Middlebury

Middlebury College receives major photography gift

June 12, 2006

Robert Adams: Turning Back, A Photographic Journal of Re-exploration

MIDDLEBURY, Vt.-The Middlebury College Museum of Art announced this week that it has received a significant gift of contemporary photography. With the support of Kathy and Richard S. Fuld, Jr., the Museum has acquired a complete portfolio of recent work by noted American photographer Robert Adams titled Turning Back: A Photographic Journal of Re-exploration, which comprises a suite of 164 photographs. The suite is the last of only three editions that Adams has printed. The first two editions are in the collections of Yale University and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, respectively.

Robert Adams, Sitka Spruce, Cape Blanco State Park, Curry County, Oregon, 1999-2003.
Copyright Robert Adams. Courtesy of Matthew Marks Gallery, New York, and Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco

Inspired by the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark expedition (1804-1806), Adams examined the same Oregon landscape that the explorers described as a vast forest of ancient evergreens. The result, Turning Back, is a portfolio of images that provides a haunting commentary on the ambiguous and disturbing relationship America has with its forests. While many of the images are an indictment of landscape abuse, others hint at nature's resilience and provide a glimmer of promise for the future.

"This gift represents a landmark addition to our collection of modern and contemporary photography," said Middlebury College Museum Director and Walter Cerf Distinguished College Professor Richard Saunders. "Given the social and environmental impact of these images and the stature of Middlebury College as a leading institution in the field of environmental studies, this suite of photographs will greatly enhance the teaching mission of the Museum and will be widely studied and appreciated by a broad segment of the curriculum and the public."

The gift also includes funds to support exhibition and programming efforts related to the Turning Back portfolio. Turning Back will be exhibited starting in January of 2007 in the Museum's Christian A. Johnson Gallery.

The Middlebury College Museum of Art is free and open to the public Tues. through Fri. from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sat. and Sun. from noon to 5 p.m. It is closed Mondays. The Museum is accessible to people with varying disabilities. Parking is available in the Center for the Arts parking lot. For further information, please call (802) 443-5007 or TTY (802) 443-3155, or visit the Museum's website at www.middlebury.edu/museum.