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Adolf de Meyer Photographs at the Met

Adolf de Meyer Photographs at the Met

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I was found myself in New York City for the Christmas holiday. I wandered over to the Met to see the Michelangelo exhibit, but it was so crowded I couldn’t get close to any of the work. Disappointed, I meandered through the museum and stumbled upon this photography exhibit by Adolf de Meyer.

de Meyer was a Baron and kept company with the privileged European elite. He photographed the wealthy and enjoyed travel to exotic locations. Ever the dandy, he documented the fashion of the times for magazines and ballet productions.

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de Meyer was an explorer of color photography in its infancy, 1907. There are two color images in this exhibit, which are included in the highlights I have here for you to view. Unfortunately, the glass had a lot of glare on it, so all the images I photographed have light spots and reflections of the walls or people passing through the galleries.

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He also photographed nature and any landscapes that caught his eye.

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Here is an excerpt from the Met website explaining the show:

A member of the “international set” in fin-de-siècle Europe, Baron Adolf de Meyer (1868–1946) was also a pioneering photographer, known for creating works that transformed reality into a beautiful fantasy. Quicksilver Brilliance is the first museum exhibition devoted to the artist in more than 20 years and the first ever at The Met. Some 40 works, drawn entirely from The Met collection, demonstrate the impressive breadth of his career.

The exhibition includes dazzling portraits of well-known figures of his time: the American socialite Rita de Acosta Lydig; art patron and designer Count Étienne de Beaumont; aristocrat and society hostess Lady Ottoline Morrell; and celebrated entertainer Josephine Baker, among others. A highlight of the presentation is an exceptional book—one of only seven known copies—documenting Nijinsky’s scandalous 1912 ballet L’Après-midi d’un faune. This rare album represents de Meyer’s great success in capturing the movement and choreography of dance, a breakthrough in the history of photography. Also on view are the artist’s early snapshots made in Japan, experiments with color processes, and inventive fashion photographs.

This exhibit runs through March 18, 2018 at the 5th Ave Met.

 

 

 

 

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Generous Billion Dollar Gift From Leonard Lauder To MET

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Woman in an Armchair (Eva) by Picasso

Woman in an Armchair (Eva) by Picasso

Cosmetics billionaire, Leonard A. Lauder has promised his Cubist collection worth over $1,000,000,000 to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The collection includes paintings, sculptures, and drawings of the titans of cubism: Picasso, Braque, Gris, and Leger. Thomas P. Campbell, the Met’s director, says “It is an unreproducible collection, something museum directors only dream about.”

Leonard Lauder and his brother Ronald are heavy hitters in the NY art collecting world. According to the NY Times, Leonard Lauder says of his collection “You can’t put together a good collection unless you are focused, disciplined, tenacious and willing to pay more than you can possibly afford,” Mr. Lauder said. “Early on I decided this should be formed as a museum collection,” and “whenever I considered buying anything, I would step back and ask myself, does this make the cut?”

The MET is planning an exhibition of the collection in the fall of 2014.

Leonard Lauder in 2012

 

 

The MET To Exhibit “Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop”

Faking It – book

The approximately 200 photos taken between the 1840’s and 1990’s. in the exhibition have all been manipulated with different techniques. Multiple exposures from negatives, combination printing, photomontage, overpainting, and retouching are all represented.

The exhibition is divided into seven sections, Picture Perfect, Artifice in the Name of Art, Politics and Persuasion, Novelties and Amusements, Pictures in Print, Mind’s Eye, and Protoshop. Some of the artists included are favorites of all of us: Gustave Le Gray, Carleton E. Watkins, Edward Steichen, F. Holland Day, Maurice Tabard, Dora Maar, John BladessariDuane Michals.

I am always amazed when I think of the endless hours photographers (including myself) use to spend to manipulate our images. Now contemporary software programs are so sophisticated, we achieve them within a couple of computer clicks. I urge the young photographers out there who have never worked in a darkroom to visit this exhibit and see where your photo ancestry comes from.

A fully illustrated hard cover catalog is available through the MET’s bookstore for $60.

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