The Amon Carter Museum of American Art presents With the Help of Friends, on view February 2 through June 2, 2019. The exhibition showcases fifteen dynamic photographs from the museum’s collection ranging from the 1930s to the present day. These works were selected and purchased over the course of seven years by the Amon Carter with the assistance of its photography collection supporters. With the Help of Friends highlights the vibrancy of the museum’s collection in addition to the ongoing relationship with its members, and the key help that members provide in sustaining the collection as one of the world’s leading repositories of American photography.
“The Amon Carter is fortunate to have a robust and enthusiastic group of members in our community that are invested in not just the future of the museum, but also to the growth of the collection,” said Andrew J. Walker, Executive Director. “With the Help of Friends celebrates artwork in our prestigious photography collection, demonstrating the dedication of members who came together to help select and advocate for the acquisition of compelling and diverse works of art.”
“This exhibition acknowledges the key support that museum members have provided to photographic acquisitions, and celebrates the reinvigoration of this initiative through the Collectors Forum. We are deeply grateful for this generous assistance, and appreciative of the fellowship that comes through our shared passion for photography,” said John Rohrbach, Senior Curator of Photographs.
With the Help of Friends features work by established and lesser-known artists including Manuel de Aumente, Margaret Bourke-White, Mitch Epstein, David Gibson, Jane Hammond, Joaquin Trujillo, among others. Whether it’s the youthful theatrics of Trujillo’s Jacky (Los Niños) or the raw industrial motion of Bourke-White’s Four Thousand Fahrenheit, Otis Steel Company, these photographs tell vivid stories about life and how we think about our world. The photographs also relay the story of the support of museum members in the growth of the collection. The acclaimed photography collection began with a gift; in 1961 American photographer Dorothea Lange gave three photographs of Charles M. Russell. This generous spirit of investment in the collection continues today with the museum’s Photography Forum.
Since the Amon Carter’s inception, support from museum members has played a crucial role in the success of the museum and its ability to tell the story of American Art. Members who take an active role in the acquisition of artwork, such as those on view in With the Help of Friends, has evolved into the recently formed Collectors Forum. A benefit of the museum’s Circle-level memberships, individuals of either the Photography Forum or the Works on Paper Forum come together to share their passion for collecting art and supporting the museum’s acquisition program. The Photography Forum members play a critical role in the museum’s ongoing efforts to reflect the vitality and complexity of American art.
Throughout the month of March, the museum will offer a series of programs inspired by With the Help of Friends beginning with a special artist talk with New York City photographer Mitch Epstein on March 7. Epstein, whose work Weeping Beech, Brooklyn Botanical Garden, Brooklyn is on view in the exhibition, will discuss his interest in the changing language of photographic printing with a private reception for individuals of the Photography Forum group immediately following the event. Ransom Riggs’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, a young adult novel andNew York Times bestseller, is the featured title for the March 21 Book Club. Inspired by old photographs that Riggs collected from flea markets, the novel offers a thrilling fictional tale woven together with unusual photography. Rohrbach will lead readers on a private tour of the exhibition sharing insights and the history of the artworks on view prior to the group discussion diving into the plot of the book. The second installment of the museum’s newest lecture series, Experts Talk on the Carter (ETC.) — a series bringing together thought leaders in various fields who will turn their eye to works in our collection, helping us see art in new ways through the lens of their own work and passions — will feature Ted Forbes and MacKenzie Hughes on March 28. Both are local experts in the photography field who will share insights on the Fort Worth photography community, while exploring the works in the museum collection. For dates, times, and additional programs, visit cartermuseum.org.
With the Help of Friends is supported in part by the generosity of Amon Carter members and donors, the City of Fort Worth and Texas Commission on the Arts through the Arts Council of Fort Worth, and the Fort Worth Tourism Public Improvement District. Amon Carter acquisitions of photography and works on paper are supported in part by funding from the museum’s Collectors Forum. With the Help of Friends is included in the museum’s free admission.