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John Gutmann: The Photographer at Work


Indian High School Band Traveling Through Desert, Arizona, 1937, Photograph by John Gutmann,  ®1998 Arizona Board of Regents, Collection Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona
Indian High School Band Traveling Through Desert, Arizona, 1937, Photograph by John Gutmann, ®1998 Arizona Board of Regents, Collection Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona

Dates: October 23, 2009 - January 31, 2010

Location:   Center for Creative Photography

Cost: Free

Description:

John Gutmann (1905-1998) captured images of American culture, celebrating signs of a vibrant democracy, however imperfect. German born and trained as an artist and art teacher, he fled the Nazis in 1933 for San Francisco, reinventing himself as a photo-reporter. His outsider status-a Jew in Germany, an immigrant in the United States-informed his focus on multiculturalism. This exhibition draws on the Center for Creative Photography's archive of Gutmann's photographs and papers to present both unfamiliar works and little-known contexts for his imagery, linking his photography to his passion for painting and filmmaking, his collections of non-Western art and artifacts, and his devotion to teaching. The Center is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Several special events will be held during the run of the exhibition:

Reception and lecture

Friday, October 30; Reception at 5 p.m., lecture at 6 p.m.

John Gutmann's Image of Freedom

Guest curator Sally Stein takes as a starting point the 1941 juried photography exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, Images of Freedom, and considers in particular how the strange yet successful submission by Gutmann exemplified his own defiance of convention and his love of the anti-traditional in his adopted homeland. Stein is Associate Professor Emerita in the Department of Art History at the University of California and continues as an independent scholar to study American photography and culture. Her most recent publication is John Gutmann: The Photographer at Work, the exhibition catalogue.

Film screening and discussion
Tuesday, January 26, 5:30 p.m.
My Eyes Were Fresh: The Life and Photographs of John Gutmann (2006, 30 minutes), a film by Jane Levy Reed, is an intimate portrait of the artist narrated by Gutmann in a series of filmed interviews and commentaries recorded in the years just before his death in 1998. It profiles his art and life, both of which helped forge a link between the European modernism of the early 20th century and the burgeoning artistic culture of the San Francisco Bay Area in the second half of the century. Jennifer Jenkins, Associate Professor of Media Arts, who teaches film history at the University of Arizona, will introduce the film.

For more information, please visit http://www.creativephotography.org