Through Nov. 24, the Heritage Gallery can be seen alongside "Longer Ways to Go: Photography of the American Road." The exhibition, which has expanded to include more works and new acquisitions since its first showing at the Phoenix Art Museum, showcases photography along the historic and emblematic Route 66.
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The University of Arizona's Center for Creative Photography, or CCP, will open the Heritage Gallery — a new permanent space that explores themes in American photography by pairing older works with new — on Saturday, June 9.
Archival classics by the likes of Ansel Adams and Edward Weston will hang side by side with work by contemporary photographers such as David Maisel and Joan Liftin, whose archives the center acquired just last year. Each pairing will depict similar subjects (for example, sand dunes, trees in Yosemite National Park and portraits of artists).
Rebecca Senf, chief curator at the center, chose works that honor the tradition of American photography, celebrate the center's legacy and inspire dialogue about the future of both.
"I am thrilled to open this gallery and share the story of the center with our community," said Anne Breckenridge Barrett, CCP director. "We receive countless requests to see iconic prints and new acquisitions, and by opening the Heritage Gallery we have an opportunity to exhibit the treasures of our collection and encourage dialogue about how photography has evolved over its lifespan."
For Breckenridge Barrett, who took up her post as director in January, the Heritage Gallery represents a first major step toward building on the center's reputation as a premier institution of American photography while creating engaging programming that explores its continued evolution.
"By including new acquisitions alongside important historic works, one will experience firsthand the continuum that only the center can so richly explore," Breckenridge Barrett said.
The Heritage Gallery is a space decades in the making.
In 1974, photographer Adams and then-UA President John Schaefer imagined a place that would collect not only photographs but all the supporting documentation — negatives, correspondence, working materials, personal effects, camera equipment, news clippings, audio recordings and family snapshots — of photographers' lives and creative processes. This innovative collection, housed within the University, would not only preserve the history of photography but also inspire new conversations about the medium.
Their idea became the center.
Although his fame made him something of an institution himself (he remains the only photographer ever to have been featured on the cover of Time), Adams never wanted the center to be a "museum of Ansel Adams." Ansel viewed the center as a place of discovery and discussion.
"Drawing on the rich Ansel Adams archive, we feature a wide range of his production and demonstrate his relationship to artists working today," Senf said.
The Heritage Gallery is dedicated to just that, and to inspiring generations of photography enthusiasts.