Boston Globe: At the Portland Museum of Art, the gift of ‘Presence’

The museum celebrates a key photographic acquisition with options from the selection of Judy Glickman Lauder

By Mark Feeney Globe Staff
Updated November 15, 2022, 2:49 p.m.

This short article at first appears in the Boston World.

Richard Avedon, “Audrey Hepburn and Art Buchwald, with Simone D’Aillencourt, Frederick Eberstadt, Barbara Mullen, and Dr. Reginald Kernan,night attire by Balmain, Dior, and Patou, Maxim’s, Paris, August 1959.” RICHARD AVEDON/PORTLAND MUSEUM OF Art, MAINE, JUDY GLICKMAN LAUDER Assortment. © THE RICHARD AVEDON Foundation

PORTLAND — The top quality and wide variety of the pictures in any provided selection ascertain regardless of whether the assortment is worth searching at. That’s really clear. What’s considerably less apparent is that the character of the collector determines irrespective of whether that collection is value considering about. It is just one detail to seem at shots when they are in front of you. It’s rather a different to have them continue to be in your mind’s eye.

Character isn’t always the identical detail as flavor. Flavor, a part of character, is a limiting condition. Which is as it should really be: Style usually has even far more to do with leaving out than putting in. Character is inherently expansive — and unpredictable — just the way individuals are.

Max Yavno, “Cable Automobile, San Francisco,” 1947 Picture COURTESY LUC DEMERS. © Centre FOR Artistic Images, University OF ARIZONA

What evokes these observations is “Presence: The Pictures Collection of Judy Glickman Lauder.” It operates at the Portland Museum of Artwork by means of Jan. 15. The PMA’s Anjuli Lebowitz curated the present.

“Presence” consists of practically 150 photos, which is about a fifth of the present (speaking of “given collections”) that Glickman Lauder has promised the museum. That is a large amount of pictures, equally in the clearly show suitable and the selection over-all. Seventy photographers are represented in “Presence,” working from A — Abbott (Berenice), Arbus (Diane), Avedon (Richard) — to Zee (James Van Der). As those names recommend, there is a ton of high-quality within just all that quantity.

James Van Der Zee, “Kate and Rachel Van Der Zee, Lenox, Massachusetts,” 1909 Impression COURTESY LUC DEMERS. © JAMES VAN DER ZEE ARCHIVE, THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF Art

“Presence” incorporates various other popular photographic names: Henri Cartier-Bresson, Gordon Parks, Sebastião Salgado, Paul Strand, Edward Weston, Garry Winogrand. There are well-known photographs as effectively, pictures you would identify even if you’re not acquainted with the photographer or title: Avedon’s portrait of a robotic-looking Marilyn Monroe (1957), Lewis Hine’s “Power Property Mechanic” (1920), James Karales’s “Selma to Montgomery March, Alabama” (1965), Dorothea Lange’s “Migrant Mother” (1936), Weegee’s “The Critic” (1943).

Near looking is often rewarded. Avedon’s 1969 team portrait of the Chicago 7 hangs throughout from his 1971 team portrait of US armed forces and diplomatic leaders in Saigon. Even if photos experienced the ability of speech, people two would not be on speaking terms.

There’s a 1983 impression from Nan Goldin’s “The Ballad of Sexual Dependency.” That landmark series requires its title from a tune in Brecht-Weill’s “Threepenny Opera.” The photograph is close to a Lotte Jacobi portrait of Lotte Lenya (1929). Lenya was married to Kurt Weill and starred in the first output of the musical. It’s a nicely refined little bit of affiliation.

On an adjoining wall hold to the Monroe portrait, Horst’s “Mainbocher Corset, Paris” (1939), and just one of Susan Meiselas’s photographs of a Vermont carnival strip demonstrate (1973). The lessons to be pondered on the takes advantage of to which men set woman sexuality are all the far more profound for heading unstated.

The demonstrate is divided into 7 types, like portraits, landscape, towns. The divisions between the categories are usefully porous. How to distinguish, for occasion, concerning “Politics, Hope, and Despair” and “Freedom, Justice, and Dignity”? Individuals two titles do reveal how strongly themes of social justice determine in “Presence.”

