Rose Mary Gorman: 615.744.3332, ”
Ellen Jones Pryor: 615.243.1311, ”, ”


NASHVILLE, TENN.—(Sept. 12, 2008)—The Frist Center for the Visual Arts will open The Best of Photography and Film from the George Eastman House Collection Friday, Oct. 10, 2008. The exhibition will feature more than 200 iconic photographs, films and film-related materials selected from the world-renowned collection of George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, New York. The Best of Photography and Film will be on view through Jan. 25, 2009.

Since its inception, photography has developed its potential as both a documentary and fine arts medium. The Best of Photography and Film includes works that range from the aesthetic images of Julia Margaret Cameron (1815–1879) and Edward Weston (1886–1958) to the gripping documents of Dorothea Lange (1895–1965) and Robert Frank (b. 1924). The exhibition also features works by photographers who have pushed the technical boundaries of the medium. Examples of early motion pictures highlight the achievements of a continually developing technology and the evolving creativity of their makers—two aspects that have made film one of the most popular mediums of our times.

“This exhibition truly is a ‘greatest hits’ of photography’s nearly 170-year history. While the Frist Center has presented many monographic photography shows in our Gordon Contemporary Artists Project gallery and more narrowly focused exhibitions such as Reflections in Black and The Pulitzer Prize Photographs, this is the first time the Frist Center has presented a broad overview of the medium,” says Katie Delmez, curator at the Frist Center. “The exhibition should appeal to a wide audience because both photography and film are very accessible and familiar to most people. And, interestingly, photography is such a pervasive art form largely because of Mr. George Eastman—the father of popular photography—and his inventions.”

The Best of Photography and Film is organized into numerous sections including the early years of the medium, portraiture, photography and war, photography as fine art, social commentary, Modernism and more.

Early highlights of the photographs selected from the Eastman House collection include several daguerreotypes; Mathew Brady’s Portrait of Abraham Lincoln (1860); the first photograph of lightning by William Jennings and a salted paper print by William Henry Fox Talbot. In addition, later iconic images such as Alfred Stieglitz’s The Steerage (1907), Edward Weston’s Pepper No. 30 (1930) and Ansel Adams’s Moonrise Hernandez (1941) are featured.

The exhibition showcases variations of several well-known works, such as Lewis Wickes Hine’s Power House Mechanic (1920) alongside the other “runners up” who posed for Hine in the same set-up, but were not the final choice; Edward Steichen’s famous portrait of Paul Robeson, in which the subject appears stern, alongside an image from the same shoot where Robeson is laughing; and two photographs of Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother (1936), as evidence that edits were made by the photographer to her most celebrated image.

Film clips from the George Eastman House archives, many of which were restored by Eastman House, include Peter Pan (1924), The Lost World (1925), The Phantom of the Opera (1925) and The Fall of the House of Usher (1928). Other motion picture items on view will include publicity stills, posters and many celebrity portraits of greats such as Greta Garbo, Elizabeth Taylor, Spencer Tracy and James Stewart.

George Eastman House is the world’s oldest and largest photography and film museum, founded in 1947 and housed on the 12-acre estate of Kodak founder, George Eastman. The museum holds in its archives 400,000 photographs representing 14,000 photographers; 16,000 pieces of camera technology, including the world’s largest collection of American cameras; 25,000 film titles, making it one of the four largest film archives in the United States and more than 3 million motion picture artifacts, including publicity stills, scripts, scores and posters.

The Best of Photography and Film from the George Eastman House Collection was organized by George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film.

Frist Center for the Visual Arts 2008 Exhibition Sponsors

The Frist Center for the Visual Arts gratefully acknowledges the following exhibition sponsors:
• 2008 Platinum Sponsor: HCA Foundation on behalf of HCA and the
TriStar Family of Hospitals
• 2008 Gold Sponsor: First Tennessee

Related Exhibition

Also on view is Snapshots and the Family Album: More Than Just Memories, organized by the Frist Center. Including 64 photographs submitted by Frist Center volunteers, it features amateur photos that document events of everyday life. Made for personal pleasure—not for profit or public consumption—these snapshots of various family members tell us how it has felt to live, love and have fun throughout the past century. The exhibition shows how photographs make our world visible and preserve moments in time, while also evoking the invisible—relationships, emotions and the past. Honest, unpretentious and utterly compelling, Snapshots presents simple and spontaneous personal records of people, places and events.

