Color Rush: 75 Years Of Color Photography

By the time color photography came into the public spotlight, black and white images had already become rooted in our daily lives. The black and white photo actually seemed more “real” than a world published in color. Although color was something photographers had dreamed of from the beginning, color photography itself was not welcomed with open arms. In fact, it was looked down upon by many professional photographic artists, seen as something limited to amateurs and commercial usage.

Ansel Adams once stated he could gain “a far greater sense of ‘color’ through a well-planned and executed black and white image than ever achieved with color photography”. Adams, father of the Zone System, was a master of the black and white photograph. While not acquiring the same level of notoriety for his color work, Adams did spend some time exploring the world of color.

In our modern society, color photography dominates our perception of the world around us. While many professional photographers still recognize the value of the photographic black and white, the general acceptance seems to be limited primarily to cell phone novelties and social media postings.

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Color Rush: 75 Years Of Color Photography In America covers the evolution of color through the first seven decades of the 20th century. The exhibition charts the history of color photography in the United States from 1907 to 1981. Through framed photographs, publications, slide shows and film clips, the Color Rush exhibition presents the story of color photography in America and shows us how we got to where we are today.

Among the artists represented in the exhibition: Ansel Adams, Harry Callahan, William Eggleston, Walker Evans, Nan Goldin, Jan Groover, Barbara Kasten, Saul Leiter, Susan Meiselas, Joel Meyerowitz, László Moholy-Nagy, Nickolas Muray, Paul Outerbridge, Eliot Porter, Cindy Sherman, Stephen Shore, Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, Joel Sternfeld, and Edward Weston.

The Color Rush: 75 Years Of Color Photography exhibition can be found at the Milwaukee Art Museum February 22–May 19, 2013.

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