Best Photo Picks Summer 2019

Featured / What Makes It Great? / July 11, 2019

By Elin Spring and Suzanne Révy

What is going on this summer?  The customary fare of tranquil, seasonally-themed group shows has been usurped by a parade of blockbuster exhibits in and around Boston. This article features both large and small shows of note, grouped geographically and highlighting opening receptions and events throughout July and August. In addition, during these halcyon wandering months we are including a broader geographic range of exhibits that promise to enliven your summer travels. Boston and its environs appear first, followed by other New England states. Please feel free to contact us directly if you have an exhibit later on in the summer that you would like us to consider for inclusion, as we update regularly. Our usual monthly Best Photo Picks will resume in September.


From the series Raising Goosebumps by Cate Wnek (courtesy of the artist).

Photographic Resource Center (PRC) at Lesley University (Cambridge, MA) – EXPOSURE 2019 has its Opening Reception TONIGHT, Thursday, July 11th, 2019 in the Van Dernoot Gallery at University Hall with many of the artists in attendance from 5:30 – 8:30pm! Guest juror Mark Alice Durant has selected fourteen photographers from a national competition for this annual exhibit of exciting new work, featuring multiple pieces from Astrid Reischwitz, Gregory Jundanian, Hank Hauptmann, Jaina Cipriano, Jessica Burko, Judy Haberl, Kristen Emack, Mary Zompetti, Molly Lamb, Navidreza Haghighimood, Nick Meyer. Regina DeLuise, and Reid+ Factor. On view through August 11th, 2019, for more information, go to:

Also at the PRC and on view through August 11th, the group exhibit “Transmutations” curated by Sarah Pollman, featuring the photographs of Dell M. Hamilton, S. Billie Mandle, Larry C. Volk, Caleb Cole, and Courtney Nimura & Trevor Powers.  There will be a free, public Artists Talk on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019 at 6:30pm. For our review, go to:

For more information, go to:

Bridge Gallery (Cambridge) – Celebrated Boston photographer Lou Jones’ PanAFRICAproject showcases his ongoing mission to dispel misconceptions through vibrant, compelling photographs of Africa’s changing face. There will be a free, public Opening Reception this Saturday, July 13th, 2019 from 5:00 – 9:00pm. For more information, go to:

Olivia Parker, Honeymoon, 2016. Inkjet print. © Olivia Parker (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum and Robert Klein Gallery).

Peabody Essex Museum (PEM, Salem, MA) – Order of Imagination: The Photographs of Olivia Parker opens on Saturday, July 13th, 2019! In a retrospective exhibit celebrating Parker’s forty year career, PEM presents over 100 pieces that express the inexhaustible creativity and enchanting vision of this outstanding artist. Ms. Parker will be onstage with PEM Assistant Curator Virginia Myhaver at an opening day event, July 13th, 2019 from 11:00am – noon. Their conversation will explore Parker’s use of innovative photographic processes and the themes found in her work. To reserve seats for this free special event, go to:   On view through November 11th, 2019, for more information, go to:

John Thomson, The Island Pagoda, 1873. Carbon print. Gift of the Estate of Mrs. Anthony Rives. © Peabody Essex Museum. Photography by Ken Sawyer.

Also at PEM, A Lasting Memento: John Thomson’s Photographs Along the River Min presents extraordinary 1870’s photographs by the Scottish ex-patriot with an inspired contemporary reply from Chinese photographer Luo Dan. Responding to a burgeoning British tea trade, Thomson’s exploratory images prompt inevitable comparisons to our current trade relations with China. Artistically compelling and unexpectedly timely, A Lasting Memento will be on view through May 17th , 2020. For our review, go to:

For more information, go to:

“Posts” by Brian Kosoff, winner of the Griffin Award in the Griffin Museum’s 25th Annual Juried Exhibition (courtesy of the artist and Griffin Museum of Photography).

Griffin Museum of Photography (Winchester, MA) – The 25th Annual Juried Exhibition will open in the Main Gallery at the Griffin Museum of Photography on Thursday, July 18th, 2019. Guest curator Julie Grahame will give a Gallery Walk & Talk about her selections for the show at 6:15pm, followed by the Opening Reception from 7:00 – 8:30pm. For more information, go to:

Also at the Griffin Museum from July 18th – September 1st, 2019, in the Griffin Gallery is Eleonora Ronconi’s solo exhibit “Serás Mis Ojos” and in the Atelier Gallery is Kay Kenny’s solo exhibit “Into the Night in the Middle of Nowhere.” For more information, go to:

Hellen van Meene, Untitled #465, 2014. Chromogenic print. Courtesy of the artist and Yancey Richardson. © Hellen van Meene.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA) – This has been a banner year for photography at the MFA, and the delights continue this summer with two more notable shows. “Make Believe” opening on July 20th, 2019 “brings together five artists who stage fantastical scenes for the camera to address a wide range of social and cultural issues, including the role of women in the Middle East, climate change, the passage from childhood to adolescence, and existential fears of loneliness and loss” (Karen Haas, exhibit curator). On view in the Herb Ritts Gallery through January 20th, 2020, for more information, go to:

