Artistic Observations

During my career, I’ve taken portraits of world-renowned artist and patrons observing art in museums, including, the Louvre Museum, Pantheon, Sistine Chapel, The Museum of Modern Art, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Kimbell Art Museum, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Dallas Museum of Art, Nasher Sculpture Center and many others.

I had many mentors over my career, but when it comes to people looking at art in museums, there is only one photographer that I admire. Thomas Struth, a German photographer known best for his series Museum Photographs, monumental color images of people viewing established works of art in museums. His photographs are characterized by their lush color and extreme attention to detail, which, because of their large size, often measuring about 5 × 5 feet or more but sometimes as large as 10 × 12 feet, have an alluring effect.

I met Suzi, my lovely wife at the Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth while on assignment for the Dallas Morning News in June of 1989. She was Director of Memberships and Special Events. I was assigned to take photographs of patrons and guests attending a party for the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition jury.

Three years later and married, I was freelancing for the museum, covering every opening and artist for over 25 years. I went through my archives and found many thought-provoking moments of people mingling with the art. Now, when I visit any museum, I find myself more fascinated to photograph patron’s observing the art than me looking at the art.I will find myself waiting and waiting for the right moment, the composition and timing of positions of people meandering around the art, almost like vouchers waiting to capture their prey. Then, when I see it, I smile and squeeze the shutter for the “decisive“ moment.

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