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Power and Paper: Margaret Bourke-White, Modernity and the Documentary Mode

Power and Paper presents a rare opportunity to experience the powerful collaboration of art and industry as documented in the photographs of this renowned image-maker.

The range of images in the show capture the many forms of power harnessed by the paper company--from loggers wielding axes in the massive first-growth forests and maneuvering huge numbers of logs floating down river; to the huge 250 foot-long Fourdrinier machine in the paper mill that converted the digested pulp into newsprint.

The photographs in Power and Paper also demonstrate both of Bourke-White's signature styles. Her early fame, garnered at the beginning of the 1930s, resulted from photographs celebrating industrys beauty, but by the later part of the decade she was better known for her penetrating portrayals of people and their relationship to their work and environment.

The exhibition is organized by Boston University Art Gallery and curated by gallery director, John Stomberg. Stomberg states, "The exhibition title has a dual meaning. On one level, it refers directly to the subject of the photographs themselves; they are pictures of paper manufacture and power production at the International Paper and Power Company. But in a less direct way all photography is paper with power; it is the result of adding the perennially mysterious power of an image to a sheet of paper."

On Thursday, September 28, at 4:00 p.m. Stomberg will present a lecture on Bourke-White and her work with the International Paper and Power Company; the lecture will be followed by a reception. Additionally, a 72-page catalog with an essay by Stomberg accompanies the exhibition. This presentation of Power and Paper at UMBC is supported in part by the Friends of the Library & Gallery and by an arts program grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency funded by the State of Maryland and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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