Curatorial Coup: The Show to End All War

“War/Photography” Exhibit at MFAH

Catherine D. Anspon
Posted:
December 20, 2012

After a decade of research, reviewing more than one million photographs and traveling to 17 countries, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, opens an exhibition that is more than an art show. When “War/Photography” unveiled on Veteran’s Day, November 11, it was a battle cry to end all wars. The vast, broad-ranging tour de force is spearheaded by a curatorial team led by Anne Wilkes Tucker, the MFAH’s world-recognized Gus and Lyndall Wortham Curator of Photography, who is joined by photographer and Glassell School of Art instructor Will Michels and MFAH curatorial assistant for photography Natalie Zeit. Presented for analysis and impact are nearly 500 objects (photographs, albums, magazines, books and vintage camera equipment) culled from 280 photographers (photojournalists, military photographers, artists and amateurs) spanning 28 nations, conflicts on six continents and more than 165 years. The searing, poignant and heroic images range from the Mexican-American War and the Crimean War to today’s hot spots of global combat. The ground-breaking exhibition is organized not chronologically but by nuanced themes. From the classic and iconic (the American flag raised over Iwo Jima, a portrait of Winston Churchill and the photographs of the late Tim Hetherington, who was killed in Eastern Afghanistan in 2011) to the newly timeless Marlboro Marine of 2004, snapped in Fallujah, Iraq, and the always powerful Civil War lensman Matthew Brady. Through February 3, 2013, at the MFAH, Law Building, 1001 Bissonnet, 713.639.7300; mfah.org/wp.

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