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Grant Mudford, Renee Petropoulos, 1989. Gelatin silver print. SBMA, Museum purchase with funds provided by the Challenge Fund.
New Faces of the Collection
May 28 - September 18, 2011

American Essayist Oliver Wendell Holmes hailed photography as "the mirror with a memory." Certainly, portrait photography presents us with a mirrored likeness. Yet, portraits reveal more than the physiognomy of the sitter; like a mirror, they invite us to reflect on ourselves. New Faces celebrates the range of themes, styles and approaches to the contemporary photographic portrait while exploring the introspective nature of portraiture. Rather than presenting the viewer with the facts about a person, these portraits provoke inquiry and engage the viewer in a dialogue. What can we know from a portrait? What do we read into a portrait?

This exhibition will feature 27 photographs, including Grant Mudford's unique series of gelatin silver prints. Mudford's larger-than-life prints, made in the late 1980s, offer an unvarnished look at the Southern California artists who were his friends. Like passport photographs, with the subject placed against a white background and in harsh light, they seem to reveal both everything and nothing.

The diverse works of portraiture chosen for this exhibition are some of the newest additions to the Museum's photographic collection – a collection that spans centuries, styles, and continents. In our anniversary year, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art is proud to reflect on its collection and its accomplishments. Made possible by legendary founders, community leaders, gifted connoisseurs, and artists, the SBMA has demonstrated a seventy year commitment to igniting the imagination, stimulating thought, and generating rewarding experiences through art.

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Pop-Up Community Portrait Studio - May 29, 2011

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