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March 23rd, 2004
Gift Of Photographs By Leading 20th Century Artists Honors The Achievements Of Curator Michael E. Hoffman

Nearly 90 photographs by many of the major talents in the field, assembled in honor of the late curator and publisher Michael E. Hoffman (1942-2001) will be seen together for the first time in a comprehensive exhibition on view in the Berman & Stieglitz Galleries of the Philadelphia Museum of Art from June 12-October 3, 2004.

Glorious Harvest: Photographs from the Michael E. Hoffman Tribute Collection brings together a group of photographs donated by artists and estates in honor of Hoffman, with whom they had collaborated during his long career. Included are images by such international figures as Henri Cartier-Bresson (French, b. 1908), Flor Garduño (Mexican, b. 1957) and Eikoh Hosoe (Japanese, b. 1933); masters of American photography such as William Christenberry (b. 1936), Irving Penn (b. 1917), Ray Metzker (b. 1931), Bruce Davidson (b. 1933), and Ralph Gibson (b. 1939); and posthumous prints from the estates of Robert Capa (American, 1913-1954) and Robert Mapplethorpe (American, 1946-1989). Among the contemporary artists who have contributed work are the Starn Twins (American, b. 1961), landscape photographer Lynn Davis (American, b. 1945), documentary photographer Donna Ferrato (American, b. 1949), the duo Nicholas Kahn (American, b. 1964) and Richard Selesnick (British, b. 1964), controversial pictorialist Sally Mann (American, b. 1951), Richard Misrach (American, b. 1949) and actor-photographer Jeff Bridges (American, b. 1949).

Hoffman served as Adjunct Curator of Photographs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art from 1968 to 1998 and was executive director of the Aperture Foundation from 1965 until his death. In a 30-year collaborative program between the Museum and Aperture, Hoffman exerted an impact on innumerable photographers, exhibiting their work at the Philadelphia Museum of Art with publications produced by Aperture, which he founded. He organized the first retrospective exhibition of Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide (b. 1942) to be shown in the U.S., and major traveling retrospectives devoted to the work of master American photographers Minor White (1908-1976), Robert Adams (b. 1937), Robert Capa (1913-1954), and Mary Ellen Mark (b.1940), examples of which will be on view.

"Many of the pictures chosen for the collection were favorites of Michael Hoffman’s or were selected by the artist with his tastes and interests in mind," said Katherine Ware, Curator of Photographs. "His fascination with the people and culture of India, so richly displayed in the major 1997 exhibition India: A Celebration of Independence, is evident in one group of images. All of these wide-ranging and evocative photographs significantly enhance the Museum’s collection. We are very grateful to Lynne Honickman, Mary Ellen Mark and Melissa Harris for spearheading the effort to bring together these wonderful images in celebration of a remarkable force in the field of photography."

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Aperture Foundation will produce the book Outside The Ordinary: A Tribute in Pictures, edited by Melissa Harris. The 96-page book, organized by Mary Ellen Mark, Lynne Honickman, and Melissa Harris, includes an essay by Anne d'Harnoncourt, The George D. Widener Director and CEO, Philadelphia Museum of Art. The publication will be available in the Museum Store or by calling (800) 329-4856 or via the Museum’s website at

Housing some 150,000 works of art, the Department of Prints, Drawings and Photographs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art is nationally recognized for the breadth and depth of its collections as well as the flair and scholarship of its exhibitions. The Department presents rotating installations of its vast holdings in the Berman and Stieglitz Galleries and the Julien Levy Gallery on the Museum’s ground floor and the Eglin Gallery on the first floor. Individual works are also on view in the Museum’s permanent collection galleries.

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