Best Photo Picks December 2019

Featured / What Makes It Great? / December 5, 2019

By Elin Spring and Suzanne Révy

December is filled with celebrations – a collective, valiant blitz against the inhospitable darkness and frigid weather. What better way to keep your inner flame alight than to mount your own “search and rescue” mission in the museums and galleries of New England? Great photography is enlightening, even transporting, and photographs make extraordinary gifts. Since so many travel or receive guests in December, we are bringing you an expanded listing, highlighting this month’s best photography exhibits and events for Boston and beyond, arranged geographically for your convenience. Happy holidays!


6 people (1 day, 1 place), 2018. 30×42.5” 4 Unique cyanotype prints with pigment inks. © Edie Bresler (Courtesy of Gallery Kayafas).

Gallery Kayafas – Edie Bresler’s The Blues & other possibilities and Yorgos Efthymiadis’ There Is A Place I Want To Take You both seek connection in resounding expressions that are vastly different. On view from December 6th, 2019 – January 18th, 2020, the Gallery will be open by appointment between December 22nd – January 1st, with regular hours resuming on January 2nd, 2020. There will be an Artist Reception on First Friday, January 3rd, 2020 from 5;30 – 8:00pm.

To read our review, go to:

For more information, go to:

Laura McPhee, “Cottonwood Under Chalk Bluff by the Truckee River, Washoe County, Nevada, 2014″ Archival pigment print, 30 x 40” (Courtesy of the artist and Carroll & Sons).

Carroll & Sons – Five expansive photographs from Laura McPhee’s ongoing project Desert Chronicle will be on view in a “capsule exhibition” from December 4th, 2019 – February 1st, 2020. For more information, go to:

“Wisdom” by Becky Behar (Courtesy of the artist and Griffin Museum).

Griffin Museum at SOWA – In the tradition of Dutch Golden Age paintings, emerging photographer Becky Behar stages a visual dialog between herself and her daughter in Seeing You, Seeing Me, her meditative studies within a domestic setting. On view through February 2nd, 2020, for directions and more information, go to:



“Into the Light” by Bob Avakian (courtesy of the artist and The Granary Gallery, Martha’s Vineyard).

Panopticon Gallery – In Homeward Bound, nine photographers explore the longing for belonging, guest curated by Suzanne Révy and Elin Spring (yes! that’s us, again!). Bob Avakian (above), Ron Cowie, Brian Kaplan, Molly Lamb (Feature Image), Alysia Macaulay, Sarah Malakoff, Astrid Reischwitz, Suzanne Révy and Cheryle St. Onge will exhibit several works each in a dialog on the yearning for a place we can call home. On view from December 4th, 2019 – February 2nd, 2020. For directions and more information, go to:

“Re-Entry, 2017” by Sally Gall (courtesy of the artist and Robert Klein Gallery).

Robert Klein Gallery – Sally Gall’s colorful articles waving aloft become abstract celebrations of flight in her solo show, on view through December 21st, 2019. For more information, go to:

Untitled #465, 2014
 Hellen van Meene (Dutch, born in 1972) Photograph, chromogenic print. Courtesy of the artist and Yancey Richardson. © Hellen van Meene. Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston – Make Believe, an exhibit of photographs inspired by fairy tales and its companion exhibit, Kay Nielsen’s Enchanted Vision, featuring his enchanting folk tale illustrations. The two shows embellish one another in a lively conversation across galleries.  On view through January 20th, 2020.

For our review, go to:

For information about these exhibits, go to:

Photograph © Deborah Anderson (courtesy of the artist and Leica Gallery Boston).

Leica Gallery Boston – Deborah Anderson’s solo exhibition Women of the White Buffalo features photographs she made during the filming of her documentary about Native Women from the Oglala Lakota Nation. On view through January 12th, 2020. For information, go to:

“Leftovers, 2001” from the series How We Live by Stefanie Klavens (courtesy of the artist).

Suffolk University Gallery, Boston – Finding Home gathers a selection of photographers whose diverse work ponders the gripping desire for a sense of “home”: Christine Collins, Stefanie Klavens (above), David Hilliard, Eduardo L. Rivera, William Christenberry (from the Collection fo Arlette and Gus Kayafas) and Max Belcher (from the Collection of Cheryl Hirshman). On view through January 22, 2020. For more information, go to:



“Untitled (Central Square), 2019” by Karl Baden (courtesy of the artist and Howard Yezerski Gallery).

