Phil Earenfight, director of The Trout Gallery, introduces the student curators of Through the Lens during the exhibit's opening reception.
“It was on an afternoon very much like this afternoon that something terrible happened in this innocent room…”
So begins the cryptic text on Duane Michals’ gelatin silver print, The Room Where the World Ended, one of more than 50 intriguing photographs that conjure strange and atmospheric worlds in the student-curated exhibit Through the Lens.
Showcasing some of the most striking photographs in The Trout Gallery’s permanent art collection, the exhibit includes Polaroid photos and prints that Andy Warhol used to create his iconic screen prints; Elliott Erwitt’s characteristically absurdist Legs on a Wall; and prints from Eadweard Muybridge’s Animal Locomotion, a scientifically and artistically significant 1887 work that used multiple cameras to show successive images of animals and humans in motion.
Other notable photos include Pete Turner’s well-known Road Song, which tells a mysterious and open-ended roadside narrative in otherworldly blue. In Zebra Nude, Lucien Clergue morphs flesh into landscape, while in Clergue’s Pablo Picasso, Cannes (1955), the photographer captures an intense shot of the artist with arms crossed defiantly, staring penetratingly into the lens.
Through the Lens
The Trout Gallery
The show’s 12 student curators selected the works and wrote a corresponding catalog as part of their Art Historical Methods Seminar, a required course for senior art-history majors.
“It is unusual to have a program like this,” said Phillip Earenfight, associate professor of art history and director of The Trout Gallery, who adds that the project is “one of very few in the nation" that immerses art-history students in a professional-quality museum experience, providing students with the real-world skills they will use in a museum career.
Through the Lens: Studies in Photography opened March 4 and will continue until March 28.