Photography exhibition highlights the human experience

Norman Seeff (United States, born South Africa, born 1939), Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith, New York, 1969, archival pigment print, 15 x 22 inches. Portland Museum of Art, Maine. Promised Gift from the Judy Glickman Lauder Collection, 1.2016.1. © Photograph by Norman Seeff

The Grand Rapids Art Museum has a new photography exhibition opening this weekend. “Presence: The Photography Collection of Judy Glickman Lauder” will be on view Feb. 11 – April 29.

“The exhibition builds on GRAM’s history of important photographic exhibitions and collection acquisitions and offers a unique perspective that will excite and challenge our audiences to see and think about the world differently,” said GRAM Associate Curator Jennifer Wcisel.

The exhibition takes its name from the common thread that unites these works—presence of the photographer, the viewer, the subjects, as well as the photographs themselves.

“From iconic portraits to historic events, vibrant cityscapes to contemplative landscapes, the subjects and artists in Presence tell an honest and compassionate story of humanity,” added Exhibition Guest Curator Dana Friis-Hansen.

A riveting exploration of photography that captures a wide spectrum of the human experience, the exhibition explores both “everyday” and “era-defining” moments throughout our recent history. Depicted in this abundant collection are images of the Great Depression, Holocaust, Civil Rights Movement and a host of others, featuring the photography of 70 influential creators, including James Van Der Zee, Dorothea Lange, Richard Avedon, Sally Mann and more.

Judy Glickman Lauder is internationally known as an acclaimed photographer, collector, humanitarian, advocate, philanthropist and community builder. Glickman Lauder developed her collection of nearly 700 works over several decades, reflecting an intimate, lifelong connection to the medium of photography. As an artist, Glickman Lauder’s photographs have been exhibited worldwide and are represented in over 300 public and private collections, including the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the United States Holocaust Museum.

A discussion with Judy Glickman
On Thursday, February 9 at 6:30 p.m., Dr. Anjuli Lebowitz, the inaugural Judy Glickman Lauder Associate Curator of Photography at the Portland (Maine) Museum of Art and Dana Friis-Hansen, Exhibition Guest Curator, will present a lively discussion with Judy Glickman Lauder, exploring her extraordinary life as a photographer, collector and humanitarian.
Register here.

Seating is first come, first served. For those unable to attend in person, the talk will be live-streamed from GRAM’s Facebook page.

The GRAM is located at 101 Monroe Center St NW, with collections ranging from Renaissance to Modern Art and special collections on 19th and 20th-century European and American art.

A special opening of “Presence” for GRAM members will take place Friday, Feb. 10,  7 – 9 .pm.

For more information visit


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