Gallery 344 (Cambridge Arts in the City Hall Annex) – Mass Ave, Cambridge features Karl Baden’s delightfully layered street photographs of Cambridge’s distinctive neighborhoods from the Charles River to the Arlington border in a rich and diverse photographic portrait of the City. On view through February 14th, 2020, the exhibit includes accounts of Baden’s experience in executing the project and a freely accessible digital photo archiveFor information, go to:

Guy Bourdin “Charles Jourdan, 1978” (1978) © The Guy Bourdin Estate 2017 (Courtesy of Louise Alexander Gallery)

The MIT Museum, Cambridge – After traveling around the world, the critically acclaimed exhibit The Polaroid Project: At the Intersection of Art and Technology opened at the MIT Museum on October 11th, 2019, approximately a block from where instant film was first invented. Exploring the art-technology relationship through the exhibition of both art and artifacts, the show includes work by a veritable hit parade of Polaroid photographers, from André Kertész to Andy Warhol.

To read our review, go to:

For more information about the exhibit and its terrific associated programming, go to:

Lili Almog, Muslim Girl #14, 2009. From the series The Other Half of the Sky. Archival pigment print. Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Fund for the Acquisition of Photographs, 2019.80. © Lili Almog; courtesy of the artist.

Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge – Crossing Lines, Constructing Home: Displacement and Belonging in Contemporary Art is a comprehensive multi-media exhibition featuring many photographs. Co-Curated by Makeda Best and Mary Schneider Enriquez, this multi-faceted, timely exploration of the trauma and transformation experienced by immigrants will be on view through January 5, 2020.

To read Suzanne Révy’s review in ArchitectureBoston magazine, go to:

For information, go to:

Bridge Gallery, Cambridge – The 2019 ZEKE Magazine Award Winners are featured in this exhibition: Rory Doyle’s series Youth of Belfast and Toby Binder’s Delta Hill Riders. On view through January 11th, 2020, for more information, go to:

Yorgos Efthymiadis from the series “Faith in the City” courtesy of the artist and Gallery Kayafas.

The Somerville Museum – Curated by Charan Devereaux, Faith in a City explores religion in Somerville, Massachusetts through music, photography, interviews and history. It is a way to better understand the community and the meaning and role religion plays across the city. The project will include concerts, talks, panel discussions and and an exhibit at the Somerville Museum. The exhibition includes photography by Yorgos Efthymiadis, Carlos Arzaga, Mara Brod, Charan Devereaux, Keiko Hiromi, Alonso Nichols, Claudia Ruiz Gustafson, Amber Tourlentes and will be on view through January 26th, 2020.  For more information and a list of additional events, go to:



“Image of Structure, Form #5” by Joshua Sariñana (Courtesy of the artist and Griffin Museum).

Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester  – Opening on December 10th, 2019 is the Winter Solstice 2019 Member’s Exhibition in the Main Gallery, Lee Cott’s solo show Industrial Gothic: The Seattle Gas Works in the Griffin Gallery, and Joshua Sariñana’s solo exhibit Image of Structure (above) in the Griffin Atelier Gallery. All are on view through January 3rd, 2020. For more information, go to:

“Minatos” from the series Balancing Cultures by Jerry Takigawa (Courtesy of the artist).

Garner Center at the New England School of Photography (NESOP), Waltham – A juried group show, The Audacity of Hope, “celebrates the tenacity of the human spirit and perseverance in the face of adversity” says juror Paula Tognarelli, Executive Director of the Griffin Museum of Photography. On view through January 3rd, 2020, for more information, go to:

Kevin Bubriski, “World Trade Center Series, September 2001” gelatin silver print, courtesy of the artist and the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum.

DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln – Photosynthesis encompasses a suite of three interrelated photography exhibits that consider diverse subjects – from botanical design to news reportage – in light of current ideas about truth in imagery. Truthiness and the NewsAll the Marvelous Surfaces: Photography Since Karl Blossfeldt and Peter Hutchinson: Landscapes of My Life will be on view through March 29th, 2020.

To read our review of All The Marvelous Surfaces, go to:

To read our review of Truthiness and the News, go to:

For more information, go to:

“Hug” 2008, by David Hilliard, C-print, 3 panels, each 24” x 20”; total size 24” x 60” edition of 12
Courtesy of the artist, Fitchburg Art Museum and Carroll and Sons, Boston.

Fitchburg Art Museum, Fitchburg – Photographers Sage Sohier and David Hilliard create a powerful combined exhibition in Our Parents, Ourselves, wherein images of each artist’s same-sex parent created over decades not only tell stories of physical and psychological changes but resonate with universal truths about parental relationships and aging. On view through January 5th, 2020.

