Photography in Memphis is both a celebration of and a reckoning with the history of the city through the work of 56 photographers. Spanning 1849 to today, the images capture places you’ve been, the people you know or wish you knew, and the events you experienced or were sorry you missed. Co-curated by chief curator Marina Pacini and Ciara Fisk, Studio Institute Summer Arts Intern, the exhibition includes artistic, documentary, and journalistic approaches to the medium. Organized thematically—portraiture, landscape, still life, daily life, and politics—many of the photographs straddle several subjects, which speaks to the fact that they often have a dual or complicated nature.
Commemorating the city’s bicentennial and acknowledging the depth of talent inspired by or nurtured in Memphis,the exhibition presents 41 works from the museum’s permanent collection by 26 artists—including the internationally recognized William Eggleston, Ernest C. Withers, and William Christenberry—alongside 62 works by 30 artists who live in, have left, or visited Memphis. Their images captivate, mobilize, and humanize viewers while reminding us of what makes us the same, what divides us, or how both can be possible in a single photograph.
American, b. 1958
Ed Harris from the Drummer Portrait Series, 2017
Digital photograph, Gicleé print
Collection of the artist © David Horan