Press Room / HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE HARRISON COLLECTION OF FINE PHOTOGRAPHS, 1992-2006

May 3, 2006

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE HARRISON COLLECTION OF FINE PHOTOGRAPHS, 1992-2006

Media Contacts
Lynette Nyman, Minneapolis Institute of Art, (612) 870-3173; lnyman@artsmia.org
Tammy Pleshek, Minneapolis Institute of Art, (612) 870-3171; tpleshek@artsmia.org

Print Quality Images Available Online: http://www.artsmia.org/press

OUTSTANDING COLLECTION OF FINE PHOTOGRAPHS FEATURED FOR GRAND OPENING AT THE MINNEAPOLIS INSTITUTE OF ARTS

Highlights from the Harrison Collection of Fine Photographs, 1992–2006
On View June 11 – October 8, 2006,
Features Masterpiece Images by World-Renowned Photographers

Minneapolis, MN, April 25, 2006— The advent and use of the Alfred and Ingrid Lenz Harrison Fund at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA) has had the most significant effect on the growth and quality of the Department of Photographs at the MIA since the department’s inception in 1973. This purchase fund, designated in 1992, has since procured more than four hundred photographs of exceptional quality, art historical significance, and rarity, to augment the MIA’s already notable collection. Highlights from the Harrison Collection of Fine Photographs, 1992–2006, features one hundred prints from this collection by some of the world’s most accomplished photographers.

Today, thanks to Alfred and Ingrid Lenz Harrison, the MIA’s collection of photographs includes important images by Werner Bischof, Henry P. Bosse, Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, Dorothea Lange, Arnold Newman, Paul Outerbridge, Gilles Peress, Man Ray, David Seymour (Chim), and W. Eugene Smith, among many other major photographers. The objective of the Harrison purchase fund has been to vigorously pursue the purchase of masterpiece photographs for the museum. The number and quality of the resulting acquisitions demonstrate the efficacy of this significant purchase fund provided by exemplary donors.
Highlights from the Harrison Collection of Fine Photographs, 1992–2006, celebrates the Harrison collection by highlighting some of the primary strengths, features, and nuances of this treasure. It is altogether appropriate that this exhibition be presented in the Harrison Photography Gallery in conjunction with the Grand Opening of the MIA’s expansion and renovation project, which includes thirty-four new galleries, nearly forty percent new gallery space, and the new Target Wing, designed by renowned architect Michael Graves, for twentieth- and twenty-first century art.

The Department of Photographs collection, like the MIA’s entire permanent collection, has grown and thrived through the generosity and active involvement of many individuals and families with strong personal and emotional ties to this institution. In some cases the collections reflect the donors’ personal taste, knowledge, and judgment. Alfred and Ingrid Lenz Harrison have placed the critical and art historical decisions squarely with the professional curatorial staff, insisting thereby that as the custodians of the collection, the MIA bears the responsibility for shaping and directing the collection.

The confidence implicit in this generous mandate has been received with gratitude and has been a powerful motivating incentive. Our hope is that the memory of the Harrisons’ late son Martin is forever well served and honored by the beauty, excellence, and high quality of this collection as it continues to grow in depth and richness of artistic and human relevance.

Exhibition Details
Among the one hundred photographic prints on view, highlights include:
Francis Frith’s The Great Pyramid and the Great Sphinx, Egypt (1858)
Jean-Eugène-Auguste Atget’s Marchand abat-jour (1899–1900)
A rare Portrait of Lee Miller (1932) by the artist Man Ray
Imogen Cunningham’s Triangles (1928)
W. Eugene Smith’s Nurse Midwife (Maude Callen), Birth of a Baby (1951)
Henri Cartier-Bresson’s Behind the Gare Saint-Lazare, Paris (1932)
Robert Capa’s Immigrants from Europe Arriving in Haifa, Israel (1949)
Coney Island Bather, New York (1939–41), a rarely seen print by Lisette Model

Catalogue
Highlights from the Harrison Collection of Fine Photographs, 1992–2006, is accompanied by a new catalogue devoted to works purchased with funds from the Alfred and Ingrid Lenz Harrison Fund at the MIA. With an introduction by Carroll T. Hartwell, curator of photographs at the MIA, the catalogue serves as a permanent record of this special Grand Opening exhibition at the expanded and renovated MIA, while also highlighting fifty-two of the museum’s most outstanding photographic prints.

History of the Department of Photographs
The MIA’s Department of Photographs has grown to include approximately 10,000 fine historic and contemporary photographs that cover the history and art of the medium from 1839 to the present. Begun in 1973, the Institute’s collection of photographs represents more than nine hundred photographers. It consists of primarily twentieth-century American work, with increasing emphasis on photographs from all countries providing new scope and dimension. Some highlights of the collection include Richard Avedon’s Marilyn Monroe (1957), Alfred Stieglitz’s The Steerage (1907), Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother (1936), Ansel Adams’s El Capitan, Sunrise (1956), Edward Steichen’s La Duchesse de Gramont, Paris (1924), Margaret Bourke White’s Terminal Tower, Cleveland (1928), Weegee’s Tenement Fire, Harlem (1942), Berenice Abbott’s New York at Night (1934), and work by Jean-Eugène-Auguste Atget.

About the Minneapolis Institute of Art
The Minneapolis Institute of Art, home to one of the top ten encyclopedia art collections in the country, houses nearly 100,000 works of art representing more than 5,000 years of world history. General admission is always free. Some special exhibitions have a nominal admission fee. Museum hours: Sunday, 11 a.m–5 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m.–9 p.m.; Closed Monday. For additional information, call (612) 870-3131 or visit www.artsmia.org.
# # #