Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Shadows of a Fleeting World

"I think photography should not be an imitation of paintings, but it should contain a feeling similar to that of poems." Dr. Kyo Koike, Seattle Camera Club

In 1924 the Seattle Camera Club was founded by a group of Japanese immigrants to the Pacific Northwest. While camera clubs were a popular phenomenon at the time, the work of the Seattle Camera Club stood apart for its stunning quality and unique sense of poetry. The group deliberately practiced pictorialism, a style of fine art photography interested in the effects of transient light and Japanese compositional elements. They developed innovative darkroom techniques to create unique soft-focus photographs that reflected contemporary painting styles, especially Impressionism. The records of most camera clubs have long disappeared, but the Seattle Camera Club’s works were saved thanks to the foresight of the late Robert Monroe, who for 17 years was the director of Special Collections in the University of Washington Libraries and a founder of the Book Club of Washington.

The show Shadows of a Fleeting World at the Henry Art Gallery presents over 100 works by Seattle Camera Club photographers and others in the Seattle area who worked who worked side by side with the SCC during the movement’s heyday in the 1920's, including prominent Seattle photographers like Imogen Cunningham. The show opens with a panel presentation on February 11 and runs through May 8.

No comments: