Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A gem of a show - Accidental Mysteries at NMU

From Random Camera Blog

Last weekend Adrienne and I drove up to Marquette to visit our daughter Marjorie, now a junior in the Art & Design School at NMU. We did a lot of driving around and a lot of photography, which I'll discuss in another post. Marjorie told me about the new exhibit at the DeVos Art Museum at NMU, titled "Accidental Mysteries." It's one well-done show on "vernacular photography." Many of the images were very memorable, some quite equal to something we might expect from some famous photographers. However, all of these were shot by unknown photographers from the past, when simple box and folding cameras produced the majority of images by the masses. Some of the images have been digitally enlarged - to stunning effect. The show write-up from NMU states:
"Accidental Mysteries, originally exhibited at the Sheldon Art Galleries in St. Louis, Missouri in 2005, is a unique collection of found photographs collected by John and Teenuh Foster. Over ninety images are on display in the exhibition, selected from a collection of hundreds, found over the years in flea markets, antique shops and auctions."

For collectors of snapshots, the photos presented are real gems. Many exhibited a degree of forethought that separates them from the run-of-the snapshot in an old family album. Well-mounted and displayed, the images in the exhibit were a delight to pore over. I found myself laughing and sometimes amazed at some of the details in the photos that gave me an appreciation for the labor it took to choose the images for the exhibit.
From Random Camera Blog

Vernacular photography is an interesting concept from the art world. I'm not sure I can come up with a better term at the moment, but the exhibit, which runs until November 15 is worth seeing if you are going to be anywhere in the Upper Peninsula. Northern Michigan University is a fine school, and the DeVos Art Museum is a gem for sure. The museum has featured a number of excellent exhibits, and though it may be small, the exhibits are wonderfully curated. The Accidental Mysteries exhibit is one that I'd love to see in the Ann Arbor area!

From Random Camera Blog

DeVos Art Museum
Northern Michigan University
1401 Presque Isle Ave.
Marquette, MI 49855

The DeVos Art Museum is open every day, but check their web site for specific times.

Also, check out the Accidental Mysteries Web Site!


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good day trip. I'll try to figure a way to see it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Mark! Very interesting. I would love to see this photo exhibit and will certainly try. -Marc

Melissa said...

Hi Mark -
Just wanted to say thanks for your kind words and write up on the show, glad that you enjoyed it!

The exhibition is traveling and has a wonderful website with many more of John and Teenuh's great photos: http://www.accidentalmysteries.com/

(Director/Curator at the DeVos)