Artists have long taken advantage of the camera’s ability to capture expressive images of the human form—from gesture or body language, to straightforward documentation, to poetic metaphor. Celebrate with us the inauguration of the Herb Ritts Gallery, our first permanently dedicated to photography, with an exhibition exploring the enormous and stimulating diversity of these approaches. Nudes, facial close-ups, and figural groups range from the personal modernist viewpoint of Alfred Stieglitz to the surrealist poetry of Man Ray, from the searing photojournalism of James Nachtwey to the witty visual play of Lee Friedlander, and from the celebrity culture of Herb Ritts to the cycle-of-life ruminations of Dieter Appelt. Featuring a number of new acquisitions and several works by local photographers, “Photographic Figures” includes approximately seventy-five works, drawn primarily from the Museum’s collection with selected loans from local private collections.


“Photographic Figures” is generously funded by the Shelly and Michael Kassen Fund and the MFA Associates/MFA Senior Associates Exhibition Endowment Fund.