While the Facebook social networking website has proven to be enormously popular, linking millions of photographs of faces to searchable biographical data, the notion of collecting and cataloguing pictures of people is not a new one. In the 1920s August Sander created a typological catalogue of more than six hundred photographs of German people from all walks of life, in his monumental lifelong project to document the residents of his native Westerwald, near Cologne.
Through fifty photographs from the nearly 3,000 in the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center collection, the new exhibition Facebook: Images of People in Photographs from the Permanent Collection examines the development of the photographic portrait from the nineteenth century through today.
The exhibition features many of the most influential photographers of the twentieth century: from very early formal portraits to the iconic photographs taken in the early 1900s by August Sander and Walker Evans (the famed chronicler of rural and laboring Americans); from the unique personalities captured by visionary artist Diane Arbus in the 1960s, to the theatrical fictions created by Cindy Sherman in the 1980s; as well as the deadpan views of ordinary New Yorkers shot by Rineke Dijkstra in the 1990s.
Berenice Abbott, Walead Beshty, Richard Avedon, Philip-Lorca DiCorcia, Lee Freidlander, Nan Goldin, Mark Goodman, Lewis W. Hine, Sherrie Levine, Helen Levitt, Sally Mann, Lee Miller, Thomas Ruff, Laurie Simmons, Paul Strand, Larry Sultan, Weegee, and Garry Winogrand are among the other artists whose photographs are seen in Facebook.
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