Gallery Talk | Outside Looking In: John Gutmann, Helen Levitt, and Wright Morris
This exhibition presents work by three American photographers in The Capital Group Foundation Photography Collection at Stanford University who used the camera to observe the public lives and, occasionally, private spaces of others. German-born John Gutmann (1905–1998) settled in the Bay Area in 1933 and documented the spectrum of American society with an eye for the absurd, sensational, and grotesque. Author and artist Wright Morris (1910–1998) created a photographic portrait of his relations and their hard-scrabble, rural way of life by depicting their belongings, interiors, and the harshly beautiful Nebraska landscape. On the East Coast, Brooklyn-born Helen Levitt (1913–2009), one of the great street photographers of the 20th century, captured the everyday drama played out on the stoops and streets of Manhattan’s Lower East Side and Spanish Harlem.
IMAGE: John Gutmann (U.S.A., b. Germany, 1905–1998), The Beautiful Clown, 1940. Gelatin silver print. © Center for Creative Photography, Arizona Board of Regents. The Capital Group Foundation Photography Collection at Stanford University, 2019.44.65