Photographic Memory: Civil War Photographs Selected from UMBC’s Photography Collections

Unknown Photographer
[Collage celebrating the 74th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry]
Ship Island, Mississippi, c. 1864
Albumen prints, ink on paper

April 9 – May 31, 2012

The American Civil War coincided with the early years of photography, and the images captured by the early practitioners of this art have helped to shape the memories of this central historical event. Technological limitations, artistic aspirations and societal expectations strongly impacted the images produced by photographers “documenting” the events of the Civil War. This exhibition will explore the art and artifice of Civil War photography, while revealing something about why each of the selected 81 images was produced.

Timothy O’Sullivan
Fredericksburg Battlefield
Frederickburg, Virginia, 1862
Albumen print
David Knox / Alexander Gardner
Incidents of War: A Fancy Group
Petersburg, Virginia, August, 1864
Albumen print

Public Program

4:00 pm
April 17, 2012

Myth, Memory, & the American Civil War
Anne Sarah Rubin, Associate Professor & Graduate Program Director, Department of History, UMBC

Civil War Photography & Historical Evidence
Tom Beck, Curator, Albin O. Kuhn Gallery, and Affiliate Associate Professor, Department of Visual Arts, UMBC

Reception to follow.
Free & open to the public

Exhibition views

The presentation of this exhibition is supported by an arts program grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support comes from the Friends of the Library & Gallery, the Libby Kuhn Foundation and individual contributions.


Passage on the Underground Railroad

Woman walking toward the Atlantic Ocean with period illustrations from 1850 and 1875, 2006, digital photomontage.

January 29 – March 22, 2012

The Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery presents Passage on the Underground Railroad, artwork by Stephen Marc, organized by the University at Buffalo Art Galleries, Buffalo, New York, and curated by Sandra H. Olsen.

Stephen Marc’s fascinating photographs and digital montages explore the history of freedom seekers on the Underground Railroad. With this body of work, Marc combines contemporary images with historic documents and artifacts to create richly-layered objects that bring the past palpably into the present. For seven years the artist photographed the routes traveled by fugitive slaves in their search for freedom, documenting and interpreting his research along the way. In Passage on the Underground Railroad, Marc shares the results of these explorations through eighty-seven thought-provoking, unconventional, and haunting digital images.

Marc uses two types of photographic composites to reveal the history of the Underground Railroad (UGRR): multiple photographs that describe UGRR sites and metaphorical montages that address the larger horror of slavery. Each UGRR site has a story, so individual sites are portrayed inside and out, using several photographs in combination to create visual tours. The companion montages evocatively interpret the South’s “peculiar institution” from which slaves were fleeing. These multilayered narratives weave together elements from the landscape of slavery—plantation structures, crop fields, waterways, tools of bondage and agriculture, merchant tokens and bank note currency, newspaper articles, and advertisements—along with UGRR site details, antislavery materials, and contemporary cultural references.

Riverboat scene overlooking the Mississippi River, 2006, digital photomontage.

Public Program

4:00 p.m.
Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Passage on the Underground Railroad and the Black Experience within American History

Stephen Marc’s Humanities Forum presentation will place the Underground Railroad composite images into the context of his other bodies of work thereby giving his interpretations of history while focusing on the African American experience.

Sponsored by the Humanities Forum of the Dresher Center for the Humanities and the Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery

Stephen Marc is Professor of Art in the Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts, Arizona State University.


A Legacy of Love: Italian Memorial Sculpture

Photograph by Robert Fichter and Robert Friedus

Monument to Count Massari, sculpted by Giulio Monteverde and Luigi Bolognesi (1877-80)
located in the Cimitero della Certosa, Ferrara, Italy

Photograph c. 2004 Courtesy of the artists

August 31 – December 21, 2011

Dramatic social, political and artistic changes swept across Italy in the 19th and early 20th centuries, finding expression in remarkable funerary sculptures commissioned by the newly affluent middle class. Featured in A Legacy of Love are photographs of memorial sculptures created between 1820 and 1840, and ranging in style from Neoclassicism through ever more astonishing forms of Realism, Symbolism and Art Deco. These sculptures, artifacts of both a personal and a public history, express the values, aspirations, virtues and sins of a rising social and economic class which had attained an unexpected degree of power.

The 62 photographs presented in this exhibition are by renowned photographers and friends Robert Fichter and Robert Freidus. Fichter is noted for his satirical images reflecting on American culture and Freidus is highly respected for his dedication to documenting and advocating for the preservation of Italian funerary sculpture.

