Friday, November 25, 2011

The Solemnity of Shadows: Juan Laurent's Vision of Spain

Where: National Gallery of Art, East Building

When: through December 30, 2011

Yet another exhibit at the Gallery's library - one of my favorite places to see a show.  So quiet and peaceful - I only wish my library were like that!  This show features 19th century Spanish photography, a topic of which I was heretofore ignorant.

Juan Laurent was a very famous photographer, and took many pictures of public works.  He also photographed many art museum collections, which is an interesting thought.  It would be a way to keep track of what you owned, in case of fire or theft.  Eventually, he became a businessman and sold photographic cartes de visites.  His black and white prints are now brown with age, and I'm glad I was able to see them before they can no longer be put on display.  Some of his prints show buildings with an Islamic art influence; I was reminded of the Islamic influence on Spanish culture (who says a college education is a waste!?!).

Verdict: I always recommend shows at the Gallery's library, if for no other reason than I like to think that whoever went to the trouble of putting it up would be made happy by seeing people look at their display.  It's also a wonderful way to get away from the hustle and bustle of the Gallery, which is well worth the trip.

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