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Coville Photography Exhibit Opens At Ringling Museum

Photographs explore the 20th and early 21st centuries thanks to a large photography donation.

A stunning collection of 75 photographs opens Friday as an exhibit at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art.

The Warren J. and Margot Coville Photography Collection Exhibition, looks at some key moments in the 20th and early 21st centuries from renowned photographers including Berenice Abbott, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Barbara Morgan and Andre Kertesz.

One of the highlights of the exhibit is one photograph taken by Walter Rosenblum of hospital workers in the South Bronx in 1979.

The museum's curator of modern and contemporary art, Dr. Matthew McLendon, tells SRQ magazine what this collection says:

“With contemporary art there’s an anxiety to it that it really is the mirror of our society without the benefit of historical perspective. Photography is one of the keystones of Art Of Our Time. It’s the medium we probably most associate with the 20th century, and it still plays a dominant role in fine art. The Coville collection is so broad that it’s segmented, and we can isolate subgroups as strengths and build on them.”  

The exhibit notes changes in global politics and how cultures identify themselves as photography technology evolved as well.

The exhibit was thanks to a gift from Warren J. and Margot Coville who donated more than 1,000 photographs, standing as the the largest photography gift in the museum's history, according to Ringling.

The Covilles are collectors living part-time in Sarasota and part-time in Detroit. The exhibition runs through Feb. 3, 2013 in the Ulla R. and Arthur F. Searing Wing at the Ringling Museum of Art. 

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