastman Museum and the Sheldon Art Galleries present the first major retrospective of Bea Nettles | George Eastman Museum

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The George Eastman Museum and the Sheldon Art Galleries present the first major retrospective of Bea Nettles

Bea Nettles: Harvest of Memory premieres at The Sheldon October 4–December 28, 2019; will be on view at the Eastman Museum January 31–June 14, 2020

Rochester, N.Y., August 27, 2019—The George Eastman Museum and the Sheldon Art Galleries in St. Louis, will premiere the first large-scale retrospective of artist Bea Nettles’s fifty-year career this fall. The exhibition, Bea Nettles: Harvest of Memory, was co-organized by the two institutions and will open at The Sheldon on October 4, and remain on view through December 28. The George Eastman Museum will present the show in Rochester January 31–June 14, 2020.

Bea Nettles: Harvest of Memory includes more than 150 photographs and objects that represent the diversity of Nettles’s career. Nettles explores the narrative potential of photography through constructed images often made with alternative photographic processes. Combining craft and photography, Nettles’s work makes use of wide-ranging tools and materials, including fabric and stitching, instamatic cameras, the book format, manually applied color, and hand‐coated photographic emulsions. Her imagery evokes metaphors that reference key stages in a woman’s life, often with autobiographical undertones, and her key motifs draw upon mythology, family, motherhood, place, landscape, dreams, aging, and the passage of time.

To accompany the exhibition, the George Eastman Museum and University of Texas Press have published a 200+-page book that provides a survey of Bea Nettles’s groundbreaking mixed-media photography.  The catalogue presents the most up-to-date scholarship on Bea Nettles, with essays by Jamie M. Allen, the Stephen B. and Janice G. Ashley Associate Curator, Department of Photography, George Eastman Museum; Olivia Lahs-Gonzales, former director, the Sheldon Art Galleries; and Amy L. Powell, curator of modern and contemporary art, Krannert Art Museum at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; as well as additional texts by Bea Nettles. The volume is illustrated with examples from all of Nettles’s major series to date, including her photographic and book works. The catalogue will be available beginning October 2019.

Bea Nettles has taught photography since 1970. Her classic alternative processes textbook, Breaking the Rules: A Photo Media Cookbook, has influenced two generations of readers. She has delivered lectures and workshops internationally and is recognized for her innovations in mixed media photography. Her images can be found in numerous collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; the Phillips Collection, Washington, DC; the George Eastman Museum, Rochester, NY; and the Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, AZ. Her artist’s books are included in special collections libraries at numerous museums and universities. She has received two National Endowment for the Arts Photography Fellowships and grants from the New York and Illinois State Arts Councils.

Public Programming

Public Exhibition Opening
Sheldon Art Galleries, St. Louis, MO
October 4, 5–7 p.m.

Exhibition Preview
George Eastman Museum, Rochester, NY
January 19, 2020, 6–8 p.m.

Exhibition Dates

Sheldon Art Galleries
St. Louis, MO
October 4–December 28, 2019

George Eastman Museum
Rochester, NY
January 20–October 14, 2020

Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Champaign, IL
August 27–November 28, 2020  

Bea Nettles: Harvest of Memory was co-organized by the George Eastman Museum and The Sheldon Art Galleries, St. Louis. The objects included in the exhibition and the catalogue are drawn from Nettles’s personal collection and from the collections at the Eastman Museum, the Krannert Art Museum (Champaign, IL), and the Illinois State Museum (Springfield). The exhibition is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Missouri Humanities Council, with additional funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities.  

About the Sheldon Art Galleries
The not-for-profit Sheldon Art Galleries exhibits works by local, national and international artists in all media. Over 6,000 square feet of the galleries’ spaces on the 2nd floor are permanently devoted to rotating exhibits of photography, architecture, music art and history and children’s art. A sculpture garden, seen from both the atrium lobby and the connecting glass bridge, features periodic rotations and installations, and the Nancy Spirtas Kranzberg Gallery on the lower level features art of all media. The Sheldon actively supports the work of St. Louis artists in all mediums and features a dedicated gallery with museum-quality exhibits by St. Louis artists, past and present. For more information visit, thesheldon.org.

About the George Eastman Museum
Founded in 1947, the George Eastman Museum is the world’s oldest photography museum and one of the largest film archives in the United States, located on the historic Rochester estate of entrepreneur and philanthropist George Eastman, the pioneer of popular photography. Its holdings comprise more than 400,000 photographs, 28,000 motion picture films, the world’s preeminent collection of photographic and cinematographic technology, one of the leading libraries of books related to photography and cinema, and extensive holdings of documents and other objects related to George Eastman. As a research and teaching institution, the Eastman Museum has an active publishing program and, through its two joint master’s degree programs with the University of Rochester, makes critical contributions to the fields of film preservation and of photographic preservation and collection management. For more information, visit eastman.org.