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The Philadelphia Museum of Art   presents PAUL STRAND: MASTER OF MODERN PHOTOGRAPHY
October 21, 2014 – January 4, 2015

“This major retrospective presents the work of a critical figure in the history of modern art, American photographer and filmmaker Paul Strand (1890–1976), whose archive of nearly 4,000 prints stands as a cornerstone of the Museum’s collection. Emphasizing the influential artist’s most important projects from the 1910s through the 1960s, the exhibition surveys Strand’s entire life’s work, including his breakthrough trials in abstraction and candid street portraits, close-ups of natural and machine forms, and extended explorations of the American Southwest, Mexico, New England, France, Italy, Scotland, Egypt, Morocco, Ghana, and Romania.”

Strand, Paul Wall_Street 1915
 Paul Strand Wall Street 1915
As described by Martha Chahroudi, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections (1995), p. 230.
“Paul Strand’s 1915 photograph of Wall Street workers passing in front of the monolithic Morgan Trust Company can be seen as the quintessential representation of the uneasy relationship between early twentieth-century Americans and their new cities. Here the people are seen not as individuals but as abstract silhouettes trailing long shadows down the chasms of commerce.
The intuitive empathy that Strand demonstrates for these workers of New York’s financial district would be evident throughout the wide and varied career of this seminal American photographer and filmmaker, who increasingly became involved with the hardships of working people around the world. In this and his other early photographs of New York, Strand helped set a trend toward pure photography of subject and away from the pictorialist” imitation of painting. Wall Street is one of only two known vintage platinum prints of this image and one of the treasures of some five hundred photographs in the Museum’s Paul Strand Retrospective Collection.”


Rather than to keep on writing about Paul Strand’s work, it’s better to actually see it.

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