Brochure | The Capital Group Foundation Photography Collection at Stanford University

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The Capital Group Foundation Photography Collection at Stanford University consists of more than one thousand twentieth-century photographs, highlighting the diverse range of seven masters of photography—Ansel Adams (1902–1984), Edward Sherriff Curtis (1868–1952), John Gutmann (b. Germany, 1905–1998), Helen Levitt (1913–2009), Wright Morris (1910–1998), Gordon Parks (1912–2006), and Edward Weston (1886–1958).

The Capital Group Foundation Photography Collection

at Stanford University


The Capital Group Foundation

Photography Collection

at Stanford University


Introduction

The Capital Group Foundation gift of more than one thousand twentiethcentury

photographs to the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University

in 2019 is the culmination of a partnership rooted in a mutual dedication

to exploring American photography. Often collaborating directly with the

artist to identify a representative selection of work, the Foundation acquired

a substantial and diverse range of images by Ansel Adams (1902–1984),

Edward Sheriff Curtis (1868–1952), John Gutmann (b. Germany, 1905–1998),

Helen Levitt (1913–2009), Wright Morris (1910–1998), Gordon Parks (1912–

2006), and Edward Weston (1886–1958). For more than twenty-five years,

The Capital Group Foundation and the Cantor collaborated in building,

preserving, and exhibiting this collection, which now will be studied and

appreciated at Stanford University for generations to come.

The lives and careers of the seven artists in The Capital Group Foundation

Photography Collection at Stanford University span the twentieth century,

and the images speak to the tremendous social, political, and economic

changes that have shaped the United States. The photographs explore

the nation from coast to coast, recording landscapes, people, and moments

from everyday life, from expressions of joy to social discord and trauma.

Even the pictures captured abroad ultimately offer insights on the twentiethcentury

American experience and how these photographers defined

themselves as artists.

Gordon Parks

Muhammad Ali,

Miami, Florida, 1966

Gelatin silver print

Courtesy of and © The

Gordon Parks Foundation.

The Capital Group Foundation

Photography Collection at

Stanford University, 2019.47.62


Ansel Adams 1902–1984

The core of The Capital Group Foundation Photography Collection

at Stanford University comprises seventy-six prints by Adams,

the most influential and internationally recognized artist

represented in the gift. This body of work includes seventy-five

iconic landscapes, still-life studies, and portraits selected by the

artist, plus an Adams portrait of the photographer Edward Weston,

his friend and colleague whose work also is in The Capital Group

Foundation Collection.


Above: Ansel Adams

Aspens, Northern New Mexico, 1958

Gelatin silver print

Used with permission of and © The Ansel Adams Publishing

Rights Trust. The Capital Group Foundation Photography

Collection at Stanford University, 2019.42.3

Left: Ansel Adams

White House Ruin, Canyon de Chelly National

Monument, Arizona, 1942

Gelatin silver print

Used with permission of and © The Ansel Adams Publishing

Rights Trust. The Capital Group Foundation Photography

Collection at Stanford University, 2019.42.71

Opposite page: Ansel Adams

Georgia O’Keeffe and Orville Cox, Canyon

de Chelly National Monument, Arizona, 1937

Gelatin silver print

Used with permission of and © The Ansel Adams Publishing

Rights Trust. The Capital Group Foundation Photography

Collection at Stanford University, 2019.42.20


Edward Sheriff Curtis 1868–1952


From 1900 to 1927, Curtis photographed

thousands of indigenous Americans with

the intent of documenting their customs

and way of life. The more than 290 images

by Curtis in The Capital Group Foundation

Photography Collection at Stanford

University derive from this ambitious

period and include photogravures from

four volumes of The North American Indian,

his landmark photo-illustrated portfolio

project, in addition to modern reprints

made from the photographer’s original

glass-plate negatives.

Above:

Edward Sheriff Curtis

A Makah Maiden, 1916

Photogravure

The Capital Group Foundation

Photography Collection at

Stanford University, 2019.43.59

Right:

Edward Sheriff Curtis

Into the Shadow—

Clayoquot, 1916

Photogravure

The Capital Group Foundation

Photography Collection at

Stanford University, 2019.43.54

Opposite page:

Edward Sheriff Curtis

Bear Bull—Blackfoot,

1927

Photogravure

The Capital Group Foundation

Photography Collection at

Stanford University, 2019.43.102


John Gutmann b. Germany, 1905–1998

Just weeks before Gutmann relocated to

the United States from Germany in 1933,

the young painter purchased his first

camera. Upon settling in San Francisco,

he worked as a photojournalist and

increasingly—as a great observer of

people—used photography as a way of

decoding American society. The Capital

Group Foundation Photography Collection

at Stanford University contains eighty-one

gelatin silver prints that highlight his work

in the Bay Area, as well as key images he

captured in Europe and China, across the

American West, and in the South.