Related Programs

Thursday, October 16 Panel Discussion: “Living with Photographs:
6:30 pm Collectors, Connoisseurs, and Philanthropists”

Susan H. Edwards, Ph.D., executive director and CEO of the Frist Center, will moderate a panel that includes collector and philanthropist Billy Frist, collector Paul Sternberg, and Alice Sachs Zimet, a pioneer in the field of sponsorship marketing and corporate philanthropy. The panel will discuss how to build a collection, how to donate works and more.

Friday, October 24 ARTini
7 p.m.
Meet at Frist Center Information Desk
Free with the purchase of gallery admission

Andrea Steele, educator for teacher and school programs at the Frist Center, leads an informal conversation about one or two works of art in the exhibition The Best of Photography and Film from the George Eastman House Collection. Visitors may also enjoy music in the Grand Lobby, martinis, wine and other beverages at the cash bar and visiting with friends.

Saturday, October 25 Family Workshop: Make and Use a Pinhole Camera
10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Frist Center Studios
Appropriate for children ages 8–13 and an accompanying adult
$40 for members; $45 for non-members (price is per project)
Call 615.744.3247 to register for this workshop.

Photography instructor Amanda McCadams will lead this family workshop in which participants will learn to construct and assemble a pinhole camera, handle paper, load cameras and make exposures. The darkroom and chemical side of photo processing will be introduced and each participant will leave with both negative images and positive prints.

Thursday, November 6 Photography Lecture Series, Part I
6:30 p.m. “Kingdom of Darkness, Kingdom of Light:
Auditorium The Invention of Photography and Victorian Culture”

Morna O’Neil, Mellon assistant professor of art history at Vanderbilt University, will discuss the extraordinary proliferation of photography in the Victorian era, a process introduced to the public in 1839. Photographs, which became readily available to the public, provided a different way of seeing the world. Particular attention will be given to Victorian photographs featured in the George Eastman House exhibition.

Saturday, November 8 Adult Photography Workshop: Salt Prints
10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Frist Center Studios
$40 for members; $45 for non-members
Call 615.744.3247 to register for this workshop.

Photography instructor Amanda McCadams will lead participants in a workshop in which they will use their own digital photo files to create enlarged negatives. These negatives will be developed using the historical salted paper photographic process invented by William Henry Fox Talbot. Each participant will create five different salt prints.

Sunday, November 9 Family Day
1¬–5:30 p.m.
Free admission

Enjoy a fun-filled day of excitement with friends and family including special art making activities, live music and dance performances. Featuring masterpieces of photography and film from throughout history, check out the unforgettable images in The Best of Photography and Film from the George Eastman House Collection. Visit the upstairs galleries to experience the passion and timeless sculptures in the exhibition Rodin: A Magnificent Obsession, Sculpture from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation. Other exhibitions include Indelible: The Photographs of Lalla Essaydi and Young Tennessee Artists: 2008 Statewide Advanced Placement* Studio Art. *Advanced Placement is a trademark of the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this exhibition.

Friday, November 14 Films at the Frist: Rear Window
7 p.m.

A wheelchair-bound photographer spies on his neighbors from his apartment window and becomes convinced that one of them has committed murder. This classic, award winning film is a must see on the big screen. (Directed by Alfred Hitchcock; Not Rated; 112 minutes; 1954)

Thursday, November 20 Photography Lecture Series, Part II:
6:30 pm “Is the Medium the Message?”

Susan H. Edwards, Ph.D., executive director and CEO of the Frist Center will discuss how photographs used in everything from propaganda and advertising to journalism influence public and private opinion. More controversially, Dr. Edwards will discuss how photography transcends its own physicality as well as the content it carries to influence society.

