The Mills College Art Museum has been an important center for photography since the early 1930s, a particularly rich period of photographic development in the Bay Area. The Museum’s collection contains works by many of the preeminent San Francisco-based photographers of the time, such as John Gutmann, Ansel Adams, and in particular, Imogen Cunningham, whose images capture the campus and student life at Mills College.
From vintage prints to contemporary images, the Museum continues to exhibit and collect works that epitomize photographic processes and experimentation. Featuring pieces by approximately 30 artists, In Focus offers a snapshot of the Museum’s unique photographic holdings. Works range from images by pivotal photographers such as Edward Weston and Tina Modotti, to examples by artists better known as painters such as René Magritte and Arthur Wesley Dow, to contemporary artists such as Olafur Eliasson and John Baldessari, where photography is just one element of their multi-faceted artistic practices.
Artists in the exhibition include Bernice Abbott, Ansel Adams, John Baldessari, Erwin Blumenfeld, Wynn Bullock, Paul Cadmus, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Barbara Crane, Imogen Cunningham, Jay DeFeo, Arthur Wesley Dow, Olafur Eliasson, John Gutmann, René Magritte, Tina Modotti, Roi Partridge, Wilbur Porterfield, Catherine Opie, Gary Prather, Man Ray, Frederick Sommer, Alec Soth, Joel Sternfeld, Aaron Suskind, Catherine Wagner, Carrie Mae Weems, Edward Weston, Minor White, Catherine Yass, and Nina Zurier.