Above: John Gutmann

The Jump, 1939

Gelatin silver print

© Center for Creative Photography, Arizona Board of Regents.

The Capital Group Foundation Photography Collection at

Stanford University, 2019.44.60

Left: John Gutmann

The Beautiful Clown, 1940

Gelatin silver print

© Center for Creative Photography, Arizona Board of Regents.

The Capital Group Foundation Photography Collection at

Stanford University, 2019.44.65

Opposite page: John Gutmann

The High Hatters with Count Basie,

San Francisco, 1939

Gelatin silver print

© Center for Creative Photography, Arizona Board of Regents.

The Capital Group Foundation Photography Collection at

Stanford University, 2019.44.59


Brooklyn-born Levitt’s sensitive

observations of public life in New York,

particularly her vibrant images of daring

and imaginative children at play in the

city, are why she is recognized as one

of the twentieth century’s finest street

photographers. The works by Levitt

in The Capital Group Foundation

Photography Collection at Stanford

University include forty-one gelatin

silver prints dated primarily to the

1940s and fourteen examples of her

color photography created after 1970.

Helen Levitt 1913–2009


Above: Helen Levitt

New York, c. 1940

Gelatin silver print

© Helen Levitt Film

Documents LLC. All rights

reserved. The Capital Group

Foundation Photography

Collection at Stanford

University, 2019.45.8

Right: Helen Levitt

New York, 1970

Dye transfer print

© Helen Levitt Film

Documents LLC. All rights

reserved. The Capital Group

Foundation Photography

Collection at Stanford

University, 2019.45.43

Opposite page:

Helen Levitt

New York, c. 1942

Gelatin silver print

© Helen Levitt Film

Documents LLC. All rights

reserved. The Capital Group

Foundation Photography

Collection at Stanford

University, 2019.45.38


Morris was an acclaimed author before he

turned to photography, and in the 1940s,

he innovated an expressive storytelling

format he called “photo-texts” that

integrated pictures into his writing.

The forty-six gelatin silver prints by

Morris in The Capital Group Foundation

Photography Collection at Stanford

University date to between 1940 and

1950, and feature his poetic and haunting

documentary studies of his family’s roots in

rural Nebraska, as well as stark depictions

of vernacular architecture in New Mexico

and the American South.

Wright Morris 1910–1998

Above: Wright Morris

Dresser Drawer, Ed's Place, 1947

Gelatin silver print

© Estate of Wright Morris, Courtesy of the Center for Creative

Photography. The Capital Group Foundation Photography

Collection at Stanford University, 2019.46.28

Left: Wright Morris

House in Winter, Near Lincoln, Nebraska, 1941

Gelatin silver print

© Estate of Wright Morris, Courtesy of the Center for Creative

Photography. The Capital Group Foundation Photography

Collection at Stanford University, 2019.46.20

Opposite page: Wright Morris

Clothes on Hooks, 1947

Gelatin silver print

© Estate of Wright Morris, Courtesy of the Center for Creative

Photography. The Capital Group Foundation Photography

Collection at Stanford University, 2019.46.26


Gordon Parks 1912–2006


Above:

Gordon Parks

Black Panther

Headquarters,

San Francisco,

California, 1970

Gelatin silver print

Courtesy of and © The

Gordon Parks Foundation.

The Capital Group Foundation

Photography Collection at

Stanford University, 2019.47.69

Opposite page:

Gordon Parks

Red Jackson,

Harlem, New York,

1948

Gelatin silver print

Courtesy of and © The

Gordon Parks Foundation.

The Capital Group Foundation

Photography Collection at

Stanford University. 2019.47.19

Parks, a groundbreaking African American

film director, writer, and self-taught

photographer, shattered the color line

with his achievements as a photojournalist

and creative artist. He is represented in

The Capital Group Foundation Photography

Collection at Stanford University through

sixty-eight gelatin silver prints from his

early work for Life magazine, portraits

of artists and musicians, and five color

photographs dated between the 1940s

and the 1970s.


Edward Weston 1886–1958

The 386 gelatin sliver prints by Weston in The Capital Group

Foundation Collection at Stanford University is its largest

concentration of work by any artist. Early examples of Weston’s

transition away from pictorialist style and the more modernist

photographs made during his transformative time in Mexico in the

1920s provide context for the later nudes, landscapes, and formally

striking still life studies of vegetables and everyday objects.


