Episode No. 131 of The Modern Art Notes Podcast spotlights “Carleton Watkins: The Stanford Albums” at the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University. The exhibition, which is on view through August 17, features 83 mammoth plates from three unique Watkins albums in the special collections of the Stanford University Library. It was curated by Cantor curator Elizabeth Kathleen Mitchell and George Philip LeBourdais.
On the occasion of the exhibition, Stanford University Press has published “Carleton Watkins: The Stanford Albums,” an exhibition catalogue that features essays from three of the guests on this week’s program: Alexander Nemerov, Erik Steiner and Corey Keller. The book features what may be the largest reproductions of Watkins mammoth-plate pictures ever published. At $35, it’s a bargain. (Expect the price to go up when the book goes into a second printing.)
Alexander Nemerov is a professor of the arts and humanities at Stanford. His most recent books are “To Make a World: George Ault and 1940s America,” the catalogue to the exhibition of the same title he curated at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, “Acting in the Night: Macbeth and the Places of the Civil War.” His most recent book is “Wartime Kiss: Visions of the Moment in the 1940s,” a look at the power of American photographs and films from the 1940s.
Erik Steiner is the creative director of the Spatial History Project, a part of the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis at Stanford. His recent projects include “Shaping the West,” which examined how the railroad impacted the construction of space in the 19th-century West.
Corey Keller is a curator at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and one of America’s top experts on 19th-century photography. Keller’s exhibitions include “Brought to Light: Photography and the Invisible, 1840-1900,” which explored the use of photography in 19th-century science. Her other exhibitions include surveys of Henry Wessel and Francesca Woodman.
On the second segment, Los Angeles County Museum of Art curator Ilona Katzew discusses Spanish colonial art. On May 16-17 she’ll be presenting at a symposium at New York’s Frick Collection titled, “The Americas Revealed: Collecting Colonial and Modern Latin American Art in the United States.” Katzew is widely considered a leading expert on the subject. Her new galleries at LACMA are a highlight of the institution’s permanent collection spaces.
In 2011-12 she organized “Contested Visions is the Spanish Colonial World.” For a limited time, the must-own catalogue of that exhibition is available from LACMA for just $10.
Air date: May 8, 2014.