Tuesday, September 27, 2005

A spectacular Ansel Adams exhibit in Bangor

Unfortunately it only goes through Saturday, October 8....

It's at the University of Maine Museum of Art, which is in Norumbega Hall at 40 Harlow Street in downtown Bangor - not the University College campus out by the airport where I went first.

Coincidentally, I've just been to the Ansel Adams exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Getting to Norumbega Hall even with the detour to University College was nothing compared to finding the MFA. I lived in Boston for five years and can generally get around pretty well, but that area around the Fens and the museum are still Boston's Bermuda Triangle for me.

As a result, when I got to the Bangor exhibit, I was a lot more relaxed than I was when I got to the MFA exhibit. In addition, having just been to the Boston exhibit, I knew, and remembered, that I should bring a magnifying glass. The prints are exquisite and bear both close and arms length viewing. A fun exercise is to alternate between the photographic prints in the display and the mass produced card, print and poster for sale outside. It's enough to make you covet an original. I wish someone would do an edition that included magnified sections from some of the prints.

There are a hundred prints in the Bangor exhibit. The Boston exhibit has three or four times as many prints, but it also has twenty or thirty (or more) times as many visitors. I arrived at the Bangor exhibit more relaxed and I shared the experience with just a handful of other visitors. I came away from Boston wondering why I should go further than Flickr for worthwhile photographs. I came away from Bangor inspired. Each show has a single Maine print - not the same print, but both seascapes from the Schoodic Peninsula.

If you do miss the Bangor show, the Boston exhibit goes through the end of the year. Try to go on a weekday, and remember a magnifying glass.


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