Baltimore Museum of Art: Photography of the 1960’s

Last Updated: 19 Apr 2023
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The exhibit we went to see was a gallery walk. It was an exhibit of pictures and the artists who produced the photos, and the meaning of the photos. We enjoyed it because it was particularly interesting how the 1960’s was portrayed through photography. It showed not only white Americans but African-Americans making it easily relatable. It showed hard times, fun times and how they made the hard times fun times. The strengths in the exhibit were the realistic ideas. These were some of the earliest photographs in history they weren’t just paintings or portrayal of the good life in these times.

You always read about history and what happened in what times, but these photos in this exhibit showed it firsthand. A lot of the photos were open for interpretation. When you first walk into the exhibit a particular set of photos catch your eye. The photographer was Carrie Mae Weems, and the photos were entitled “From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried” along with “House/Field/Yard/Kitchen”. The photos were red and appeared to be African American slaves. Each had a word on top of it “house, field, yard or kitchen” and on each side of the sets of photos appears to be an African woman with the text “I Cried”.

Weems wanted it to be interpreted as the racial oppression and suffering. She also wanted it to be reinterpreted by the generations. We saw it as how far African-Americans had come along while others in the past may have seen it as sad and dreary because of everything African-Americans went through to get where they are now. A weakness of the exhibit, in our opinions which can be debated was the experimentation with photography. Although it may seem interesting to a few, a stabbed up, burned up paper did not exactly fit in with the ideas of the other photos.

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Photographer Marco Breur in his photo Shot (C-917) used glue guns, blow torches and razor blades to photosensitive paper. It was a unique work of art and as he aimed cannot be reproduced but took away from the actual meaning of the photography in this exhibit which was to emphasize the times and living in the 1960’s. This exhibit can relate a lot to what we have recently been learning in class. It can also relate to past readings. This photography shows things from slavery all the way out to liberalism.

There were also a lot of photos displaying gender roles. There is a photo of a house with legs and high heels. It was entitled, “The Walking House”. This photo can be interpreted many ways. The photographer Laurie Simmons was trying to display that women in this time were inseparable to their domestic roles at home. Even though this exhibit was entitled, “Photography of the 1960’s” a lot of the photos displayed the changing of generations. It went from slavery up until the 1970’s. It was a very interesting exhibit.

We observed all the people who were around us. It wasn’t only field trips of academics; people actually came to the museum just to see this particular exhibit. We would recommend it to others but only this exhibit. Although it wasn’t required after we viewed this exhibit we explored the rest of the museum and it was boring. It was all statues and artifacts from different countries. This particular exhibit explored American History. It wasn’t just textbook reading and lectures, we got to view it and interpret it as if we were there.

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Baltimore Museum of Art: Photography of the 1960’s. (2017, Apr 10). Retrieved from

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