newman "2"...the next generation at Crosstown Arts tonight!

by - December 13, 2013

newman "2"...the next generation
New Photographs from the Don Newman Collection
Presented by Memphis Heritage and Crosstown Arts
Where: Crosstown Arts Gallery, 422 N. Cleveland
When: Opening Friday, Dec 13, 6-8pm
Show runs December 10th - January 11th

Memphis Heritage is excited to present a new selection of photographs from the Don Newman archive.

Best known for his stunningly elegant streetscapes of downtown Memphis, this show displays a more varied selection of Newman's images. Photographing both on assignment and out of personal necessity, Don Newman applied the same clear-eyed description to all of his work. This concise edit on display at Crosstown Arts includes images ranging from a tableaux of diligent pressmen, to iconic depictions of both the Harlem House and the Sears building, to a man sensationally defying gravity in a jetpack.

Working primarily with an 8"x10" view camera, Newman's photographs possess a methodical stillness that is indicative of working with a cumbersome tripod mounted camera. The big negatives that are a result of this camera also enable Newman's photographs to be enlarged to a monumental scale, while retaining a high degree of detail. Newman's dispassionate eye is the unifying form that binds these photographs together and imparts them their mysterious objectivity.

Don Newman's work is the result of being deeply curious about photography and Memphis. These photographs are an amazing gift that let us view an uncanny and often beautiful world that has largely vanished, but remains present in these vividly described pictures.

This exhibition is organized by Memphis Heritage.

Don Newman was a native Memphian. Born in 1919, he graduated from Tech High School in 1937 and began working for commercial and industrial photograph George Haley shortly thereafter. In 1939 Don married Bertha Mae to whom he was wed until he passed away in 1994. Newman worked briefly as a photographer for the Memphis Engraving Company and then for Frank Hitchings who he eventually bought out with Jack Fury after Hitchings' retirement. Many of the photographs in the Newman archive were produced for assignments or jobs, but a large number were made to satisfy his personal curiosity and interests. "His work was all by hand, " Bertha Mae has said. "He took the pictures, developed the film, and did the printing himself. It was an interesting life and he liked that."

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