The San Diego Museum of Art opens ‘Masters of Photography: The Garner Collection’

The San Diego Museum of Art will present Masters of Photography: The Garner Collection, an exhibition featuring more than 100 works spanning major photographic movements that are diverse in subject, style and technique. Made possible by a loan from prolific collectors Cam and Wanda Garner, the exhibition includes works from many of the most influential photographers in the medium’s history. The collection will be on view at the museum from Nov. 14, 2020 through March 14, 2021.

Ruud van Empel. World
Ruud van Empel. World #14, 2006. Dye destruction print, face-mounted to Plexiglas.
(Courtesy of Ruud van Empel; courtesy of the artist. / The Garner Collection)

The exhibition is grouped thematically into three sections. The first, Reflections on Nature, presents a variety of landscapes, including famed environmentalist Ansel Adams’s El Capitan, Sunrise Winter, Yosemite National Park, and organic aesthetics. Things as They Are analyzes subjects of the city, society and conflict with familiar examples from Berenice Abbott, Margaret Bourke-White and Henri Cartier-Bresson. The final section, Manipulating Reality, looks at expressions of abstraction and allegory in the medium, from early 20th-century work by Frank Eugene to the modern cinematic dreamscapes of Gregory Crewdson.

Several of photography’s most recognized and distinguished figures are represented by their most iconic works. The artists mentioned above are just a small sampling of the long list of photographers whose work is represented in the exhibition, including Harry Callahan, Dorothea Lange, Ray Metzker, Aaron Siskind, Joel Meyerowitz, Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Bruce Davidson, and Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison.

“For more than a decade, the Garners have supported the Museum and the greater San Diego community, and have generously gifted over 300 works from their collection to the Museum and loaned many more, including those featured in our current exhibition Mary Ellen Mark: Twins,” said Roxana Velásquez, Maruja Baldwin Executive Director at The San Diego Museum of Art. “Cam Garner himself is an established photographer, and his reverence for the medium is reflected in the breadth of this collection as well as his dedication to sharing important works with the public.”

These exemplary works allow viewers to consider how a photograph is made, the multiple functions a photograph may serve, and the ultimate impact they make in our lives and memories.

Masters of Photography: The Garner Collection is organized by Cory Woodall, Assistant Curator at The San Diego Museum of Art. The exhibition will be accompanied by programming, including members’ preview events on Nov. 13 and 14, a Guest Lecture featuring photographer scott b. davis on Nov. 20, an Art of Elan pop-up performance, collaborations with local performing arts organizations.

The exhibition is also accompanied by a 134-page catalogue. With essays by Arpad Kovacs, assistant curator of photography at the J. Paul Getty Museum, and Michael Mulno, manager of the Garner collection, the Masters of Photography: The Garner Collection catalogue provides further insights into the major movements and iconic practitioners of photography from the 20th century to the present day.

For more information on The San Diego Museum of Art or to purchase tickets, visit SDMArt.org


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