Trout Gallery Hooked on Photography

Students examine photos from the new exhibition by various artists featured by the Trout Gallery.

Carl Socolow '77

Students examine photos from the new exhibition by various artists featured by the Trout Gallery.

On Friday, September 5, the Trout Gallery held their opening reception, titled Arbus Frank Penn: Masters of Post-War American Photography. This exhibition is a traveling show brought to Dickinson by the art2art Circulation Exhibition.

Professor Earenfight, the Director of the Trout Gallery, and an Associate Professor of Art and Art History, shed some light on how the college acquired the exhibition. According to him, “These all come from a private collector who made them available to this broker who then organized the show, and then we just pick it up as part of a tour.”

According to the gallery’s brochure, the exhibition consists of “thirty-five vintage prints.” These images show post-war American life by artists who “helped shape and define many of the key aspects of photography in America during the second half of the twentieth century.

The three artists captured a variety of issues and people from post-war America. Meghan Abercrombie ’15, who is a Studio Arts major, offered some comments about the exhibition. She said, “I thought it was different from what I’ve seen before. With the combination of the three artists, the show was able to cover a broad topic with various subjects. Some of the photos were comical, while others were more serious, which gave it a nice range of emotional appeal.”

The Trout Gallery selected a photography show to achieve their goal of supporting artistic programs on campus. As Earenfight stated, “We look at what’s going on in terms of the curriculum. Recently, the college has increased the amount of courses in photography, so that was a clear signal to us to try and give it some curricular support.” He added, “I can’t project where growth on campus will be in terms of courses, but photography has certainly grown over the last decade.”

Andrew Bale, who is a lecturer for photography courses, has also noticed a change in the increasing popularity of photography at Dickinson since he began teaching in 2006. Bale said, “They allowed me to come up with special topics courses. We’ll eventually be getting some of these special topics classes in and through the curriculum committee, so we can put them on the books as a rotating option.”

When asked about future exhibitions at the Trout Gallery, Earenfight commented, “The next big show after this one, which there will be a lot of excitement for, will be a group show featuring the five [Studio Art] faculty members.” The show, titled Elsewhere: Studio-Art Faculty Exhibition, opens on November 14th.