Melonie Bennett, “Suzie, Bahama Seaside Club, Portland, Maine,” 1996 Image COURTESY LUC DEMERS. © MELONIE BENNETT

A desire for these types of issue matter is an illustration of in which character comes into play. Others are considerably less pronounced. Fittingly, Maine figures throughout the clearly show. There are Maine photographers. Melonie Bennett has a few photographs in “Presence.” Joyce Tenneson and Tonee Harbert have just one just about every. Harbert’s “Jamaican Apple Pickers, Bridgton, Maine,” from 1988, is an case in point of porousness. It qualifies as landscape and could fit into both of the social-justice classes.

The 3 Abbotts in the demonstrate are from her spectacular “Changing New York” series, but she lived the closing many years of her everyday living in Maine. So she qualifies as a area. So does Todd Webb, yet another Maine transplant, who’s also represented by New York perform, an eight-photograph sequence about a block in Midtown Manhattan, from 1948.

Portraits of artists appear during. There are painters: Arbus/Agnes Martin, (1966) Cartier-Bresson/Matisse (1944) Duane Michals, with equally Magritte (1965) and de Kooning (1985) Lola Alvarez Bravo/Frida Kahlo (1944) Webb/Georgia O’Keeffe (1964). There are photographers: Judy Dater/Imogen Cunningham (1974) Cunningham, /Weston and Margrethe Mather (a joint portrait, 1922) Edward Steichen (a self-portrait, circa 1920) Arnold Newman/Mary Ellen Mark (taken in Rockport, Maine, so increase that to the Down East listing, 1993), and a Newman joint portrait of Alfred Stieglitz and O’Keeffe (1944).

Norman Seeff, “Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith, New York,” 1969 Impression COURTESY LUC DEMERS. © PHOTOGRAPH BY NORMAN SEEFF.

Norman Seeff’s 1969 joint portrait of Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith is in the artist-portrait classification — really don’t forget, Smith’s a really great photographer, as well — but also belongs in another: rock stars. The latter consist of Graham Nash (a self-portrait, 2001), Bob Dylan (Danny Lyon, 1942), Elton John (Terry O’Neill, 1974), and Mick Jagger, with his spouse, Bianca, on their marriage day (Patrick Lichfield, 1971).

There are also dancers. Steichen captures Isadora Duncan at the Parthenon (1921). Cornell Capa reveals a Bolshoi rehearsal (1958). Barbara Morgan has two pictures of Martha Graham in effectiveness (equally 1935). Jacobi’s “Head of a Dancer” (1929) is functionality as millinery: such a hat that girl is donning! The most balletic images are not of dancers, for each se. Max Yavno’s shot of trainmen turning about a San Francisco cable vehicle (1947) and Mario Giacomelli’s two views of clergymen cavorting in the snow, their robes flowing, are as graceful as a Balanchine daydream (1961-63).

Mario Giacomelli, “Lo Non Ho Mani Mi Accarezzino Il Volto (There Are No Fingers to Caress My Face),” 1961-63 Graphic COURTESY LUC DEMERS. ARCHIVIO MARIO GIACOMELLI © SIMONE GIACOMELLI

The photographers with the most photographs in the show are Paul Caponigro, with 14, and Irving Bennett Ellis, with 16. The Caponigros are from his “Stonehenge Portfolio” (1967-72). As befits their matter, they’re brooding, mystical, mystic. Ellis’s images, from his “Door Series,” could hardly vary more. They clearly show his daughter standing in front of the entrance to the relatives home, a single per 12 months, from 1939-1953. They are the photo-album equal of time-lapse photography. It doesn’t appear as a shock to understand that they had been later made use of in a Television ad for Kodak film. The advertisement is aspect of “Presence,” also.

The inclusion of the Ellis photographs and advertisement appears incongruous, but this gets back again to the make any difference of character in a selection. There’s surely absolutely nothing rote or predictable about their staying in “Presence.” Which is legitimate, also, of the demonstrate together with 6 pictures by Glickman Lauder. She’s a gifted photographer, and one may argue that it would be unfair not to include her work in the clearly show just mainly because she’s the donor. But it’s unfair in a different way to have one particular of her photos future to, say, a Cartier-Bresson, as a person of them, in reality, is. It normally takes a large amount of character to stand up to a comparison like that.