Saturdays, December 6 and 13 Frist Center Kids Club: Cyanotypes
1 p.m.–2:30 p.m.
Meet in the Upper-Level Foyer
Call 615.744.3357 to reserve a space.

Designed for 5-10 year olds, the Frist Center Kids Club offers exciting opportunities for children to discover, explore, and create art. Free membership includes a Kids Club card, rewards for participation, and a variety of hands-on activities in the art studios and the Martin ArtQuest Gallery. Featured activity: In conjunction with The Best of Photography and Film from the George Eastman House Collection members will use photosensitive paper to create a cyanotype self-portrait. Kids Club is sponsored by Northwestern Mutual Financial Network, the Pruett Financial Group.

Thursday, December 11 Photography Lecture Series, Part III:
6:30 p.m. “Civil War Photography”

Join Brooks Johnson, curator of photography and 21st century art at the Chrysler Museum of Art, as he discusses iconic photographs on display in The Best of Photography and Film from the George Eastman House Collection, as well as the photographers of the Civil War. He will also speak about the various techniques utilized during this time period.

Friday, December 19 Films at the Frist: Funny Face
7 p.m.

Fashion photographer Dick Avery (Fred Astaire) stumbles upon Jo Stockton (Audrey Hepburn) in a Greenwich Village bookstore. He is intrigued by her unique appearance, as is Maggie Prescott (Kay Thompson), the editor of a leading fashion magazine. This lighthearted film pairs an aging Fred Astaire with a lively, young Audrey Hepburn, places them in Paris with a lovely Gershwin score, and then piles on the slush to create romantic confection that is irresistible. (Directed by Stanley Donan; Not Rated; 103 minutes; 1957)

Friday, January 9 Films at the Frist: Blow Up
7 p.m.

Thomas, a successful fashion photographer, becomes bored with his glamorous life and turns to photographing, in documentary style, the seamy and sordid side of life in London. He innocently takes photos in a deserted park of, what he believes to be, a lovers rendezvous. Back in his darkroom Thomas studies and then blows up his negatives revealing the rendezvous may actually be a murder. Starring Vanessa Redgrave and David Hemmings. (Written and directed by Michelangelo Antonioni; Not Rated; 111 minutes; 1966).

Saturday, January 10 Lecture: “Imaging Space from Space”
2 p.m.
Rechter Room

C. R. O’Dell, distinguished research professor of physics and astronomy, Vanderbilt University, and founding project scientist for the Hubble Space Telescope, NASA, will lead a presentation concerning science imaging. A sampling of images will be presented, including pictures of what the universe looked like in its infancy, with special emphasis on images from the Hubble Space Telescope.

Saturday, January 17 Lecture
2 p.m.
Rechter Room

Amber Barfield, documents conservator at the Tennessee State Archives, will discuss photo conservation and dating, giving attendees ideas on ways to preserve family photographs.

About the Frist Center

Accredited by the American Association of Museums, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, located at 919 Broadway in downtown Nashville, Tenn., is an art exhibition center dedicated to presenting the finest visual art from local, regional, U.S. and international sources in a program of changing exhibitions. The Frist Center’s Martin ArtQuest Gallery features more than 30 interactive stations relating to Frist Center exhibitions. Gallery admission to the Frist Center is free for visitors 18 and younger and to Frist Center members. Frist Center admission is $8.50 for adults, $7.50 for seniors and military and $6.50 for college students with ID. Thursday evenings, 5–9 p.m., admission is free for college students with a valid college ID. Discounts are offered for groups of 10 or more with advance reservation by calling 615.744.3246. The Frist Center is open seven days a week: Mondays through Wednesdays, and Saturdays, 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.; Thursdays and Fridays, 10 a.m.–9 p.m. and Sundays, 1–5:30 p.m., with the Frist Center Café opening at noon. Additional information is available by calling 615.244.3340 or by visiting our Web site at

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