Opposite page, top:

Edward Weston

Nude, 1933

Gelatin silver print

© Center for Creative

Photography, Arizona

Board of Regents. The

Capital Group Foundation

Photography Collection

at Stanford University,

2019.48.141

Opposite page,

bottom:

Edward Weston

Pepper No. 35, 1930

Gelatin silver print

© Center for Creative

Photography, Arizona

Board of Regents. The

Capital Group Foundation

Photography Collection

at Stanford University,

2019.48.90

Right:

Edward Weston

Carlos Merida, 1934

Gelatin silver print

© Center for Creative

Photography, Arizona

Board of Regents. The

Capital Group Foundation

Photography Collection

at Stanford University,

2019.48.159


Helen Levitt

New York, 1971

Dye transfer print

© Helen Levitt Film

Documents LLC. All rights

reserved. The Capital Group

Foundation Photography

Collection at Stanford

University, 2019.45.45


Acknowledgments

This series of exhibitions would not have been possible without the support and generous

gift from The Capital Group Foundation. A special thank-you to The Capital Group

Foundation Board of Directors Alan Berro; Bryan Lewis; Lilian Lovelace, emeritus; Robbie

Macfarlane; Cindy Omiya; Eric Richter; and Timothy Weiss. Additionally, we express our

appreciation to associates of The Capital Group Companies who have been supportive

of the Foundation’s activities in various ways over many years, Walt Burkley, counsel;

Philip de Toledo, president; Kris Kanchanapoomi, assistant treasurer; Bruce Miekle, CFO;

Christine Miers, curator; Rachel Nass, secretary; and Christian Tetrault, treasurer.

Thank you to Susan Dackerman, John and Jill Freidenrich Director of the Iris & B. Gerald

Cantor Center for the Visual Arts at Stanford University; and to the amazing staff: Peg

Brady, Collections Department manager and senior registrar; Katie Clifford, exhibition

registration and Installation Department manager; Shanna Dickson, assistant registrar;

James Gaddy, deputy director for operations; Jonna Hunter, director of development;

Dolores Kincaid, registrar, permanent collection; Albert Lewis, matter and framer;

Stefanie Midlock, assistant registrar, exhibitions; Clarissa Morales, director of collections,

conservation and exhibitions; Tiffany Sakato, exhibition and publication project manager;

and Jessica Ventura, curatorial assistant. Thank you to the incredibly skilled exhibition

graphic designer Sterling Larrimore, publication designer Jody Hanson, and editor

Anne Ray.

We also recognize the contributions of past Cantor curators, Stanford faculty, and

students: Thomas Seligman, former John and Jill Freidenrich Director of the Iris & B.

Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University, 1991–2011; Bernard Barryte,

former curator of European art; Hilarie Faberman, former Robert M. and Ruth L. Halperin

Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art; Joel Leivick, professor emeritus, art practice,

Art & Art History Department; and Phillip Prodger, MLA ’95.

—Elizabeth Kathleen Mitchell, PhD

Burton and Deedee McMurtry Curator and Director of the Curatorial Fellowship Program


This publication accompanies a series of exhibitions

titled The Capital Group Foundation Gift, curated

by Elizabeth Kathleen Mitchell, PhD, and presented

at the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University

from September 26, 2019, through August 23, 2020.

These exhibitions have been organized by the

Cantor Arts Center.

West x Southwest: Edward Weston and Ansel Adams

September 26, 2019–January 6, 2020

Outside Looking In: John Gutmann, Helen Levitt,

and Wright Morris

January 22–April 26, 2020

A Loaded Camera: Gordon Parks

May 13–August 23, 2020

We gratefully acknowledge support from The Capital

Group Foundation Photography Collection Fund and

the Halperin Exhibitions Fund.

All works reproduced in this publication are from

the Cantor Arts Center collection unless otherwise

noted. Not all works pictured herein appear in the

exhibitions. Additional copyright credits appear in

image caption.

First published in 2019 by the Cantor Arts Center,

Stanford University, 328 Lomita Drive, Stanford,

California 94305-5060.

© 2019 by the Board of Trustees of the Leland

Stanford Junior University. All rights reserved.

No parts of this publication may be reproduced or

utilized in any form or by any means, electronic

or mechanical, including photocopying, recording,

or by an information retrieval system, without prior

permission in writing from the Cantor Arts Center.

Exhibition Graphic Designer: Sterling Larrimore

Publication Designer: Jody Hanson

Editor: Anne Ray


Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University

The Cantor Arts Center is the hub for deep explorations of visual arts on the

Stanford University campus. By showcasing both contemporary works and

historic ones, exhibitions at the Cantor spark interdisciplinary conversations

about critically important issues. With a collection that spans thousands of

years, it is one of the most visited university art museums in the country,

attracting visitors from the area and around the world.

Front cover: John Gutmann

The Cry, 1939

Gelatin silver print

© Center for Creative Photography, Arizona Board of Regents.

The Capital Group Foundation Photography Collection at

Stanford University, 2019.44.58

/cantorarts

@cantorarts

museum.stanford.edu

Back cover: Wright Morris

Eggs in Pot, 1947

Gelatin silver print

© Estate of Wright Morris, Courtesy of the Center for Creative

Photography. The Capital Group Foundation Photography

Collection at Stanford University, 2019.46.31

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