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Creative Continuum: The History of the Center for Creative Photography

The Center for Creative Photography’s current exhibition Creative Continuum: The History of the Center for Creative Photography, will be on view at the Center for Creative Photography from August 20 – November 27, 2011.

In 2010, the Center for Creative Photography celebrated its thirty‐fifth anniversary which posed an opportunity to look back on past accomplishments and celebrate recent activities. Creative Continuum presents a variety of photographs and archival objects acquired by the Center for Creative Photography over the past 36 years, demonstrating the diversity of the collection and the range of materials it preserves.

“In the last 36 years, The Center for Creative Photography has acquired more archives and individual works by 20th century North American photographers than any other museum in the nation,” commented Rebecca Senf, Curator of Photography, Center for Creative Photography. “For Creative Continuum we’ve paired photographs by the Center’s founders with more recent acquisitions to demonstrate the depth, breadth and diversity of the holdings in this everexpanding, world‐class collection.”

The exhibition highlights the work of the five founding archive artists –Ansel Adams, Wynn Bullock, Harry Callahan, Aaron Siskind, and Frederick Sommer. The Center opened in 1975 with an exhibition of these five founders, and the current presentation of their work shows where the Center started and how these core collections provided a foundation on which the institution’s broader holdings could be built.

Organized by the decade of acquisition, Creative Continuum features works by Richard Avedon, Andy Warhol, Lola Alvarez Bravo, Louis Carlos Bernal, Tseng Kwong Chi, Imogen Cunningham, Louise Dahl‐Wolfe, Roy DeCarava, and Edward Weston. The exhibition has been expanded from its original presentation at the Phoenix Art Museum with the addition of nearly 40 works acquired in 2010. This group of new acquisitions represents just a small fraction of the more than 1000 photographs that entered the Center’s collection in 2010.

In addition, Creative Continuum includes 34 rare archival objects from the vault, demonstrating the types of materials that researchers regularly consult during visits to the Center for Creative Photography. The exhibition also features a sampling from the Center’s Voices of Photography video oral history project. Voices of Photography includes hundreds of interviews with photographers, historians, curators and other members of the field and provides a rich resource to photographic scholars.

“Adams wanted to build an institution to preserve his archive and to present his work within the ‘creative continuum’ of great photographers who had preceded him and would follow him. His vision was to create a special place that would promote discussion, exhibition and study of the art form he championed,” said Senf. “This exhibition illustrates the success of the Center and shows what a vibrant and active institution it is. I think Adams would be very proud.”

Release date: 
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Press images: 
[seated in doorway, hands clasped around knee, head bent to other knee]
Edward Weston Archive/ Gift of the Heirs of Edward Weston
Press release: