Art Notes: Hood Museum Acquires Photojournalist’s Archives

  • During the civil war in Yugoslavia in 1993, the city of Mostar became the scene of a bitter conflict between ethnic Croats and Bosnians. The fighting took place at close quarters -- from house-to-house, room-to-room, neighbor against neighbor. Photojournalist James Nachtwey's complete archive of photographs has been acquired by Dartmouth College's Hood Museum of Art in Hanover, N.H. (James Nachtwey photograph)

  • A man who had been held prisoner in a Hutu concentration camp in Gitarama, Rwanda, in 1994 had just been liberated by the advancing Tutsi guerrilla army. His face bore the scars of extreme mistreatment. Photojournalist James Nachtwey's complete archive of photographs has been acquired by Dartmouth College's Hood Museum of Art in Hanover, N.H. (James Nachtwey photograph)

  • A woman dressed in a traditional burkha mourns for her brother in Kabul Afghanistan in 1996, who was killed in a Taliban rocket attack during the siege of Kabul. Photojournalist James Nachtwey's complete archive of photographs has been acquired by Dartmouth College's Hood Museum of Art in Hanover, N.H. (James Nachtwey photograph)

  • Photographer James Nachtwey on the Dartmouth College campus in Hanover, N.H., on July 16, 2014. (Dartmouth College - Eli Burakian)

Valley News Staff Writer
Thursday, September 08, 2016

The Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College has announced that it has acquired the complete archives of James Nachtwey, the photojournalist who has documented, since 1981, the agonies of war and its aftermath around the globe.

Nachtwey, who graduated from Dartmouth in 1970 with a concentration in art history and government, is considered one of the preeminent photographers of his generation because of his ability to depict, with an unflinching eye and a deep empathy, war’s immense, exhausting toll on society.

Nachtwey has traveled to Northern Ireland, Rwanda, the Balkans, Chechnya, Afghanistan and Iraq to photograph conflicts in those regions.

He has also documented the AIDS crisis, famines in the Sudan and Somalia, the effects of industrial pollution and heroin addiction, the plight of children in Romanian orphanages, and the events of Sept. 11, 2001, when he happened to be in lower Manhattan and heard that a plane had struck the World Trade Center.

Nachtwey has “a signature style that is disconcerting and powerful. It tells the story through the eyes of the people experiencing it,” said John Stomberg, who became director of the Hood in January and has expressed his interest in making the museum a leading center for the study of documentary photography, and its connection to society.

The Hood will house Nachtwey’s archive, which currently comprises 330,000 photographic negatives, 170,000 digital image files, 7,200 exhibition-quality prints, 2,000 large-format works, 25,500 small-scale prints, and 12,500 contact sheets.

The archive comes to the museum through a combination of purchase and donation by Nachtwey. Several other American institutions were also keen to acquire the archive, said Stomberg.

Nachtwey’s reputation as both an artist and a journalist of high principles is such that he was the subject of a documentary film, War Photographer, which was released in 2001 and nominated for an Academy Award.

In the film he talks about why he takes the risks he does, and how he views his profession. He speaks of bearing witness, which is why he is able to convey in photographs what Yeats did in the poem Slouching Toward Bethlehem: “Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,/The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere/The ceremony of innocence is drowned.”

The Hood already owns prints of three of Nachtwey’s most memorable photographs, which depict, respectively, Rwanda after the 1994 genocide, El Salvador during its civil war in 1984, and New York City during the attacks of 9/11.

Nachtwey has returned to his alma mater periodically over the years, to teach, lecture and exhibit his work. That will continue over the next decade, Stomberg said.

In addition Nachtwey will assist the museum in cataloguing the archive and in making an oral history of his work, Stomberg said: “He will be here to help us understand the material.”

And as Nachtwey continues to take photographs, the museum will add his future work to the archive.

Nachtwey has done work for Time Magazine since 1984, and was a member of the photo agency Magnum from 1986 until 2001, when he became a founding member of the photo agency, VII.

He has had solo exhibitions at the International Center for Photography in New York and the Bibliotheque National de France in Paris, as well as at venues in Madrid, Los Angeles, Rome, Boston, Amsterdam and Prague.

“I hope that my archives will inspire future generations — in all fields, as well as future photographers — to approach the world with the same global perspective and concern for human dignity and social justice that I have sought to convey through my work,” Nachtwey said in a statement released by Dartmouth.

Nachtwey added that the college’s commitment to educating its students on global issues of social justice, and the Hood’s role as a teaching museum, in which faculty and staff use the collection to teach across academic disciplines, makes Dartmouth “an ideal home for my archives.”

Openings and Receptions

Art exhibitions in the area begin in earnest after Labor Day, starting at AVA Gallery and Art Center in Lebanon, where four shows go on view Friday with an opening reception for all from 5 to 7 p.m.

Gina Adams, a Colorado artist, exhibits “Its Honor is Here Pledged,” a show of digital prints and quilts devoted to the injustices done the indigenous peoples of the U.S. She will give a gallery talk this Friday at 4 p.m.

Paulette Werger, a metal worker from Lebanon, will show her work in “Animal, Vegetable, Mineral” and give a public talk at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 29.

The exhibit “Nature Revisioned” combines the work of two artists employing very different media to reimagine our connections with nature. Gar Waterman, a Dartmouth graduate and resident of New Haven, Conn., works in stone, wood, bronze and steel. Rob Kesseler, who is chairman of Arts, Design & Science at the University of the Arts, London, as well as a fellow of the Linnean Society and the Royal Microscopical Society, shows both digital images and sculpture drawn from finely detailed studies of plants.

Both artists will give a gallery talk, “Nature Revisited: Finding Meaning at the Intersection of Art and Science” on Oct. 6 at 6 p.m.

Finally artist and illustrator Josh Yunger, of South Strafford, will show “ABC,” an exhibition devoted to his longstanding ties to AVA, from beginning art classes there to now teaching them himself. That show is in the Johnson Sisters Library on the second floor.

All of the above exhibitions run through Oct. 12.

Multimedia artist Candice Ivy, a South Carolinian who now teaches art at Boston College, will exhibit her work in the Picture Gallery at the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish. “Within Above Below the Skin” opens Saturday with a reception from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Ivy will give a gallery talk at 5 p.m.

“Facial Recognition,” a show by painter Marianne McCann will be on display at the Tunbridge Public Library from Friday through Nov. 4. There will be an opening reception Friday from 7 to 9 p.m.

“Mixed Bag,” an exhibition of abstract and realist work by Lynda Knisley and Linda Reeves Potter, in watercolors, pen and ink, charcoal, collage, oil pastels and prints, is now open at the Norwich Public Library’s Community Room. It runs through Oct. 28.

The Library Arts Center in Newport, N.H., is collaborating with the Sullivan County nonprofit Turning Points Network, which addresses sexual and domestic violence, on the exhibition “Voices & Visions: Empowerment Through Art.”

A number of artists in the region have contributed works that address the role art can play in helping individuals distill their experiences of domestic and sexual violence into work that speaks on a universal level.

There will be an opening reception Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. The show continues through Oct. 28.

Of Note

As part of the weekend-long Glory Days Festival in White River Junction the Main Street Museum in White River Junction, which is marking its 25th anniversary, begins a yearlong fundraising campaign this weekend with its Bizarre Bazaar, a yard sale and bake sale that runs from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. Being the MSM, this promises to be a Not-Your-Ordinary yard sale. Participants are invited to bring their own intriguing miscellany for inclusion in the yard sale, and their own baked goods. For further information go to the museum’s Facebook page at facebook.com/mainstreetmuseum.


Arabella, Windsor. The gallery exhibits works by local artists and artisans in a variety of media including jewelry, oils, acrylics, photography, watercolors, pastels and textiles.

AVA Gallery and Art Center, Lebanon. A show of work by Upper Valley artists is on view at Pompanoosuc Mills in East Thetford continues through Sept. 24.

BigTown Gallery, Rochester, Vt. “Photographs from Home,” by Virginia Beahan, shows through Sept. 17.

Cider Hill Art Gallery and Gardens, Windsor. Gary Milek exhibits his work in the gallery.

Converse Free Library, Lyme. Japanese nerikomi ceramics by John Quimby are on view until Sept. 30.

Aidron Duckworth Museum, Meriden. An exhibition of photographs by Ann Barlow, of Burlington, taken from her “Salt Storage Series,” runs through Sunday. “Developing Dimension,” works by Aidron Duckworth that show his ability to create depth in drawings and paintings. are up through Oct. 30. The sculpture of Terry Lund, on the grounds, is on view through Oct. 30.

Hall Art Foundation, Reading, Vt. “Landscapes After Ruskin: Redefining the Sublime,” curated by photographer Joel Sternfeld, continues through Nov. 27.

Howe Library, Hanover. The Ledyard Gallery exhibits the work of Strafford artist Joshua Yunger through Sept. 28. His work also goes on view at AVA Gallery and Art Center in Lebanon.

Kilton Public Library, West Lebanon. An exhibition of landscapes and cityscapes by Lyme painter and illustrator Meg McLean is on view through Sept. 30.

Long River Gallery and Gifts, Lyme. “SKIN! (exposed)” includes works by Stephanie Reininger, Betsy Derrick, Liliana Paradiso, Nils Johnson, Meredith Muse and Doug Masury. The show ends Tuesday.

Osher at Dartmouth, Hanover. Lyme artist Barbara Newton exhibits her collages of New England landscapes through Sept. 28. The show is open Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and on Fridays from 8:30 to 1 p.m.

Royalton Memorial Library, South Royalton. Sue Lenfest shows works related to nature and agriculture through Oct. 22.

Roth Center for Jewish Life, Hanover. “White on Black: Images of Antigua,” an exhibition of photographs by Mort Wise, is on view through Tuesday.

SculptureFest, Woodstock. The annual celebration of three-dimensional art continues through foliage season. A new exhibition, “Grounding,” a show of site-specific work curated by sculptors Jay Mead and Edyth Wright, is now on view at the King Farm, while the Prosper Road site also shows new work. For more information, go to sculpturefest.org.

Two Rivers Printmaking Studio, White River Junction. A show of works by Carol Lippman, an artist from West Newbury, Vt., runs through Sept. 30.

White River Gallery, South Royalton. “Fully Involved,” a show of paintings by Bunny Harvey, ends Sunday. Hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by appointment (email dianparker9@gmail.com). Call 802-498-8438 to make sure the gallery is open.

Nicola Smith can be reached at nsmith@vnews.com.