EXHIBITION ON VIEW
Face to Face: Portrait Photography from the Bank of America Collection
Face to Face: Portrait Photography provides a look at photographic portraiture through the lens of 56 different photographers, numerous photographic processes and a span of more than 160 years. The Bank of America Collection includes critically acclaimed photographs from the historic LaSalle Bank Photography Collection, which originated in 1967 when curator and photo historian Beaumont Newhall was hired by the bank to begin a corporate art collection. The result of his efforts, and those of subsequent curators, is a collection that spans the history of the photographic medium from 1839 to the present. Drawn from this collection, the works in Face to Face display the rich diversity of artistic styles and processes, used to record and express unique approaches to photographic portraiture.
Portraits speak to us in ways that other photographs do not. They help us visualize people from a time gone by or from distant cultures, and provide great insight into individuals as seen through the lens of the photographer. Face to Face looks at the idea of portraiture from the unique, single image of the daguerreotype (the first permanent photographic process) to the serial portraits of photographers Nicholas Nixon and Rineke Dijkstra, who follow their sitters over extended periods of time. Face to Face challenges any single definition of portraiture we may hold. It is an exhibition where each of us can find unique connections and personal meaning, allowing a better understanding of how photographic portraits can tell far more than just the story of a sitter. They connect us to a larger sense of the human condition.
Arranged chronologically, the exhibition features the works of early photographers such as Matthew Brady, Julia Margaret Cameron and Roger Fenton; Modernist masters such as Brassaï, Manuel Alvarez Bravo and Walker Evans; postwar artists such as Diane Arbus, Henry Clay Anderson and Yousuf Karsh; and contemporary artists Hellen van Meene, Tina Barney and Ben Gest.