Consuelo Kanaga, Young Girl in Profile, 1948. Gelatin silver print. The Howard Greenberg Collection—Museum purchase with funds donated by the Phillip Leonian and Edith Rosenbaum Leonian Charitable Trust. © Estate of Consuelo Kanaga

The blockbuster exhibit we’ve been anticipating since it was announced by the MFA last fall, Viewpoints: Photographs from the Howard Greenberg Collection” will open on August 10th, 2019. 150 of the most memorable and powerful photographs of the 20th century will be organized into seven themes and displayed in multiple locations throughout the museum. This exhibit will showcase a selection of the recently acquired, truly exceptional Howard Greenberg Collection and will be accompanied by an exhibition catalog. On view through December 15th, 2019, for more information, go to:

FRANCO FONTANA, Venice, Los Angeles, 1990 (courtesy of the artist and Robert Klein Gallery).

Robert Klein Gallery (Back Bay, Boston) – “True Color” features the richly satisfying photographs of Italian photographer Franco Fontana. Color, architecture, landscape and abstraction merge into striking compositions on view through August 16th, 2019.  For more information, go to:

4th of July Parade #2, Saugerties, NY 2016 © Doug Menuez (courtesy of the artist and Leica Gallery Boston).

Leica Gallery Boston (Back Bay, Boston) – Photographer Doug Menuez’s solo show Americana offers “an intimate glimpse of his ongoing documentation of the contemporary North American landscape”, with an Opening Reception for the New England premier of this work on July 25th, 2019 from 6pm to 9pm, followed by an Artist Talk on July 26th from 5pm to 7pm.

Also at Leica Gallery, the pop-up exhibit Seen: A Collaboration, a selection of photographs from 13 visual projects by international documentary photographers and journalists documenting and exploring diverse communities and narratives. The show is produced with the support and mentorship of Ed Kashi (VII Agency) and James Estrin (Lens, The New York Times), through the Anderson Ranch Arts Center and will be on view from July 11th-25th, 2019, with an Opening Reception TONIGHT, Thursday, July 11th, 2019 from 6:00 – 9:00pm. 

For free registration and more information, go to:

“Untitled, 2013” by Jennifer McClure (courtesy of the artist and Panopticon Gallery).

Panopticon Gallery (inside Hotel Commonwealth, Kenmore Square) – Summer Splash! group exhibition features photographs by Amy Friend, Daniel Jackson, Jane Krensky, Jen Ervin, Kristianne Koch Riddle, Diana H. Bloomfield, and Jennifer McClure; each inspired by summertime’s wet and wonderful whimsy. On view through September 4th, 2019, for more information, go to:

Pleasures and Terrors of Levitation, #37, 1953/1971. 14×11” gelatin silver image on 20×16” paper. © Aaron Siskind Foundation (courtesy of Gallery Kayafas).

Gallery Kayafas (SOWA gallery district) – WATER is a group exhibit curated by Gus Kayafas with 63 artists represented and nearly 90 pieces, much of it photography, from vintage works by artists like Aaron Siskind (above), Harry Callahan, Garry Winogrand, Edweard Muybridge, and Harold “Doc” Edgerton to contemporaries like Lynn Saville, Peter Kayafas, Greg Heins, Edie Bresler, and Zoe Perry-Wood. Soak it in through August 10th, 2019, with Artists’ Receptions on this Friday, July 12th and on Friday, August 2nd, 2019 from 5:30 – 8:00pm. For more information, go to:

Staircase, 2016
35 x 31 inches
Archival pigment print
Courtesy the artist

Laconia Gallery (SOWA gallery district) – This is your last chance to see the stellar group show Presence of Beingcurated by Hank Hauptmann and featuring the work of sixteen Boston-area women working in photographic portraiture, SATURDAY, July 13th, 2019 from noon – 4:00pm. For our review, go to:

For more information, go to:

THE FENCE (SOWA gallery district) – Enjoy the outdoors and take in the largest gathering of public art from a national competition of emerging photographers on The FENCE, exhibiting throughout the summer on Thayer and Albany Streets.

The Cooper Gallery at Harvard University (Cambridge, MA) – Gordon Parks is rightly recognized as the most important African-American photographer of the 20th century. On view through July 19th, 2019, “Gordon Parks: Selections from the Dean Collection” features photographs from the collection of Kasseem Dean and Alicia Keys, who hold the largest private collection of his work. For more information, go to:

Etel Mittag-Fodor, “Ball and Bowl, 1928” (courtesy Bauhaus-Archiv, Berlin).

MIT Museum (Cambridge, MA) – In celebration of the Bauhaus centennial, the Museum presents “Arresting Fragments: Object Photography at the Bauhaus”, featuring 90 prints from Bauhaus Archive, Berlin, collections. The photographs, made primarily by Lucia Moholy (1923-28), Walter Peterhans (1928-33) and Erich Consemüller, celebrate the modernity of items of everyday use, many of them designed at the Bauhaus. A selection of photography of furnishings and buildings is also included, on view through September 1st, 2019. For information, go to:

“Woman Driver, June 1977” by John Goodman (courtesy of the artist and Howard Yezerski Gallery, Boston).

Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, MA – Photographs made from recently rediscovered Kodachrome and Ektachrome slides, “John Goodman: not recent color” features vibrant cinematic views of the American cultural landscape through the lens of the young street photographer in the 1970s and 1980s, on view through July 31st, 2019. For our review, go to:   Also at the Addison, the multi-media exhibit “Harlem: In Situ,” featuring the work of many renowned photographers, such as Roy DeCarava, Dawoud Bey, Aaron Siskind and Lucien Aigner, also on view through July 31st, 2019.  For information on all shows at the Addison, go to:



Photograph © Carol Guzy (courtesy of the artist and The Gallery Upstairs).

The Gallery Upstairs (Orleans, MA) – Pulitzer Prize winning, Washington Post photographer Carol Guzy’s solo show “The Question of Why” opens TONIGHT, Thursday, July 11th, 2019 from 6:00 – 8:00pm. For more information, go to:

“Stray, 2017” by David Hilliard (courtesy of the artist and The Schoolhouse Gallery).

The Schoolhouse Gallery (Provincetown, MA) – Upcoming multi-media summer show features photographers David Hilliard (above), William Hamlin, William Scully and Charlie Welch, on view from July 19th – August 7th, 2019 with an Opening Reception on Friday, July 19th, 2019 from 6:00 – 9:00pm. For more information, go to:

“House on the Hill” from the series Menemsha Nights by Bob Avakian (courtesy of the artist and Granary Gallery)

Granary Gallery (West Tisbury, Martha’s Vineyard) – Bob Avakian’s lustrous, magical night photographs of Martha’s Vineyard are on view through Saturday, July 20th, 2019. For more information, go to:



Rhode Island Center for Photographic Arts (RICPA, Providence, R.I.) – “Time Zero and Beyond: Instant Photography,” a group exhibit curated by Polaroid guru John Reuter, will be on view from July 18th – August 9th, 2019, along with a solo exhibit, “Holdup in the Hood” by Francis Crisafio. There will be an Opening Reception with the artists for both shows on Thursday, July 18th from 5:00 – 9:00pm. For more information, go to:

Francis Crisafio’s Holdup in the Hood is at the Rhode Island Center for Photographic Arts.

Photographs Left to Right © Mickalene Thomas, © Paul Mpagi Sepuya, © Catherine Opie (courtesy of Wadsworth Atheneum).

Wadsworth Atheneum (Hartford, CT) – “Be Seen: Portrait Photography Since Stonewall” explores how artists have used portrait photography to challenge, subvert, and play with societal norms of gender and sexuality in the past 50 years since the Stonewall riots of 1969. Featuring a raft of eminent, influential photographers and a plethora of associated events, the exhibit will be on view through September 15th, 2019. For more information, go to:

Vermont Center for Photography (VCP, Brattleboro, VT) – “LUGO: Emma Ressel, Richard Max Gavrich, & Vanessa Kotovich” presents the visual responses of three photographers tasked with defining a “sense of place” for the “small, unremarkable town of Lugo, Italy.” In collaboration with Bard College, organized by Luca Nostri, Francesco Neri, and Tim Davis. The Lugo Land project attempts to investigate the changing face of the Lowlands of Northern Italy through the critical response of contemporary artists. On view through July 28th, 2019, for more information, go to:

Cig Harvey, Kendall at Beauchamp, c. 2014, Chromogenic dye coupler print (courtesy of the artist and Robert Klein Gallery).

Ogunquit Museum of American Art (Ogunquit, ME) – “Eating Flowers: Sensations of Cig Harvey” is Harvey’s first solo museum show, featuring sensual, vibrant and emotional work inspired by her life in Maine. Drawing on projects spanning the past ten years, the exhibit will be on view from July 18th – October 31st, 2019. For more information, go to:

“Reforestation” by Ian Trask (courtesy of the artist and Cove Street Arts).

Cove Street Arts (Portland, ME) – The latest addition to the vibrant and growing East Bayside arts community in Portland presents Ian Trask’s solo exhibit “Strange Histories,” imaginative double-exposures that transcend the boundaries of time and experience by combining found 35 mm slide photography, analog collage, and assemblage sculpture. On view from July 18th – September 13th, 2019, there will be an Opening Reception on Thursday, July 18th, 2019 from 5:00 – 7:00pm. For more information, go to:

Featured Image: Olivia Parker, Eggs, 2005. Inkjet print. © Olivia Parker (courtesy of the artist and Robert Klein Gallery).

Elin Spring

Previous Post

Images of China, Then & Now

Next Post


0 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More Story

Images of China, Then & Now

By Elin Spring How do you picture China? Two photographers working almost 150 years apart offer fascinating “call and response”...

June 26, 2019