Photograph by Robert Fichter and Robert Friedus

Memorial to Tullo Morgagni, sculpted by Guido Micheletti (1921, 1930)
located in the Cimitero Monumentale, Milan, Italy

Photograph c. 2004 Courtesy of the artists
Photograph by Robert Fichter and Robert Friedus

“The Last Kiss,” a Monument to Volonte Vezzoli, sculpted by Emilio Quadrelli (1889)
located in the Cimitero Monumentale, Milan, Italy

Photograph c. 2004Courtesy of the artists

Public Program

4:00 p.m.
Tuesday, November 1

Talks by photographers Robert W. Fichter and Robert Freidus


Sleeping Beauties: Memorial Photographs from the Burns Collection

Child on Father’s Lap, ‘The Last Bond
Tintype, 1/2 plate
c. 1875

April 13 – May 31, 2011

Since the invention of photography, people have taken and used photographs of the deceased to celebrate memories of late loved ones and to mitigate the finality of death. Such images, known as memorial photographs, are special mementos with deep meaning for mourners. From early daguerreotypes to contemporary images, Sleeping Beauties showcases over one hundred examples of memorial photography, revealing the diversity within this photographic practice. Considered individually or together, the images on display in this exhibition encourage contemplation of the ways in which individuals and cultures respond to death.

Victims of the Sinking of the Maine, Arlington Cemetery 
Arlington, Virginia 
Stereo view, 1898 

General Grant’s Funeral Procession
New York 
Stereo view, 1885 

Public Program

April 14
4:00 pm

Talk by Dr. Stanley Burns of The Burns Archive

Installation Views


The Velvet Years: Warhol’s Factory 1965-67

Stephen Shore
Lou Reed, Andy Warhol, 1965-1967
Black and white photograph

August 31 – December 12, 2010

These photographs, taken by Stephen Shore between 1965 and 1967, depict the scene at Andy Warhol’s studio, the Factory. At the time, Warhol was emerging as a prominent visual artist and avant-garde filmmaker and the Factory was populated by a diverse group of musicians, artists, actors, writers and aspiring cultural sophisticates; among them were members of the provocative band the Velvet Underground. Today, Warhol and the Velvet Underground are frequently cited for their importance and influence on artists, musicians, and broader culture and society.

The presentation of this exhibition is supported by an arts program grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency funded by the State of Maryland and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support comes from the Friends of the Library & Gallery, the Libby Kuhn Foundation and individual contributions.

Stephen Shore
Barbara Rubin, filmmaker, Lou Reed, 1965-1967
Black and white photograph
Stephen Shore
Andy Warhol, The Factory, NYC, 1965-1967
Black and white photograph
Stephen Shore
Nico, 1965-1967
Black and white photograph

Installation Views


The Art of Persuasion: Poster Design from 1896 through 2008

Alphonse Mucha
Job, c. 1897
Color lithograph

August 25 – December 13, 2009

The Art of Persuasion​ surveys a century of development in the visual language of posters. Presented in three distinct thematic groups – Pleasure & Leisure, Politics & Propaganda, and Commercial Advertising – this broad selection of posters highlights transformations in the art, culture, and technology of posters. Disseminating vital information through use of diverse visual strategies, poster artists engage the viewer to sell ideas and products.

Many of the posters in the exhibition are widely recognized and have been collected for their historic and cultural significance as well as their aesthetic qualities. Also included are posters identified as emerging landmarks in this ever evolving medium. Selections were drawn fromUMBC’s ​​Special Collections​ as well as public and private collections.

Public Program

7:00 p.m.
Thursday, October 8, 2009

Exhibition Talk​: Poster Design

The discussion will be led by​ ​Nolen Strals and Bruce Willen of Post Typography,​ an award winning design studio based in Baltimore, Maryland. Specializing in graphic design, conceptual typography and custom lettering/illustration, Post Typography’s posters are collected by high school punk rockers and prominent designers alike. A reception will follow.

Exhibition Views

The presentation of this exhibition is supported in part by a General Operating Grant from the Maryland State Arts Council​, an agency funded by the State of Maryland and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support comes from the Friends of the Library & Gallery, the Libby Kuhn Endowment, and private contributors.


Photographs of James L. Amos: Geographic, Illustrative, and Personal

Fish on floor of fishing boat
Arctic Char
c. 1983

January 28 – March 23, 2009

The photographs of James L. Amos are a celebration of art, life, geography and design. They show the connection between human beings and their world, and they revel in color and beauty. Renowned for his career as a National Geographic photographer, Amos’s images also reflect his strong interest in music, his extraordinary technical skills and craftsmanship, and something of his inner terrain.

Man rowing dinghy away from sailboat
Crewmember in yawl boat returns from visit to another skipjack
Chesapeake Bay
Keeping Time, Interlochen National Music Camp
World War One veterans
WWI Drum and Bugle Corps
Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan

Public Program

4:00 p.m.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Artist’s Talk​: James L. Amos

A program of speakers, including Mr. Amos, is planned in cooperation with UMBC’s Department of Geography and Environmental Systems.​​


The Creative Photograph in Archaeology

Goesta Hellner
Erechtheion. Head of a Caryatid, 1970

September 10 – December 10, 2008

The Creative Photograph in Archaeology is an exhibition that brings together for the first time new ways of seeing archaeological sites, monuments and sculpture, from the invention of photography to the present day. The work of influential photographers such as Robertson, Konstantinou, Stillman, Boissonnas, Hege, List, Hellner and Mavrommatis show new tendencies in the representation of antiquities, and suggests a new way of seeing beyond the obvious — and revealing the creative presence of the photographer.

