See the Light—Photography, Perception, Cognition: The Marjorie and Leonard Vernon Collection
Los Angeles residents Marjorie and Leonard Vernon began to collect photography in 1975, eventually building a collection of some 3,600 photographs spanning the entire history of the medium. In 2008 LACMA acquired the complete collection, making it possible for the museum to represent photography’s full range and its centrality in modern visual culture. This exhibition of 220 photographs from the Vernon Collection takes a historical perspective, identifying parallels between photography and vision science over time. The earliest commentaries on photography, published at the moment of its invention in the late 1830s, positioned the medium between art and science. As a scientific instrument, the camera operates as an infallible eye, augmenting physiological vision; as an artistic tool, it channels the imagination, recording creative vision. Much of photography’s authority and fascination resides in its interdisciplinary grounding. Whether we analyze it as a science or admire it as an art, photography’s power may never be fully explained, but it will always offer revelations about vision, perception, and cognition.
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This exhibition was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and made possible by a generous gift from Fredric Roberts, with additional support from the Annenberg Foundation.
Image: György Kepes, Balance, 1942, Gelatin Silver Print, The Marjorie and Leonard Vernon Collection, gift of The Annenberg Foundation, acquired from Carol Vernon and Robert Turbin, © The György Kepes Estate.
I’ll admit I have little interest in an exhibit whose focus is based primarily on the gender of the artist. That said, if in some alternate universe (or blogosphere!) I was asked to organize such a show, I’d be glad to be able to share with my audience the depth and breadth of female photographers found in the Marjorie and Leonard Vernon Collection. In See the Light—Photography, Perception, Cognition: The Marjorie and Leonard Vernon Collection, the presence of women practitioners is felt throughout the 200-plus works that are featured in the loosely chronological display that covers the invention of photography through to the late 1980s…
The exhibition See the Light—Photography, Perception, Cognition: The Marjorie and Leonard Vernon Collection presents 220 photographs from the Vernon Collection, one of the most important holdings of photography that spans the history of the medium. The presentation aims to identifying parallels between photography and vision science over time…