“Planes, Trains and Automobiles,” opened Jan. 30 at the Davison Art Center. The photo-rich exhibit captures the essence and excitement of speed and machinery via images of some of the more romantic modes of transportation from the past 150 years. (Photos by Olivia Drake)
Four gelatin silver prints by Berenice Abbott (American, 1898-1991) are in the exhibit, including “Gasoline Station, East Tremont Avenue and Dock Street, 1936.” A young expatriate in Paris in the 1920s, Abbott was a studio assistant to Man Ray before establishing herself as a portrait photographer. In 1929 she returned to the United States and, inspired by Eugene Atget’s photographs of Paris, she started on her “immense subject,” documenting New York City. Funding the project remained difficult until 1935, when she was hired by the Works Progress Administration.
The exhibit includes Garry Winogrand’s (American, 1928-1984) gelatin silver prints “Castle Rock, Colorado, 1960” and “Utah, 1964.” In these images, Winogrand did not photograph the automobile itself, but rather the view from the automobile. Stopping at Castle Rock, Colorado, Winogrand found the shadow of his car echoing the rock formation. A runaway steer crossing the road in Utah is seen through the windshield of a car stopped in its tracks. By using a wide-angle lens on a 35mm camera, Winogrand could combine rapid, instinctive shots with wide-ranging detail.
Aviva Reisner and her mother, Mariah Reisner ’04, MA ’07 tour the new exhibit during the show’s opening Jan. 30. Mariah is president of the Friends of the Davison Art Center organization.
On display is Russell Lee’s (American, 1903-1986) gelatin silver print of “Migrant Child in a Car, Prague, Oklahoma, 1939.”
On exhibit are Tom Zetterstrom’s (American, born 1945) “Oak ’75, 1978,” “Southbound ’79, 1979,” and Roadway ’77, 1979 from his Moving Point-of-View series.
Max Yavno (American, 1911-1985) photographed “Cable Car, 1947.” The gelatin silver print, seen here, second from the left, is part of the Davison Art Center exhibit.
Also on display are William Henry Jackson’s 19th century snapshots of the railroad as it was seen in the Old West, Jacques-Henri Lartigue’s action shots of early French automobile races and abandoned Fords frozen in time by Robert Sheehan. Other works drawn from the gallery’s permanent collection are by Danny Lyon, Walker Evans and Louis Faurer.
Peter Frenzel, professor of German studies, emeritus, attended the show’s opening.
On Thursday, Feb. 6 at 5 p.m., Assistant Professor of French Stéphanie Ponsavady will give a talk called “Driven by Desire: French Automotive Designs and Greater France” at CFA Hall in which she’ll speak about French car culture and its relationship to the Colonial Empire throughout the 20th century. The exotic African and Asian colonies proved to be the final frontier for French automotive adventurers.