Photography = New England’s greatest art?
The other day I argued that “Photography has been New England’s greatest contribution to art of the past century” and included a list of names: Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind at RISD; Gregory Crewdson in western Massachusetts and Joel Meyerowitz on Cape Cod; Eliot Porter in Maine; Harold “Doc” Edgerton, Berenice Abbott, Nan Goldin, and Nicholas Nixon in Boston.
In a comment to my post, George Fifield suggested adding two more names: “Minor White, who though he moved around the country often, spent the last ten years of his life teaching at MIT and had a profound impact here. And someone, who, though he will not be remembered for his photography, certainly belongs in any who's who of the medium: Edwin H. Land.”
George is absolutely right.
I didn’t mean for my list to be a comprehensive list, just a sampling. But since we’re on the subject …
A major starting place for this topic is the DeCordova’s 2000 exhibition – and accompanying catalogue – “Photography in Boston: 1955-1985.” Then I’d add former Photographic Resource Center curator Leslie K. Brown’s insight that this region represents a sort of photography triangle between Boston, Providence and Rochester, New York.
To keep building a list of New England photography folks you might add: Abelardo Morell, Frank Gohlke, Laura McPhee, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, the Starn Twins, Henry Horenstein, Gregory Kepes, Jules Aarons, Elsa Dorfman, Bradford Washburn, Eugene Richards, and Nan Goldin's "Boston School" associates David Armstrong, Mark Morrisroe, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, and Shellburne Thurber.
Whom would you add and why?
Pictured above: Minor White, “Vassar Street, Vicinty MIT Campus,” 1974.