Target: Anne Tucker, Curator of Photography for the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston
Goal: Praise exhibition of photographs that capture 165 years of human experience during war
“War/Photography: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath” is a newly curated exhibition that started at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, and is now on tour at other museums and galleries across the country. A collective representation about war, the exhibition includes 185 photographs over 165 years of conflict from 25 countries. Please show your support and gratitude to this exhibition that captures the depth of the human experience both during and after times of war.
Not displayed chronologically, the team of curators who organized this exhibit were told to look for patterns among the individual photographs themselves. Among the images is Nick Ut’s famous, haunting photograph of a naked Vietnamese girl running from a napalm strike in 1972. Also featured is Nina Berman’s 2006 photograph “Marine Wedding,” which depicts a severely injured Marine Sergeant and his wife on their wedding day. It is images like these that spark mass conversations about war, and what people are left with after.
Curator of photography for the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Anne Tucker says, “Wars don’t end.” “You carry them with you. Our fathers’ wars are our wars and our wars are our children’s wars.” The last room of the exhibition is entitled “Reflection” and it invites visitors to express their thoughts on small note cards which can then be stuck to the wall. A seven-year-old child wrote: “I want to go to college and not the war.” Please commend the team of curators that compiled this exhibition that displays the unchanging and all-encompassing pain of wartime.
Dear Curator of Photography for the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston Anne Tucker,
Thank you for curating the exhibition “War/Photography: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath,” which serves to represent how war permeates through every mode of life. The 185 images cross borders, time spans, and ultimately speak to how the violence and pain of war does not belong to a single country, people, or conflict, but that it belongs to all of us and seems to be ever-present throughout recent history.
Through these photographs, people are able to interpret the impact of war themselves. These images depict combat and its aftermath, whether it’s a wedding photo between an injured Marine and his wife, or it’s a soldier returning to the graves of his family. There are also images from fairly recent conflicts that people today would not have, but should have been exposed to through regular media outlets, which makes this exhibition all the more vital to the public.
In an art review for the Washington Post, critic Philip Kennicott puts it best: “It is absolutely worth the time to see the exhibition, and strangely, disturbingly, it is both dispiriting and entertaining, depressing and fascinating. One leaves keenly aware of the difficult path between two extremes, both represented by powerful photographs in the exhibition.” Through these images, the reality of war is presented in such a way that forces the voyeur to see the subjects, not for their uniforms or which side they were fighting on, but as familiar humans. Please continue your work of communicating through art all aspects of the human experience.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Gerda Taro via Wikimedia Commons