The exhibition is curated by Costis Antoniadis and is organized by Socratis Mavrommatis and the Benaki Museum in Athens, in collaboration with Fairfield University.

Dimitrios Konstantinou
The Arch of Hadrian from the west, ca. 1865
Dimitrios Konstantinou
The Odeion of Herodes Atticus from the southwest, ca. 1865
Wlliam James Stillman
The east pteron of the Parthenon from the south, 1869
Walter Hege
Erechtheion. The porch of the Caryatids, 1928-1929
Goesta Hellner
Kerameikos museum. Grave stele of Eupheros, 1964
Socratis Mavrommatis
Detail of a column drum of the west end of the Parthenon. Cracks made by cannon balls and bullets, 1982

Public Program

4:00 p.m.
October 22
Exhibition Tour led by Dr. Richard Mason, Ancient Studies, UMBC

Installation Views


Paradoxes of Modernism: Selections from the Photography Collections of UMBC

April 14 – June 29, 2008

Dramatic political, social, economic, and technological changes in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries inspired modernization throughout the world. In the arts, the movement called Modernism was one response to those changes, and in retrospect overarching characteristics of this very diverse movement have been identified. A survey of twentieth century images selected from UMBC’s Photography Collections provide evidence not only of those characteristics, but also some of the paradoxes of Modernism. This exhibition will present 75 photographs that will survey Modernism from the 1920s to the 1970s.

Photographs by: Bernice Abbott, Ansel Adams, Manuel Alvarez-Bravo, Jim Amos, Diane Arbus, A. Aubrey Bodine, Brassai, Richard Buswell, Harry Callahan, Michela Caudill, Chim, Imogen Cunningham, Cary Beth Cryor, Robert D’Alesandro, Judy Dater, William Eggleston, Elliot Erwitt, Walker Evans, Jan Faul, Robert Fichter, Eric Fischl, Robert Frank, Roland Freeman, Lee Friedlander, Sally Gall, Ralph Gibson, Mildred Grossman, Heinz Hajek-Halke, Philippe Halsman, Ralph Hattersly, Robert Heinecken, Eikoh Hosoe, Richard Jaquish, Barbara Kasten, Richard Kirstel, George Krause, David Lebe, Jenny Lynn, Ralph Meatyard, Ray Metzker, Martin Miller, Roger Miller, Lisette Model, Barbara Morgan, Joan Netherwood, Arnold Newman, Dorothy Norman, Starr Ockenga, Bart Parker, Gilles Peress, Irving Henry Phillips, Sr., David Plowden, Charles Pratt, August Sander, Jaromir Stephany, Albert Renger-Patzsch, Walter Rosenblum, Christian Schad, Aaron Siskind, Neal Slavin, Ralph Steiner, Paul Strand, George Andrew Tice, Philip Trager, Barbara Traub, Jerry Uelsmann, Edward Weston, Minor White, William Williams, Gary Winogrand, John Wood, Barbara Young.


The Black Panthers: Making Sense of History Photographs by Stephen Shames

Panthers line up at a Free Huey rally in DeFermery Park
Oakland, California
July 28, 1968.

January 28 – March 24, 2008

In 1967, the year after the Black Panther Party was founded by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale, Stephen Shames was invited to photograph party activities, and he continued to do so until 1973. His close friendship with the Panthers, and Seale in particular, gave Shames unusual access to the organization, allowing him to capture not only the public face of the Party—street demonstrations, protests, and militant posturing—but also unscripted behind-the-scenes moments, from private meetings held in the Party headquarters, to Bobby Seale at work on his mayoral campaign in Oakland. The immediacy and intimacy of Shames’s photographs offer an uncommonly nuanced portrait of this dynamic social movement, during one of the most tumultuous periods in recent U.S. history.

Angela Davis speaks at a rally in DeFremery Park for George Jackson and the other Soledad Brothers, who were on trial for the murder of a guard at Soledad Prison. Next to Davis is party member James Burford.
Oakland, California
George Jackson’s coffin is brought into St. Augustine’s Church.
Oakland, California
August 1971
At home, Huey P. Newton listens to Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited.
Berkeley, California

Public Program

4:00 p.m.
February 20

Talk: Stephen Shames

The presentation of this exhibition is supported by an arts program grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency funded by the State of Maryland and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support comes from the Friends of the Library & Gallery and individual contributions.