December 6, 2023

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California Museum of Pictures turns 50

The California Museum of Pictures has been documenting history, art, and community for 50 years.

Its collection of cameras, pictures, and artwork will be on screen at “CMP at 50,” a five-thirty day period celebration that kicks off Saturday, March 18, 2023. The anniversary reception is set for April 15, 6 p.m. It is free and open up to the community. 

Housed inside of UCR ARTS and aspect of the College of California, Riverside, the California Museum of Images, or CMP, is household to roughly 500,000 objects. It retains the country’s largest selection of stereographic images and the largest community collection of cameras on the West Coastline. This half century anniversary showcases the get the job done of 68 artists and 135 of their pieces throughout the initial floor galleries of the CMP.

Grace Saunders, exhibition and design assistant, works on wall text for the California Museum of Photography's "CMP at 50" exhibition on March 7, 2023. (UCR/Sandra Baltazar Martínez)

Grace Saunders, exhibition and layout assistant, operates on wall textual content for the California Museum of Photography’s “CMP at 50” exhibition on March 7, 2023. (UCR/Sandra Baltazar Martínez)

“A central eyesight of the California Museum of Images has always been its curiosity in a holistic understanding of photography, not only as an artwork kind, but as a cultural and technological phenomenon,” mentioned Leigh Gleason, the exhibition curator. “This check out has focused the way the museum has crafted its selection and shaped its curatorial program in excess of the past 50 a long time. ‘CMP at 50’ celebrates this legacy, and the numerous workers, school, donors, collectors, users, college students, and other supporters who have contributed to the CMP’s good results.”

The exhibition format capabilities a few rooms, just about every made to information guests on a journey that speaks to CMP’s selection progress around the decades. “CMP at 50” is a bilingual exhibition — given that 2017 UCR ARTS has offered all labeling and wall text in equally English and Spanish. 

CMP’s record is as one of a kind as its assortment. Its origins started in 1969 with Riverside surgeon Robert Bingham, a camera enthusiast who in 1973 donated his collection to UCR. Bingham worked with UCR art professor Edward Beardsley to create the CMP, which at first lived in the basement of UCR’s Tomás Rivera Library.

Their initial important challenge jointly was in 1973 when Beardsley proposed an exhibition on the record of pictures, titled “Revolution in a Box, from 1839.” Beardsley also labored with artist James Turrell, then in graduate faculty at Claremont Graduate University, to curate an exhibition that provided roughly 190 pictures and 185 cameras.

By the late 1970s, the CMP’s holdings involved a lot of is effective which remain cornerstones of the collection. Amid them are the Keystone-Mast Assortment, the major surviving archive of stereoscopic photos in the world, and the Buddies of Images selection, showcasing works by grasp photographers Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, A.C. Vroman, and Albert Renger-Patzsch, amid many others. Other sizeable early acquisitions integrated photos by Walker Evans and Raoul Gradvohl. 

Steve Beswick, museum preparator, frames "Decoration for Hurricane Gloria, 1985" by Kenji Nakahashi, on March 7, 2023 at UCR ARTS. (UCR/Sandra Baltazar Martínez)

Steve Beswick, museum preparator, frames “Decoration for Hurricane Gloria, 1985” by Kenji Nakahashi, on March 7, 2023 at UCR ARTS. The picture will be part of the “CMP at 50” exhibition. (UCR/Sandra Baltazar Martínez)

Gleason explained the CMP is even now escalating its collection, regularly incorporating cameras and photographs that grow on and complement its current collections. Some museum acquisitions about the past five a long time are a massive assortment of American subject cameras and comprehensive performs by photographers including Bruce Davidson, Joel Meyerowitz, Lewis deSoto, William Mortensen, John Divola, Ansel Adams, and Lisa Bloomfield.

At “CMP at 50,” readers will look at a wide selection of photos, from a about 4-inch 1865 hand-colored tintype portrait of a woman in a interval body by an unidentified artist, to the most contemporary piece, a approximately 5-foot brilliant yellow monochrome picture designed by artist Phil Chang. 

Kathryn Poindexter-Akers, exhibitions supervisor at UCR ARTS, said the “CMP at 50” staff aimed to showcase the breadth and depth of the collection, like international, neighborhood, and female photographers. 

In 2023, as CMP positions alone for the future, it will do so with the exact same untethered spirit it has experienced for the past 50 yrs, Gleason stated. 

“Never frightened to concern the boundaries and constraints of photography, exhibitions have involved vehicles, sandcastles, and even Andy Warhol’s iconic white-haired wig, although presenting slicing-edge lens-centered imagery,” Gleason mentioned. “This trajectory continues. In 2024, UCR ARTS is organizing an exhibition titled ‘Digital Seize: Southern California and the Origin of the Pixel-Centered Picture World,’ which presents the get the job done of groundbreaking electronic artists who appropriated fast evolving electronic technologies, and how these explorations continue now.”

CMP will showcase operate by these 68 artists:

Berenice Abbott Ansel Adams Yolanda Andrade Lewis Baltz Thomas Barrow Mark Berghash Marie Bovo Manuel Álvarez Bravo Laurie Brown Wynn Bullock Steven J. Cahill Jo Ann Callis Phil Chang Larry Clark Will Connell Linda Connor Darryl Curran Bruce Davidson Wayne E. Davis Joe Deal Lewis DeSoto Jona Frank Travon Totally free Anthony Friedkin Lee Friedlander Francis Frith Walker Evans Anna Gaskell Flor Garduño Raoul Gradvohl Philippe Halsman Graciela Iturbide Mike Kelley Sant Khalsa André Kertész Kusakabe Kimbei Hiromu Kira Mark Klett & Byron Wolfe Jacques-Henri Lartigue Danny Lyon Mike Mandel M. Robert Markovich Eniac Martinez Douglas McCulloh Susan Meiselas Pedro Meyer Joel Meyerowitz Barbara Morgan Kenji Nakahashi Arnold Newman Anne Noggle Kenda North Rubén Ortiz Torres Marion Palfi Sheila Pinkel Jim Pomeroy Herb Speedy Man Ray Christopher Russell Stephen Shore Larry Silver Phel Steinmetz Penelope Umbrico Inez van Lamsweerde Andy Warhol Gillian Wearing Edward Weston Garry Winogrand

California Museum of Pictures

Exhibition: March 18-Aug.6, 2023
Spring Reception: Saturday, April 15, 6-9pm
Deal with: 3824 + 3834 Key Street in Riverside, CA 92501
Hrs: Thursday & Friday: Midday – 5pm Saturday & Sunday: 11am – 5pm
Admission: No cost
Web page:

Grace Saunders (left) and Emily Gray work at the California Museum of Photography on March 7, 2023. They are setting up for the CMP's 50th anniversary exhibition. (UCR/Sandra Baltazar Martínez)

Grace Saunders (left), exhibition and style and design assistant, and Emily Gray, museum preparator, do the job in 1 of a few exhibition rooms at the California Museum of Images, on March 7, 2023. (UCR/Sandra Baltazar Martínez) operates on wall text for the California Museum of Photography’s “CMP at 50” exhibition on March 7, 2023. (UCR/Sandra Baltazar Martínez)