The Arthur Ross Gallery of the University of Pennsylvania is pleased to present A View of One’s Own—Three Women Photographers in Rome: Esther Boise Van Deman, Georgina Masson, Jeannette Montgomery Barron on exhibit now through December 10. Organized last fall by the American Academy in Rome (AAR), the exhibition features photographs by American women in Rome from three different generations, documenting the Eternal City and its urban transformation over more than a century, from the Belle Époque to today. The photographs also track the emergence of photography as an independent medium—evolving from a documentary aid to a vehicle for subjective, even gendered expression in the digital age. The Arthur Ross Gallery is the exclusive venue in the United States for this exhibition which compares photographic perspectives on Rome.
ARG’s Director Lynn Marsden-Atlass said: “The Arthur Ross Gallery is very pleased to collaborate with the American Academy in Rome to present for the first time in the United States these rare and insightful photographs by three groundbreaking women photographers.”
Drawn from the Photographic Archive of the American Academy in Rome, A View of One’s Own features three American protagonists: archaeologist Esther Boise Van Deman, who photographed Rome and its surroundings in the early 1900s; Georgina Masson, author of the classic guidebook, The Companion Guide to Rome, which has shaped foreigners’ experiences of Rome since the 1950s; and contemporary photographer Jeannette Montgomery Barron, whose images capture glimpses of Rome as seen by an American living abroad in the Eternal City, folding them into a wandering, meditative reverie. Seen in succession against a photographic landscape of Rome defined for the most part by men, these images posit another way of seeing the city’s history. Taken by female flâneurs, empirical observations of bricks and mortar progressively dissolve into pure, evanescent experience.
“The work of these three photographers reflects different periods in the evolution of the modern city of Rome and the history of photography itself,” said Mark Robbins, president of the American Academy in Rome. “The presentation at the Arthur Ross Gallery brings these images to new audiences and underscores the continuing impact of the city of Rome in our conception of the past and the future.”
A View of One’s Own is curated by Lindsay Harris, Peter Benson Miller and Angela Piga, and is accompanied by a comprehensive, fully illustrated catalogue, published by AAR, with essays by Mr. Robbins, André Aciman, and the curators. At the Arthur Ross Gallery, the exhibition was organized by Ms. Marsden-Atlass, and will be accompanied by a variety of related programming:
- Wednesday, September 6, 5:30 p.m.
Lecture: A View of One’s Own: Women, Walking, and Photography in Rome, by Peter Benson Miller, Andrew Heiskell Arts Director, American Academy in Rome; followed by the opening reception.
- Wednesday, October 4, 5:30 p.m.
Lecture: Watching the Light in Rome, by Dean Frederick Steiner, Penn School of Design and Paley Professor (1998 AAR Fellow)
- Friday, October 20, noon
Concert: Daedalus Quartet, Beethoven Quartets: Quartet no. 6 in Bb major, Op. 18 no. 6 and Quartet no. 7 in F major, Op. 59 no. 1
- Wednesday, October 25, 5:30 p.m.
Conversation with Kaja Silverman and Clifford Ross: an evening with Kaja Silverman, Sachs Professor in Contemporary Art, and photographer/artist Clifford Ross.
- Wednesdays, October 11; November 8, 2 p.m.
ART RESET with Lauren Altman, MFA’18: coffee and conversation
- Wednesday, October 18, 6:30 p.m.
Film Screening: Louis Kahn’s Tiger City; talk back with Sundaram Tagore
- Monday, November 1, 5:30 p.m.
Artist Talk with Jeannette Montgomery Barron
- First Wednesdays, September 6, October 4, November 1 and December 6, noon, 12 @ 12: A Tasty Art Nugget in 12 Minutes Flat!
The exhibition is made possible in part by Richard Baron and Adi Shamir Baron. Additional support is provided by Mrs. Arthur Ross, the Patron’s Circle of the Arthur Ross Gallery, the Provost’s Interdisciplinary Arts Fund, the Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation, the Philadelphia Cultural Fund and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.
The Arthur Ross Gallery is located in the Fisher Fine Arts Library Building, and is free and open to the public. Hours: weekdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; weekends, noon-5 p.m. Closed Mondays. Additional information is available at arthurrossgallery.org or (215) 898-2083.