Photo op

‘Benefit Auction’ at the PRC, ‘History in a Shoebox’ at Wellesley, and glass pumpkins at MIT
By RANDI HOPKINS  |  September 19, 2006


Duane Michals, My kite swims in waves of winds, November 1, 2005

A pair of anonymous snapshots of Robert Frost taken in 1960, a classic print of American factory workers in the 1950s by W. Eugene Smith, a photograph embellished with his signature handwritten text by Duane Michals, an eerie tintype of tiny plastic ballerinas by Lana Caplan, Andrew Brilliant’s poetic#4 — First Photo Walk Haiku , and a Boston-based work from Jules Aarons’s In the Jewish Neighborhoods (1946-’76) portfolio are the tip of the photographic iceberg when it comes to the Photographic Resource Center’s “2006 PRC BENEFIT AUCTION,” which will take place at Boston University’s vast 808 Gallery (formerly the Fuller Cadillac Building) on October 5. The more than 200 works on view represent a variety of photographic techniques, approaches, eras, sensibilities, and price tags; with estimated artwork values ranging from $150 to $5000, it’s a great opportunity to add to — or start — your art collection while supporting a worthy cause. This year’s auction marks the PRC’s 30th anniversary, so the party should be especially festive. Your $50 ticket gets you a copy of the extensive auction catalogue, a paddle, food, and parking. If buying a new photo isn’t in your budget right now, I still recommend visiting the auction’s “Preview Exhibition,” which fills both the 808 Gallery and the PRC Gallery next door through October 1.

Never-before-seen photographs taken by a baker with a camera are the subject of “History in a Shoebox: Photographs from the Spanish Civil War, Lleida 1936–1939,” which opens at the Sculpture Court Gallery at Wellesley College’s Jewett Art Center September 27. Although Wellesley’s Davis Museum is closed for repairs this year, there is still art at Wellesley, as this gem of a show attests. Twenty photographs taken by Ramon Rius, a baker in the Catalan town of Lérida, document the burning of churches, the demonstrations in support of the Republic, and the entrance of the Fascists into his town. They’ve been printed and are on display for the first time, developed from negatives found hidden in a shoebox and passed down to Rius’s granddaughter.

The students and instructors at MIT’s Glass Lab celebrate gnarly stems, squatty orange forms, and irresistible glossy surfaces in the sixth annual “Great Glass Pumpkin Patch” on the lawn in front of Kresge Auditorium September 29 and 30, with more than 1000 one-of-a-kind hand-blown glass pumpkins and gourds on view (and for sale, Saturday only, at prices ranging from $20 to $200). Proceeds from the event benefit the Lab, an art program connected with MIT’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

“2006 PRC Benefit Auction and Preview Exhibition” at PRC Gallery, 832 Comm Ave, Boston, and 808 Gallery, 808 Comm Ave, Boston | through October 1 (preview exhibition); October 5 at 6 pm (benefit auction) | 617.975.0600 | “History in a Shoebox” at Sculpture Court Gallery, Jewett Art Center, 106 Central St, Wellesley | September 27–October 29 | 781.283.2081  | “Great Glass Pumpkin Patch” at MIT’s Kresge Oval, 48 Mass Ave, Cambridge | September 29-30 | 978.745.9500 or 617.253.5309

On the Web
PRC Gallery: http://www.prcboston.org
Sculpture Court Gallery: http://www.wellesley.edu/DavisMuseum/education
MIT’s Kresge Oval:http://web.mit.edu/arts

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