Familiarize yourself with the photography of Paul Strand, then go see the exhibition at The Philadelphia Museum of Art

By Joshua Albert

The work of Modernist photographer who many call one of the fathers of photography, Paul Strand, can now be seenn in the newest exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art through January 4th.

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This exhibition is the first retrospective of Strand’s work since an exhibition in 1970s also at the Philadelphia Museum of Art which, a two-volume monograph from the years 1915-1968, which was published by Aperture. In 1980, Strand’s estate donated around 500 prints from that exhibition to the Museum. Since 2009, the Museum’s dedicated itself to acquiring almost 4,000 more prints and other items, making The Paul Strand Collection at the PMA the largest Strand collection in the world.

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From the PMA website:

“This exhibition includes approximately 250 of Strand’s finest prints, selected primarily from the Museum’s holdings, with important early prints from public and private collections. The wide range of imagery highlights how Strand radically changed his work at several key moments in an effort to identify photography’s pivotal role as a means of understanding and describing the modern world. The exhibition also features works by fellow artists from the Alfred Stieglitz circle (Georgia O’Keeffe, John Marin, and Arthur Dove), screenings of Strand’s films, and a selection of archival materials.”

Strand was also  a filmmaker. He made Manhatta, with Charles Sheeler, a short film inspired by Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass.

If you would like to know more about Strand and his work, check out this hour long documentary, Under the Dark Cloth,  available for free on Youtube ( it’s broken down into 6 parts).

Also, watch Philadelphia photojournalist David Maialetti talk about Paul Strand’s Portrait of an Italian Village. One of Strand’s most iconic photos that can be seen above.

For more information about ticketing and the exhibition check out the PMA website.

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