Exhibit Information

Metropolitan Museum of Art

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OUR FUTURE IS IN THE AIR

Opening: 10 November 2010 - Closing: 10 April 2011

Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz; Tadeus Langier, Zakopane, 1912-1913
This Eclectic-Centennial-Exhibition devoted to Photography of the 1910s, provides a fascinating look at the Birth of Modern-Life—through 58 photographs by some 30 artists, including Eugène Atget, E. J. Bellocq, Alvin Langdon Coburn, Eugène Druet, Lewis Hine, Jacques-Henri Lartigue, Adolph de Meyer, Christian Schad, Morton Schamberg, Charles Sheeler, & Stanislaw Witkiewicz, among others.


Drawn exclusively from the Museum’s Collection, the exhibition also features Anonymous-Snapshots, Séance Photographs, and a Family-Album made by Russian-Nobility, on the Eve of Revolution!


The exhibition’s title is taken from a pamphlet for Military-Aviation that figures prominently [in French] in a 1912 Cubist Table-top Still-Life by Pablo Picasso, but is used here because of its Double-Meaning: the feelings of Excitement & Anxiety that accompanied such Radical-Change. [Oh! Thanks for the Explanation!]


Our Future Is In The Air opens in Dramatic-Fashion, with a series of photographs showing moments in the Funeral-Procession & Burial of Count Leo Tolstoy, on November 9, 1910.


The great Russian-Novelist passed away just after walking away from his Great-Wealth & Literary-Fame to lead a life of Christian-Charity.


Certain Details that can be seen in the Photo-Postcards—such as whether or not to kneel by the grave—represented a long-simmering-struggle between Old & New, Spiritual & Secular, that would lead to the Soviet-Revolution seven years later…


Photography also became an Agent of Democratic-Communication. Documentary-Photographers used its growing-influence to expose Degrading-Conditions of Workers, the Injustice of Child-Labor, & the Devastation of War.


Lewis Hine: Addie Card, spinner; 1910
Beginning in 1908, Lewis Hine made 5,000 photographs of children working in Mills, Sweatshops, Factories, & Street-Trades.


Featured in this exhibition is Hine’s Newsboy asleep on stairs with papers, Jersey City, New Jersey, February 1912. Hine’s Reports & Slide-Lectures were designed to trigger a Profound, Empathetic-Response in the Viewer.


During World War I, photography was utilized to document the Mass-Casualties of Mechanized-Warfare. In this show is an Affecting-Image from 1916—by an Unknown-Artist—that presents Wounded-French-Soldiers performing Military-Drills in the Nave of the Grand-Palais in Paris as part of their Rehabilitation.


Charlie Chaplin & Douglas Fairbanks; 1918
Also in the exhibition is an evocative 1918 photograph of Charlie Chaplin & Douglas Fairbanks entertaining a huge crowd at a War-Bonds-Rally on Wall-Street.

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