Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Need-to-know tip

Pssst. Can you keep a secret? Tucked away on the second floor of the Jordan Schnitzer Art Museum in Eugene is a large exhibition of vintage Weegee prints. The show runs the gamut from self portraits to kaleidoscopic lenswork to Just Add Boiling Water. Many prints carry personal notes in Weegee's handwriting. It's the best show they've had in years.

Coney Island, circa 1939, Weegee
currently on display at JSMA, but don't tell anyone

But don't tell anyone. This information should be closely guarded, disclosed to people only a need-to-know basis. At least that's my working theory based on museum publicity. The show has gotten zero attention. No press releases, no lectures, no calendar listing, no mention on the museum website. Unless you stumble on it by accident or read about it on a top-secret blog, you won't discover the show.

All of this would be less disconcerting to me if it didn't contrast so strongly with the museum's treatment of the recent dorm-poster-friendly Sam Abell/Torben Nissen photo show, still on the website's front page a week after closing. Or high-falutin' concept photos by Jim Riswold currently showing, or the upcoming Warhol/Gus Van Sant photo show. I've gotten plenty of flyers and announcements about all of them. But the best exhibition of all is treated like a state secret. It's totally absurd.

Hey, JSMA, great show but pull your head out!

1 comment:

Chris said...

Oh, how I agree. Amazonia had to be one of the most uninteresting photo exhibits I've seen. But hidden behind it was Weegee. Who could have guessed?