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For Immediate Release: August 10, 2005

Exhibition Contact: Tammy Pleshek, P.R. Specialist, (612) 870-3171
Additional Media Contacts: Lynette Nyman, P.R. Manager, (612) 870-3173;
Anne-Marie Wagener, Director of External Affairs, (612) 870-3280

Print Quality Images Available Online:


SEPTEMBER 10, 2005—JANUARY 22, 2006

Minneapolis–The Minneapolis Institute of Art presents the beautiful and poetic landscape photographs of William B. Post (1857-1921) in a new exhibition “The Quiet Landscapes of William B. Post.” Organized by the Institute, the show comprises a master set of fifty-nine vintage platinum prints, which is the most comprehensive collection of this artist’s work in any museum. From September 10, 2005 through January 22, 2006, visitors of the Institute will have the opportunity to view the first solo exhibition of Post’s photographs assembled in more than a century. After its Minneapolis premier, the exhibition will travel to several locations including museums in Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Utah, and Washington.

Residing for most of his life in rural Maine, Post made his surrounding landscape the primary subject for his photographs. His deep love of the natural world contained a strong spiritual element that he eloquently conveyed through his subtle platinum prints. He sensitively photographed apple trees bursting into blossom in a beautiful simplified style that drew comparisons to Japanese paintings. But it was the photographing of glistening growths of water lilies and wide expanses of snow that he was most drawn to and best known for. By softening the focus and carefully composing his subjects, Post captured images of water lilies that were atmospheric and almost abstract.
In 1899 Post produced his most important picture, Intervale, Winter, which was widely exhibited and reproduced. Post employed a radical composition and subtle tonalities to virtuoso effect. He boldly placed the horizon line in the frame, filling the foreground and middle distance with a large expanse of flat and empty open space. The picture contains few tonal values and scant subject matter but abounds in suggestion and symbolism. It reveals Post’s skill in evoking the sensation of nature, rather than documenting a particular place.

Post photographed from the mid-1880s through the 1910s, a period when serious amateur photographers first pursued photography as an artistic outlet. He embraced “pictorialism,” a style that featured simple compositions, soft-focus effects, and highly refined printmaking methods. Pictorialists were more concerned with the aesthetic and the emotional impact of the images rather than the actual scene. Alfred Stieglitz, one of America’s leading proponent and practitioner of artistic photography, was so impressed with Post’s work that he promoted his work for fifteen years. Stieglitz published Post’s images in his publication of fine photography, Camera Work, and included them in important exhibitions.

“The Quiet Landscapes of William B. Post” is on view from September 10, 2005 – January 22, 2006 and admission is free.

A 100-page catalog written by Christian A. Peterson, curator of the exhibition and associate curator at The Minneapolis Institute of Art, accompanies the show. The catalog includes more than forty reproductions and is the first in-depth study of Post’s art and career. It is available in the museum shop for $29.95.

The Department of Photographs’ permanent collection has grown to include approximately 9,000 fine historic and contemporary photographs that document the history of the medium from 1836 to the present. The newly expanded photography study room will open on June 11, 2006.

Related Public Program
Season’s End, Once Again Family Day
Sunday, September 18, 2005, 11:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M., free.

Paint a tree for each of the four seasons. Take a tour through the museum and discover works of art that depict your favorite season. Make a picture of a watery or snowy landscape and learn how to create the illusion of the elements’ reflective qualities. Experience the changing of the seasons by viewing the landscape photographs of William B. Post, on view in Harrison Photography Gallery.

Tour Venues
Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, Iowa, February 17–May 21, 2006
Portland Museum of Art, Maine, June 3–August 27, 2006
Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio, September 16, 2006–January 14, 2007
Brigham Young University Museum of Art, Utah, February 3–May 28, 2007
Tacoma Art Museum, Washington, June 23–September 16, 2007

Ranked among the top ten comprehensive U.S. art museums, The Minneapolis Institute of Art is dedicated to bringing art to life for everyone. Located in a beautiful landmark building near downtown Minneapolis, the museum houses approximately 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. Please allow plenty of time to park, as construction of our exciting expansion project is under way. For additional information, call (612) 870-3131 or visit