Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center announces a new photography gallery

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Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center announces a new photography gallery
Martine Gutierrez, Girl Friends (Anita & Marie 2), 2014. Archival inkjet print on Arches Baryta mounted on Sintra, Collection Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Purchase, Advisory Council for Photography © Martine Gutierrez; Courtesy of the artist and RYAN LEE, New York.

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY.- The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College announced the establishment of the Hoene Hoy Photography Gallery thanks to a recent endowment given to the Art Center by Anne Hoene Hoy, Vassar alumna in the class of 1963, in honor of her mother, class of 1930, and sister, class of 1966.

Hoy, a former curator at the International Center of Photography, is the author of The Book of Photography: The History, the Technique, the Art, the Future and Fabrications: Staged, Altered and Appropriated Photographs, among other books, and has taught the histories of photography, modern and contemporary art, and graphic design at New York University since 1995. She is also a long-time member of the Art Center’s Advisory Council for Photography, which underwrites photography acquisitions with its annual donation and will celebrate its 20th year in 2018.

“I’m thrilled by the opening of the new Photography Gallery, which calls attention to the Art Center’s rich holdings in the medium. It began collecting well before most major museums, not to speak of colleges. And through this dedicated space it will, I hope, broaden and deepen existing interest in camera images of all kinds among students, faculty, and public,” says Hoy.

“Vassar and its art museum continue to grow and thrive thanks to committed alumni like Anne Hoy. Her endowment will permit us to maintain a level of quality within the program that is essential in keeping the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at the forefront of college and university art museums,” says James Mundy, the Anne Hendricks Bass Director of the Art Center.

The Art Center’s permanent collection contains more than 4,000 examples of analog and digital photography, film, and video, ranging from 19th-century works by pioneering practitioners, to icons of fine art photography by 20th-century leaders, to cutting-edge contemporary photographs and videos made in this century. Mary-Kay Lombino, the Emily Hargroves Fisher '57 and Richard B. Fisher Curator and Assistant Director for Strategic Planning, says strengths in the collection include portraiture and street photography.

“Vassar made an early commitment to collecting photography in 1973 by dedicating a major gift from the Charles E. Merrill Trust to a purchase of two hundred photographs by living American artists, which helped form a strong foundation on which to build.” explains Lombino, “Today, photography is one of the fastest growing areas of the collection and we continue to diversify our holdings, with recent additions by international artists and artists of color, as well as of vernacular photography, daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, and documentary images. This generous endowment ensures that our exhibition program will continue to thrive and works from the photography collection will always be on view in the Art Center. ”

The inaugural exhibition in the Hoene Hoy Gallery suggests the collection’s range, including representation and abstraction in black-and-white and color prints, and its responsiveness to contemporary photography. The exhibition features seven recently acquired prints by Martine Gutierrez’s whose Girl Friends series explores identity and the fluidity of relationships and gender roles. In these compelling images, Gutierrez employs mannequins as her counterparts as she explores diverse narratives. Also on view is Clubbing, a video by Gutierrez for which the artist takes on six different roles presented as a metaphor for her own personal transformation.

Also acquired with the Photography Council’s support are works by the established photographer Marie Cosindas and the emerging talent Klea McKenna. On view for the first time is one of two large abstract compositions by experimental photographer Ellen Carey, given to the Art Center this year by the mid-career artist.

The Hoene Hoy Endowment will also help to fund a major exhibition of photography at the Art Center each year. The first special exhibition to benefit from the fund, Other People’s Pictures: Snapshots from the Peter J. Cohen Gift, will be on view from July 14 through September 17, 2017, in the Temporary Exhibition galleries. The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication. In 2018, the Art Center will present an exhibition of photography and prints by Andy Warhol.

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