So some of you already know this and some do not. This week I dropped off prints to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston for their permanent collection! This was the first time I had shown my images with any hope of a sale and it just happened to be to legendary curator Anne Tucker! Those of you who know me know that quiet is not a word associated with me, but when she said she wanted to buy some of my prints I almost passed out! Seriously, I do not know that I have ever been so excited. To me it is the most amazing feeling that someone else appreciates your work, and I honestly don’t think I will ever grow tired of it(If I do I need to hang up my lenses). I honestly make my images to express something going on within me, and to have it resonate, even a little, with another person is just plain incredible.
More importantly, a major part of my mission as a photographer is to give a voice to people who do not have one in this world. It is mind-blowing to me that some of those who have let me into their lives will have their story told again and again, long after I am gone. I think it is an important first step in getting their voices heard. People make change slowly, and I think that it is important that images remain in society for as long as possible in order to continue to remind people where we came from and where we need to go.
To those of you who don’t know Anne Tucker, allow me to enlighten you as to her awesomeness. Anne has worked for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston since 1976 and is pretty much single-handedly responsible acquiring their now prestigious collection. When she arrived there were few images in the collection, and she has overseen its growth to now possessing over 24,000 images (as of 2008). It is a collection that rivals any in the world, and has earned her the distinction of being one of the most respected curators in the world. Personally, I would have to throw her name in there with John Szarkowski, Nathan Lyons, and Beaumont Newhall (All of whom she studied under interestingly enough) as one of the best curators ever. Seriously. She’s just that good.
I had the unique pleasure of interviewing Ms. Tucker last December. An amazingly kind person, she allowed what was to be a 20 minute interview surpass 2 hours! During that time I was in constant awe of the knowledge she possesses. If there is a photographer out there who has taken a picture worth talking about, she knows the image, and probably the photographer. She is also largely responsible for bringing Japanese photography to American eyes, having penned the incredibly thorough, and quite massive, History of Japanese Photography, as well as curated its exhibition. She is about to do the same for Korean photography with her upcoming exhibition and accompanying book, Chaotic Harmony: Contemporary Korean Photography. For more info., check out the MFAH site:
Her contributions to the field of photography are seemingly limitless, and for her efforts she has been awarded a laundry list of achievements and awards that this poor blog couldn’t begin to list. If this was your introduction to her and her work, then I would highly recommend googling her name and spending a few minutes looking at her career. I obviously have a tremendous amount of respect for the work she has done, and hope she doesn’t stop anytime soon!
I’d also recommend making the trip to Houston to have a look at the Korean exhibition. To my knowledge it is the first time a major show has been done on contemporary Korean photography (although I may be wrong here), and I’m sure it will be amazing.