Selected Photographs from St. John’s University Library’s Division of Special Collections

March 13th – May 3, 2017

This presentation of black and white photographs by Manuel Àlvarez Bravo, Elliott Erwitt, Ralph Gibson, and Garry Winogrand marks the inaugural exhibition project undertaken by the first cohort of students in St. John’s University’s M.A. Museum Administration program. Jointly curated by six graduate students the show features photographs selected from St. John’s University Library’s Division of Special Collections. The students have each organized an individual mini-monographic exhibition, and worked collaboratively on the concept and realization of this gallery in which visitors are introduced to each photographer’s biography. This is the first time that these photographs have been publicly exhibited.

Each student developed their presentation through individual research and collaborative exchange geared towards emphasis on each photographer’s unique thematic and stylistic concerns. Both individually and collectively the students applied their curatorial acumen to teasing out new stories from the photographs by experimenting with different display techniques as well as different approaches to juxtaposing text and image. The result -- an original curated exhibition rooted in extensive study of the theory and practice of exhibition-making -- brings emphasis to each photograph’s distinctive visual, affective and narrative qualities. These are the six microexhibitions:

Power of Suggestion: Photographs from Ralph Gibson’s portfolio Déjà-Vu, 1973, curated by Laura Brownlie

Subtractive: Photographs from Ralph Gibson’s portfolio Artifact; Artis: Art, Factus: Fact, 1985, curated by Michal Erdogan

Poetic Vision: The Photography of Manuel Àlvarez Bravo, curated by Justine McEnerney

Elliott Erwitt: Underneath the Surface: From Humorous to Sullen, curated by Suzanne Nelson

People Watching, Photographs from Elliott Erwitt’s portfolio Master Prints Volume II, 1985, curated by Jonquil Schaller-Harris

This exhibition is curated by Laura Brownlie, Kristen Dorata,Michal Erdogan, Justine McEnerney, Suzanne Nelson, Jonquil Schaller-Harris, St. John’s University M.A. Museum Administration Students.

Image: Elliott Erwitt (American, b. 1928), USA. Wilmington, North Carolina, 1950
Gelatin silver print, St. John’s University Library Special Collections New York.