A preview of a two-part exhibition by Center for Maine Contemporary Art and University of Maine Museum of Art highlighting Bruce Brown’s photography collection
As part of the 2015 Maine Photo Project, a two- part exhibition this fall by the Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA) in Rockport and the University of Maine Museum of Art (UMMA) in Bangor will highlight one of Maine’s most significant photography collectors, Bruce Brown.
Brown began collecting photography in 1989. Since then, his passion for the discipline and its practitioners has resulted in an extensive collection of photographs by Maine artists.
The exhibitions represent a unique collaboration between curator and collector, as the works were chosen in a call- and-response manner. UMMA Director and Curator George Kinghorn selected 15 images from Brown’s collection, and Brown paired each with another work from the collection that he felt was a good companion based on composition and subject matter. CMCA Director Suzette McAvoy then followed suit.
The CMCA selections include works by Jocelyn Lee, Rose Marasco, Scott Peterman, and Brenton Hamilton, among others; at UMMA, featured artists include Joyce Tenneson, David Brooks Stess, Kris Larson, Claire Seidl, and others.
“The great fun and challenge,” says Brown, “was to find several images that seem to have little or no thematic connection but are visually compatible in surprising and unexpected ways.” “One would hardly expect, for example, that Rudy Burckhardt’s image of the Flatiron Building in New York could possibly resonate with John Goodman’s photograph of an old man from Havana wearing disheveled trousers and shoes, or that Judy Glickman’s photograph of St. Mark’s Square underwater in Venice would be a likely companion for Tillman Crane’s photograph of the Kotzschmar organ at Merrill Auditorium in Portland, or even Scott Peterman’s aerial view of Manhattan skyscrapers resonating with two gas pumps at a filling station in Bingham, Maine, taken by Ben Rush.” Other couplings document primarily Mainers from diverse economic and social backgrounds in compelling ways.
“UMMA is delighted to present these selected works in conjunction with the statewide Maine Photo Project. Bruce has nurtured the careers of many Maine- based photographers, and his passion for the medium is inspirational,” says Kinghorn.
Celebrating Photography in Maine: Selections from the Bruce Brown Collection will run at UMMA from October 2 to December 31. Pairings: Selections from the Bruce Brown Photography Collection will run at Dowling Walsh Gallery from November 6 to December 20. On the following pages, MH+D presents a preview.