For our review, go to:

For information, go to:

Renée Cox, Chillin’ with Liberty (from the Rajé series), 1998. Cibachrome print, 60 x 48 inches. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Long Gallery

Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover – The visiting exhibition, Men of Steel, Women of Wonder presents artistic responses to Superman and Wonder Woman, from their Depression-era origins to ​contemporary interpretations. This multi-media exploration of American values includes many photographs and will be on view through January 5th, 2020. For more information, go to:

Mike Mandel, Baseball-Photographer Trading Cards 1975, Harry Callahan, Ansel Adams, Eva Rubenstein, Duane Michals, Imogen Cunningham, Conrell Capa, Bunny Yeager, Bill Eggleston, Elliot Erwitt, (Courtesy of the artist and Worcester Art Musuem).

Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, MA – Organized primarily from the Museum’s permanent collection, Photo Revolution: Andy Warhol to Cindy Sherman “assesses the trajectory of contemporary art through a comparison of traditional media, such as painting, prints, and sculpture, with photography and emerging photo-based art.” On view through February 16th, 2020.  For more information, go to:



Jesse Burke, Call of the Wild, 2015, from the series “Wild and Precious,” archival inkjet print, edition 3/8, Gift of Dr. Joseph A. Chazan, Newport Art Museum, 2016.019.008. (c) 2017 Jesse Burke.

Newport Art Museum, Newport, R. I. – Forever Young: Representations of Childhood and Adolescence explores realities and myths of youth from the 18th century to the present. This multi-media exhibition includes work by an impressive roster of national and regional photographers like Sally Mann, Rania Matar, Arno Rafael Minkkinen, Abelardo Morell, Aaron Siskind, Paul Strand, Lucas Foglia, Judy Haberl, Jaclyn Kain, Susan Lapides, Jesse Burke (above), Zoe Perry-Wood, Suzanne Révy, Stephen Sheffield, and Maggie Taylor. Last chance, on view through December 31st, 2019! For more information, go to:

Vermont Center for Photography (VCP), Brattleboro, VT – Now in its 21st year, the Vermont Center for Photography presents it 2019 Annual Members Exhibition, on view through December 29th, 2019. For more information, go to:

Keliy Anderson-Staley, Shelter in Place as installed at SITE Gallery, Silos at Sawyer Yards, Houston, TX, 2018. Wet-plate collodion tintypes, wood, and metal, 120 x 96 x 96 in. Courtesy of the artist and Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago.

Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, VT – Time Lapse: Contemporary Analog Photography showcases work made with a variety of 19th-century photographic processes, such as daguerreotypes, cyanotypes and photograms. Thirteen national and international artists, including Keliy Anderson-Staley (above), Adam Fuss, Sally Mann and David Emitt Adams contribute to a hit parade of photographers using alternative methods, on view through March 8th, 2020.  For more information, go to:

“Martha Graham” © Barbara Morgan

Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Maine – Barbara Morgan: Letter to the World traces the artist’s (1900-1992) fascination with gesture and movement, highlighting how her photography recorded what she called the world’s “rhythmic vitality.” On view through February 9th, 2020, for more information, go to:

“Margot by the Shed” by Jack Montgomery (Courtesy of the artist and Maine Museum of Photographic Arts).

Maine Museum of Photographic Arts, Portland, Maine – In a collaboration with the Bates College Museum of Art, Jack Montgomery and Ralph Gibson: Appearances highlights the intersection of these two late career photographers who have sought an underlying truth about how the external communicates the internal. On view through January 27th, 2020, for more information, go to:



Photographic Resource Center (PRC, Boston), Cambridge, MA – Arno Minkkinen will be giving a talk, “Going the Distance” followed by a Q&A and book signing at the Lunder Arts Center, 1801 Massachusetts Avenue, Wednesday evening, December 18th, 2019 from 6.30 pm. Don’t miss this! A fabulous photographer, speaker, and book!

Newport Art Museum in Newport, R.I.

Newport Art Museum, Newport, R.I. –The Newport artist residency, AiR/Newport is designed to encourage the creative, intellectual, and personal growth of emerging and established visual artists and designers by giving them the time, space, and solitude needed to create, apart from the daily demands of production and deadline.” The application deadline is February 15, 2020 for our first artist residency, which will be the month of June, 2020.

For more information, go to:

Rhode Island Center for Photographic Arts (RICPA), Providence, R.I. – Call for Entries for “The Heart Goes Nine”, photography that explores personal vision, guest juried by J. Sybylla Smith. Entries will be accepted through December 22nd, 2019. For information, go to:

Feature Image: Molly Lamb, “Untitled (Broken)” 2018, from the series Before the Trees, archival pigment print, courtesy of the artist and Rick Wester Fine Art, New York City.

Elin Spring

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1 Comment

on December 24, 2019

I am determined to see the Leica Gallery’s exhibition of Deborah Anderson’s solo exhibition Women of the White Buffalo.

The entire exhibition, “Best Photo Picks December 2019” is admirable and, as usual, Elin provides much insight into the intention and the result of the photographers image.

Thank you, Elin, for this exciting edition of your online magazine.

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