ARG presents rare look at Penn’s photo collection

Penn owns an extensive photography collection that includes the most influential names among 20th century photographers, including Ralph Gibson, Larry Clark, Garry Winogrand, W. Eugene Smith, Harold Edgerton, Elliott Erwitt, Manuel Bravo, Helmut Newton, and Edward Steichen. But the images rarely go on display.

Tomorrow, staff, faculty, and students are invited to a special preview of “9 Perspectives on a Photography Collection,” a special Arthur Ross Gallery (ARG) exhibition drawn exclusively from Penn’s photography collection, and presented as nine shows-within-a-show. The preview will include a reception from 5 to 7:30 p.m., and a panel discussion from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. with the nine curators who selected the photographs. The event is free.

The title of the exhibition reflects the way it was created. ARG Director and University Curator Lynn Marsden-Atlass invited Gabriel Martinez, artist and senior lecturer of photography in the Depart­ment of Fine Arts in PennDesign, to guest-curate the exhibit. After reviewing the more than 800 photographs in the University’s collection, Martinez decided to invite eight of his photography colleagues, who are also working artists, to curate their own show-within-a-show. Each of the nine curators selected images that speak to their distinct points of view as artists and as teachers.

The eight co-curators are: Michael Bryant, photojournalism lecturer and staff photographer at the Philadelphia Inquirer; Nancy Davenport, an assistant professor of fine arts; photography lecturers Jamie Diamond, Anna Neighbor, Karen Rodewald, Sara Stolfa, and Tony Ward, and senior photography lecturer Brent Wahl.

“9 Perspectives” will officially open to the public on Monday, Nov. 12, and run through Jan. 27, 2013. It is the third in a series of exhibitions highlighting Penn’s art collection. The previous exhibitions were “Naked: The University Collection Unveiled” and “Double Take: Series, Multiples and Prints.”

The Arthur Ross Gallery, located at 220 South 34th St., is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The gallery is closed on Mondays. Admission is free.

For more information, or to reserve a group tour, email the gallery at or call 215-898-3617.