The University of Arizona

UA Photography Center to Exhibit Unframed Works

By La Monica Everett-Haynes, University Communications | August 30, 2011

The UA Center for Creative Photography is introducing a new series, "Photo Fridays," which will allow visitors to view unframed photographs from its extensive collection.

"Photo Fridays" is the UA Center for Creative Photography's new print viewing series. Beginning Sept. 2, the center will host free and open viewings of its prints pulled from behind the glass. (Photo courtesy of the Center for Creative Photography)
"When you put a piece of plexiglass between you and a photograph, you cannot connect with it in the same way," Senf said. But with "Photo Fridays" at the Center for Creative Photography, "You're right there with the photographs, and you can really look at them and examine them." (Photo credit: Edward Weston, Pepper No. 30, 1927, ©1981 UA Center for Creative Photography, Arizona Board of Regents)

There can be something riveting about viewing an original work of art without the mediation of glass or framing, yet this opportunity is rarely granted to the typical viewer in the world of curated art exhibitions.

But the University of Arizona Center for Creative Photography will be granting a more personal interaction with its expansive photography collection.

"Photo Friday" is the center's new free print viewing series.

Beginning Friday, Sept. 2, the monthly showing will enable members of the UA and general communities to view works by the likes of Ansel Adams, Lola Alvarez Bravo and Louise Dahl-Wolfe – without filtering. 

"You will be able to really get up close and personal with those images," said Rebecca Senf, the center's Norton Family Curator.

"Without frame or glass, visitors can examine each photograph's surface, see detail otherwise obscured by protective glass, and connect with the works on an intimate level," Senf said.

The series will provide "an extraordinary opportunity" for visitors, as they will be able to closely inspect unframed photographs, all of which will be original black-and-white and color prints. 

For the next 11 months, each Friday event will be held 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the center's Print Viewing Room. 

"This is an opportunity to share not only highlights from the collection but also the rich diversity of lesser-known works that will help inform your knowledge of the history of photography, its techniques and its practitioners," said River Bullock, the center's Ansel Adams Intern, said in a prepared release.

Home to more than 90,000 photographs, the 36-year-old center hosts three curated exhibitions throughout the year. Among the center's holdings are works by famed North American photographers, Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, W. Eugene Smith, Louise Dahl-Wolfe, Richard Avedon, Lola Alvarez Bravo, Garry Winogrand and Joe Deal, among many others.

But the center opted to launch the new program with the intention of providing more extensive access to the collection, and in a unique way.

"When you have a collection this vast, it's hard to show it all," Senf said. "We are always looking for ways to give people more access."

Bullock, who is curating the series, said each month's selection will carry a chosen theme.

"We are excited to invite both those who are familiar with the Center," she added, "and those who may be new to what we do to take part in this exploration of our photographic collection."


Janet Minier

UA Center for Creative Photography