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San Jose Museum of Art

Exhibition Detail
The Modern Photographer: Observation and Intention
Curated by: Jodi Throckmorton
110 South Market St.
San Jose, CA 95113

October 1st, 2010 - July 3rd, 2011
Lifesavers, Ruth BernhardRuth Bernhard, Lifesavers,
1930, Gelatin silver print
Peninsula/South Bay
Tue-Sun 11-5; Closed Monday, and all Monday holidays
photography, modern
$8 adults ($5 students and seniors, free to members and children under 6)
The San Jose Museum of Art will explore the role of the photographer as a purposeful observer and editor of everyday experience in an exhibition that opens October 1, 2010. The Modern Photographer: Observation and Intention will feature some 50 photographs and photogravures by notable photographers of the first half of the 20th century, including Ruth Bernhard, Walker Evans, John Gutmann, Dorothea Lange, André Kertész, P.H. Polk, Peter Stackpole, Edward Steichen, Alfred Stieglitz, Paul Strand, Edward Weston, Weegee, and other artists. Drawn from the Museum’s permanent collection, the exhibition emphasizes the ability of the photographer to both craft and chronicle reality.

“These photographers believed in the utmost importance of detailed observation,” said Jodi Throckmorton, assistant curator at the San Jose Museum of Art. “Regardless, their photographs are carefully orchestrated and highly subjective, influenced by the photographer’s particular vision and consciousness.”

The images on view range from abstract still-lifes, such as Paul Strand’s Wire Wheel, New York (1920) or Ruth Bernhard’s Lifesavers (1930), to documentary images of Depression-era life, be it the desolate dust bowl farms of Arthur Rothstein or the San Francisco streets of John Gutmann. 

The Modern Photographer will be on view October 1, 2010, through July 3, 2011.


The San Jose Museum of Art is located at 110 South Market Street in downtown San Jose, California. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for students and senior citizens, and free to members and children under 6. For more information, call 408-271-2787 or visit

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