Exhibits Explore VMFA Photography Collection, Recognize Sesquicentennial of Civil War

This October, Piedmont will present The Fleeting Glimpse: Selections in Modern and Contemporary Photography from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and Civil War Redux: Pinhole Photographs of Reenactments, two exhibits on loan from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA).

Lee Friedlander, Shadow-New York City, 1968, silver print
Featuring 35 works, The Fleeting Glimpse highlights 27 artists who use the photographic medium to transform common found occurrences in nature and humanity into unusual encounters and strange juxtapositions. The exhibition features provocative legends of the camera, Jerry N. Uelsmann, Hiroshi Sugimoto and Lee Friedlander among others. highlights 27 artists who use the photographic medium to transform common found occurrences in nature and humanity into unusual encounters and strange juxtapositions. The exhibition features provocative legends of the camera, Jerry N. Uelsmann, Hiroshi Sugimoto and Lee Friedlander among others.

Through exploitation of a variety of photographic techniques including digital, straightforward, long exposure, vignette and pinhole process the artists in The Fleeting Glimpse all share commonalities in the pursuit of a visually fragmented narrative in highly experimental work. The viewer has a “fleeting glimpse” of an implied alternative reality through the artists’ deliberate and sometimes happenstance staging and organization of elements. The works entice the viewer with implied psychosomatic drama through bizarre subject matter and compositions, inviting further examination.


The Fleeting Glimpse is the first major focus on the VMFA's renowned photography collection and marks the first collection sharing partnership between the VMFA and Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia. The Fleeting Glimpse is co-curated by Christine Carr, artist and assistant professor of art at Hollins University and Wilson Museum Director Amy Moorefield. Funding for The Fleeting Glimpse comes in part from the City of Roanoke through the Roanoke Arts Commission as well as support from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Willie Anne Wright,
Chancellorsville: George Armstrong Custer, USA,
April 30, 1988
Civil War Redux: Pinhole Photographs of Reenactments is a twelve-year project by Willie Anne Wright featuring photographs of Civil War reenactors across the South. Begun more than 125 years after the start of the Civil War, Wright's completed project now recognizes the 2011 sesquicentennial of this native conflict.

Wright, who lives and works in Richmond, Virginia, uses pinhole or lens-less photography to create one of her most interesting series. Her pinhole photographs feature characteristics of her chosen medium and an occasional anachronistic detail (like the Dodge truck seen in Chancellorsville: George Armstrong Custer, USA) and present a provocative view of the Civil War. Wright's approach is even-handed. Her images include men and women, Caucasian and African American, Federal and Confederate, famous players and the lesser known.

In conjunction with Civil War Redux, Piedmont Arts presents Scarlett Fever: The Greatness of Gone with the Wind with Professor Elliot Engel on Tuesday, November 1, 2011. Engle's talk will examine the intriguing background of both book and author and prove why Gone with the Wind should be considered a great American novel. Tickets at www.PiedmontArts.org.

Also on display: Wet Plate Collodion Photography by Robert Szabo in the Lynwood Artists Gallery.


The Fleeting Glimpse, Civil War Redux and Wet Plate Collodion Photography by Robert Sabot will be on display at Piedmont Arts from October 15 – December 31, 2011. Piedmont Arts will host a Members Reception for these exhibits featuring a gallery talk with Amy Moorefield and Christine Carr on October 14 at 5:30 pm. Please RSVP attendance to 276.632.3221.

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