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. Image courtesy Luc Demers. © Photograph by Norman Seeff

For Immediate Release

Grand Rapids Art Museum Presents Work by 70 Influential Photographers in Presence: The Photography Collection of Judy Glickman Lauder

The exhibition features works by Berenice Abbott, Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, Danny Lyon, Sally Mann, Gordon Parks, James Van Der Zee, and more. 

Grand Rapids, MI, January 17, 2023 —The Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM) will present a riveting exploration of photography in Presence: The Photography Collection of Judy Glickman Lauder from February 11 to April 29, 2023. Organized by the Portland Museum of Art, the exhibition captures a wide spectrum of the human experience through 145 works by 70 artists.

Drawn entirely from the collection of photographer and humanitarian Judy Glickman Lauder, Presence creates a dialogue between some of the most beloved and influential photographers of the 20th century, including Berenice Abbott, Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, Danny Lyon, Sally Mann, Gordon Parks, and James Van Der Zee. The exhibition also includes photographs by critical contributors to the medium’s history, such as Irving Bennett Ellis, Graciela Iturbide, Lotte Jacobi, and Alma Lavenson.

The Grand Rapids Art Museum’s presentation of Presence offers a thoughtful and nuanced perspective of the world through the eyes of some of the best-known and most influential photographers of the past century,” commented GRAM Associate Curator Jennifer Wcisel. 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.”

With subjects ranging from the anonymous to the celebrity, and documentation of the everyday to era-defining events such as the Great Depression, the Holocaust, and the Civil Rights Movement, the photographs on view in Presence encompass a complex, sophisticated affirmation of humanity and the lived experience. 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. The exhibition covers a wide territory of photography that expands our expectations of the medium. While many of these artists and subjects have been shown at GRAM, many of them will be fresh and inspiring.”

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.

On view concurrently with Presence is Make a Picture: A Selection of Michigan Photographers from GRAM’s Collection. The exhibition highlights the creativity of Michigan artists who have made beautiful and compelling portraits, landscapes, and documentary photography. Their works illustrate the many functions of photography from documenting war in distant parts of the world to capturing the human connections close to home. Recent additions to GRAM’s photography collection will be on view for the first time, including works by Grand Rapids artists Hwa-Jeen Na and Claudia Liberatore.

The presentation of Presence at GRAM expands upon a long history of important photographic exhibitions and acquisitions at the Museum, providing a context for the permanent collection and encouraging a dialogue with the community and collectors for future areas of acquisition.

Related Events:

A Conversation with Judy Glickman Lauder: Presence
Thursday, February 9 | 6:30 pm
Free, GRAM Auditorium
Join Dr. Anjuli Lebowitz, the inaugural Judy Glickman Lauder Associate Curator of Photography at the Portland Museum of Art, and Dana Friis-Hansen, Exhibition Guest Curator, for a lively discussion with Judy Glickman Lauder exploring her extraordinary life as a photographer, collector, and humanitarian. Learn about her father’s role in shaping her early awareness of art photography, the development of her practice, and the criteria for building her personal collection, including the photographs on view in Presence.

Exhibition Luncheon: The Presence of Women in Photography
Friday, February 10 | 12 pm
$25, GRAM Auditorium
Join us for a luncheon in honor of Judy Glickman Lauder as we celebrate the opening weekend of Presence. Enjoy a boxed lunch from Nonna’s Pantry and a moderated panel discussion led by GRAM Associate Curator Jennifer Wcisel focused on the role of women in photography.

Member Exhibition Opening: Presence
Friday, February 10 | 7 — 9 pm
Free, GRAM Member Event
Museum Members and their guests are invited to celebrate the opening of Presence at the Grand Rapids Art Museum. Join us for a special advance look at the exhibition, accompanied by hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. Explore the exhibition and learn more about the photographs on view from GRAM’s knowledgeable docents who will be stationed throughout the galleries.

For a full calendar of exhibition-related programming and events, visit artmuseumgr.org/events.

A companion publication of the same title commemorates the exhibition through nearly 160 images selected from Judy Glickman Lauder’s collection. Published by Aperture, the catalogue includes an introduction by Mark Bessire, the Judy and Leonard Lauder Director of the Portland Museum of Art, an essay by Dr. Anjuli Lebowitz, the Judy Glickman Lauder Associate Curator of Photography, and an essay on the artist by Adam Weinberg, Director of the Whitney Museum of American Art, and reflections from Judy Glickman Lauder on her life in photography.

Presence: The Photography Collection of Judy Glickman Lauder is organized by the Portland Museum of Art, Maine. The exhibition was curated by Anjuli Lebowitz, Judy Glickman Lauder Associate Curator of Photography, Portland Museum of Art, Maine.

Support for the Grand Rapids Presentation is generously provided by Wege Foundation. Additional funding is provided by The Friends of Presence and GRAM Exhibition Society. 

About the Grand Rapids Art Museum 
Connecting people through art, creativity, and design. Established in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids, the art museum is internationally known for its distinguished design and LEED® Gold certified status. Founded in 1910 as the Grand Rapids Art Association, GRAM has grown to include more than 6,000 works of art, including American and European 19th and 20th-century painting and sculpture and more than 3,000 works on paper. Embracing the city’s legacy as a leading center of design and manufacturing, GRAM has a growing collection in the area of design and modern craft. 

For museum hours and admission fees, call 616.831.1000 or visit artmuseumgr.org

Image: 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. Image courtesy Luc Demers. © Photograph by Norman Seeff 

###