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Photographs 1942-1958
Wayne Miller

November 15, 2008- February 13, 2009
Artist's Talk, Book Signing and Opening Reception: November 15, 5:00-7:30pm
Curator's Talk: January 22, 1:00pm


Copyright Wayne Miller

"The personal involvement with
the making of a photograph is
all-important to me—to feel at one
with that moment regardless of whether it be excitement, love,
fear, or repugnancy.”

—Wayne Miller


Wayne Miller Photographs 1942-1958 is a major new survey exhibition of Wayne Miller’s finest imagery from WWII and the post-war period. Many of these images document the American wartime experience in the Pacific, Italy and Japan and are drawn from the National Archives in Washington D.C. Also presented are Wayne Miller's important post-war documentary projects. A companion publication of his classic series and little-known masterpieces has been released by powerHouse Books in conjunction with this exhibition.

The exhibition and book are organized in four major chapters: THE WAR YEARS 1942-45, MIDWEST 1946-49, CALIFORNIA 1947-53 and FAMILY 1946-58. THE WAR YEARS includes four sections covering combat and the immediate post-war period titled the Pacific Theater, Naples, Franklin D. Roosevelt Funeral and Hiroshima. THE MIDWEST includes sections featuring many of Miller's most important documentary and magazine series including The Way of Life of the Northern Negro and Reefer Party with the more light-hearted and ironic observations of Potato Chip Convention and Westminster Dog Show. The CALIFORNIA chapter includes the truly classic and influential series Migrant Workers, Enchanted Hills (Camp for the Blind), the San Francisco Police Flying Squad and Juvenile Detention, Oakland. In the last two chapters we see Miller's most important published and personal work that deals with his family and with themes of innocence and experience.

ABOUT WAYNE MILLER
Born in Chicago in 1918, Wayne Miller studied photography at the Art Center School of Los Angeles before joining the United States Navy in 1942, where he reached the rank of lieutenant. In the two decades following the war, Miller worked as a freelancer for Life, Fortune, Ladies' Home Journal, Collier's, and Ebony, received two Guggenheim fellowships, taught photography at the Institute of Design in Chicago, assisted Edward Steichen on the historic MoMA exhibit The Family of Man, and served as the president of Magnum Photos, among other achievements. He is the author of The World Is Young (Simon & Schuster, 1958) and Chicago's South Side, 1946-1948 (University of California Press, 2000). He lives with his wife Joan in California.

"As the Second World War ended, Miller envisaged a restorative project. He was possessed with a new ambition to “explain man to man,” which implied a prior misunderstanding, a division among us, and in the United States—in his native Chicago—the great division was between black and white. African Americans from the Mississippi Delta had poured into Chicago and other northern cities before, during, and after the war. In the North there were jobs, and a hope of escaping the Jim Crow discrimination of the South. This exodus constituted the largest internal migration in American history, and South Side Chicago was its epicenter. Miller was awarded two fellowships to complete his project, titled “The Way of Life of the Northern Negro.” —Kerry Tremain

"From 1952 to 1955, Miller would also play a crucial role as chief assistant to Edward Steichen (then curator of photography at the Museum of Modern Art) in the production of The Family of Man. Much more than a literal display of photographs (Miller’s among them); the exhibition was the greatest event of its kind, unique in concept and celebrating those humanist ideals that Miller had long held close. The Family of Man, premiering in 1955, was the first super show—a body of imagery greater than the sum of its parts and designed to travel the world with an overriding agenda that sought connection and understanding between peoples in the wake of the most devastating conflict in modern history." —Paul Berlanga

Copyright Wayne Miller Copyright Wayne Miller Copyright Wayne Miller
From "The War Years 1942-1945" From "Naples, Italy" From "California 1947-53; Migrant Workers"
 
Installation Images:
Wayne Miller Installation Image Wayne Miller Installation Image Wayne Miller Installation Image

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