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The Allen Memorial Art Museum is currently closed for improvements.

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Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College
87 North Main Street, Oberlin, OH 44074
440.775.8665

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The Allen presents changing exhibitions along with engaging guest speakers and public programs.

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The Allen's collection is particularly strong in 17th century Dutch and Flemish painting, Japanese prints, early modern art, African art, and more.

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Femme ’n isms, Part II: Flashpoints in Photography

January 2, 2024 - January 18, 2025
In Ripin Gallery

Femme ’n isms, Part II: Flashpoints in Photography

January 2, 2024 - January 18, 2025
In Ripin Gallery

Virtual Tour

Drawn from the Allen’s collection, this exhibition spans more than 150 years. Although far from comprehensive, the loosely chronological presentation encompasses key practitioners and decisive moments in the history of photography.

From the mid-19th century to the first decades of the 20th, there was widespread debate as to whether photography should be considered a fine art rather than a mechanical trade. The exhibition opens with practitioners who took advantage of this ambiguity to enter the field and make crucial discoveries, largely through portraiture. Works on view from the 1920s to the 1950s show how photographers used the unique characteristics of the medium to document the quintessentially modernist processes of urbanization, infrastructure, and scientific discovery.

The second half of the exhibition focuses on strategies of appropriation and collage from the post-World War II period to the present, foregrounding the effects of mass media. Alongside these concerns, photographers developed conceptual modes of portraiture to address identity-based issues.

This is the second installment of the multi-year series Femme ’n isms, which highlights women-identified artists in the Allen’s collection and expands art-historical notions of the feminine through the intersections of gender, race, and class. The exhibition includes works by Berenice Abbott, Laura Aguilar, Margaret Bourke-White, Claude Cahun, Julia Margaret Cameron, Nan Goldin, Dorothea Lange, Barbara Norfleet, Cindy Sherman, Iiu Susiraja, Carrie Mae Weems, and others.

Images:
Cindy Sherman (American, b. 1954), Untitled Film Still #53 (Blonde: Close-Up with Lamp), 1980, Gift of Donald Droll in honor of Chloe Hamilton Young, 1984.18.
Claude Cahun (French, 1894–1954), Untitled (Self-Portrait), 1927, Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Photography Fund, 1992.12.

Organized by

Sam Adams

Ellen Johnson ’33 Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art

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Allen Memorial Art Museum Closed for the Summer

Starting May 27, the Allen Memorial Art Museum will close for the summer in the lead up to the completion of Oberlin College and Conservatory's Sustainable Infrastructure Program (SIP). Learn More