Friday, August 19, 2005


The University of Michigan's Museum of Art is currently showing about 20 images from Monte Nagler, an accomplished large-format photographer. It's showcasing his newest book, published by the UM Press - Monte Nagler's Michigan ( here). The black and white photographs are mostly landscapes, and true to his Ansel Adams background, only one has a person in it. However, this is Monte Nagler's Michigan -- not mine or yours. His photos are beautiful, and as an admirer of his work, I would love to have any of them hanging on my wall -- especially the one of the inside of the Capitol dome in Lansing.

I met Mr. Nagler about 5 years ago at an event in Ann Arbor. He's easy to talk to, and at that time, I was just getting back into photography and taking it seriously. It's good to see that someone can make a mid-life career change like he did, and be successful at it. Unlike a lot of photographers schooled by Ansel Adams, Monte has focused on areas other than the Western US. His landscape work is wide-ranging, and very popular. His Michigan is presented in such a way that you know he loves his home state, and we are lucky to have a person of his caliber recognized by the Governor as a "state treasure."

The images at the UMMA are downstairs in what is called the "Paper Gallery" I call it the purgatory gallery because it's dimly lit, and is really just a hallway past the bathrooms and leads into office spaces. They usually have photo exhibits down there, unless it's a major showing on the second floor, like they did with Manuel Alvarez Bravo a few years ago. Hopefully, when the UMMA gets their addition, photography will be displayed more prominently there.


ronin1516 said...

I would agree with your calling the Paper Gallery the Purgatory Gallery. It is just a poorly designed space, and I wonder why t he UMMA folks didnot display Monte's work somewhere upstairs.

mfophotos said...

Thanks, I am glad I am not the only one that thinks the UMMA basement stinks as a gallery.