Drawn from the artist’s master sets, now held in their entirety at the Yale University Art Gallery, this exhibition features a selection of approximately 160 photographs by Donald Blumberg made over the last six decades. In the 1960s, Blumberg began to focus his attention—as both an artist and a citizen—on the Vietnam War, the civil rights movement, and other political and cultural issues that remain relevant today. He scrutinized the manner in which this subject matter was being conveyed to mass audiences via media outlets such as newspapers and television, photographing not the events themselves but the media’s coverage of them. The exhibition draws on this body of work as well as a number of the other poetic and thought-provoking series Blumberg has undertaken during his career, in which he fixes in time a variety of subject matter—from historical events to simple moments of humanity, from urban scenes to soap operas—through innovative uses of his camera, film, and darkroom-printing techniques. Few contemporary artists have so well demonstrated how profoundly photography is both independent from and inextricably woven into our daily experience, and how it now constantly beckons for our attention in all manner of ways and at all times of the day and night.
Exhibition organized by La Tanya Autry, the Marcia Brady Tucker Fellow, Department of Modern and Contemporary Art, and Jock Reynolds, the Henry J. Heinz II Director, both of the Yale University Art Gallery. Made possible by Eliot Nolen, B.A. 1984, and Timothy P. Bradley, B.A. 1983; Professor and Mrs. Robinson A. Grover, B.A. 1958, M.S.L. 1975; the Samuel Freeman Charitable Trust; the Janet and Simeon Braguin Fund; the Cathy M. Kaplan, B.A. 1974, Photography Endowment Fund; the James Maloney ‘72 Fund for Photography; and the Nitkin Family Fund for Photography.