Palmer opens exhibitions on the spirit of Mexico

UNIVERSITY PARK — The Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State will open two summer exhibitions that bring the rich visual culture of 20th-century Mexico to life.

“Under the Mexican Sky: A Revolution in Modern Photography,” drawn from the private collection of Michael Mattis and Judith Hochberg, is the major exhibition for the season and will be on view through July 28. The exhibition was organized by art2art Circulating Exhibitions.

“Myth Meets Modernism: The Manuel lvarez Bravo Portfolio” will open June 11 and run through Aug. 4.

Following the upheaval of the Mexican Revolution in 1910-20, Mexico City became a magnet for modernist photographers who used their cameras as tools to embrace social and political subjects experiment with light and form, and represent or comment on modern life and its contrast to older, traditional methods and depictions.

The exhibition narrates the story of modern photographers whose experience in Mexico in the mid-1920s transformed their work, according to Erin M. Coe, director of the Palmer Museum.

Included in the exhibition is the work of photographer Edward Weston, who reinvented his approach to the medium of photography during his stay abroad in Mexico from 1923 to 1926.

Hand-selected by the artist in the late 1970s, the lvarez Bravo portfolio includes 15 prints that span several decades and reveal the prodigious Mexican photographer’s career-long preoccupation with myth, folklore, and death. Bravo’s subjects are seen through a distinctly modernist lens.

Related programming

Gallery talk — Under the Mexican Sky: A Revolution in Modern Photography, 12:10 p.m. June 7, Adam Thomas, Curator of American Art

Gallery talk — Myth Meets Modern-ism: The Manuel lvarez Bravo Portfolio, 12:10 p.m. June 28, Keri Mongelluzzo, Graduate Assistant and Ph.D., candidate in Art History

Docent Choice tour — Exploring Images of Mexico, 2 p.m. July 7, Susan Hirth,Themed tours led by one of the museum’s docents are held on Sunday afternoons. Begining at 2 p.m. in the Christ-offers Lobby and last about 45 minutes.

Family programs

Family Day: Fun with Photos!

Noon to 3 p.m. July 27

Enjoy a brief, family-friendly guided tour of Under the Mexican Sky: A Revolution in Modern Photography, then explore a variety of photographic processes including cyanotypes, photo transfers, and digital green-screen magic. Family Day is ideal for families with children ages 5 to 11, but all ages are welcome.