EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


April 1, 2010

Exhibit features work of Walker Evans and other photographers specializing in capturing our culture's condition

Exhibit features work of Walker Evans and other photographers specializing in capturing our culture's condition

NORTH ANDOVER — His photos hang in some of the world's most celebrated venues, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

His images evoke the poverty and destitution of The Great Depression.

And now, the celebrated work of Walker Evans finds its way to the Robert Lehman Art Center at Brooks School in the exhibit, "On the Road: A Legacy of Walker Evans." The exhibition is open to the public April 2 through June 12.

In addition to 24 Evans photographs from the collection of the Robert Lehman Art Center, the exhibit will feature another 40 photographs from 22 well-known artists who have been equally enthralled with life found along American's back roads and major highways.

"The example of Walker Evans endures because of his belief in the power of straight photography and the objective stance. In spite of their apparent detachment, these artists are essentially storytellers," curator Belinda Rathbone writes in the exhibit's accompanying catalogue.

"American photographers have matched the expressions of novelists, filmmakers and songwriters in the classic American subject of the road trip as a voyage of discovery," she said.

Lehman Center Director Marie Costello approached Rathbone, whose brother, niece and nephew all are Brooks alums, about curating such an exhibit several years ago. Costello had read Rathbone's, "Walker Evans: A Biography" (Houghton Mifflin, 1995).

The collaboration resulted in an engrossing exhibition of 21st century photographers exposing numerous aspects of our society through the American landscape.

Springtime curriculum within Brooks' English and History departments will tie into the exhibit, as well as inspire countless photography students on and off campus. The exhibit crisscrosses this country, exposing much of America's true identity found on the road, instead of online.

"In the years to come, will the information highway take the place of the real highway? Will the instinct to explore and discover the material culture, together with the element of chance encounters, diminish with the spread of virtual reality?" Rathbone questioned. "With this exhibition we invite a new generation to assess the interest and durability of the concept 'On the Road' for themselves."

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Photos of the Week