Photography is Art Program: July 1, 2021

  • 7 p.m., Thursday, July 1, 2021
  • Recording not available.
  • Photography is Art,” John Rohrbach, Senior Curator of Photographs, Amon Carter Museum of American Art

Rohrbach John Amon Carter 400wJohn Rohrbach will share tales about photographers’ decades-long struggle to gain art museum acceptance for their medium and reveal what happened once that acceptance finally arrived.

Drawing from the Carter’s current exhibition “Photography Is Art,” filled with masterpiece works from the museum’s extensive holdings, he will discuss the debates among leading artists from Alfred Stieglitz, Ansel Adams, and others about how to shape photography’s artistic language.

His surprising findings? Even today, photographers look far more often to painting for ideas and inspiration than we might expect.

Rohrbach guides the scholarship and presentation of American photography at the Carter, one of the country’s foremost repositories, with a collection of 45,000 exhibition-quality photographic prints and 250,000 photographic objects. Over nearly three decades at the museum, he has organized a range of exhibitions, resulting in new scholarship on nineteenth and twentieth century American photography.

During his tenure at the Carter, Rohrbach has continued to grow the photography collection through important acquisitions, such as Edward S. Curtis’ “The North American Indian”(1907-1930), Alfred Stieglitz’s influential periodicals Camera Notes and Camera Work (1897-1917) and the Carter’s commission of Terry Evans’ series, “Meet Me at the Trinity” (2013-14). Notable traveling exhibitions he has organized include “Eliot Porter: The Color of Wildness” (2003), “In the American West: Photographs by Richard Avedon” (2005) and “Acting Out: Cabinet Cards and the Making of Modern Photography” (2020).

Prior to joining the Carter in 1992, Rohrbach served as Director of the Paul Strand Archive at Aperture Foundation, New York, NY, following positions at the George Eastman House, Rochester, NY, and as Director of the Photographic Archive and Exhibitions Program at Apeiron Workshops, Inc.

Above, Justine Kurland (b. 1969) The Wall, 2000 Inkjet print, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, Copyright (C) 2020, Justine Kurland. P2019.2  

Future Programs

  • Aug. 5 – Photographing Dallas During the Pandemic, Nikola Olic, abstract/structure photographer