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The Open Road at the Blanton

Nicole Jeffords 4 months ago


The title says it all. Last night I went to the membership opening of the Blanton’s new photography exhibit, The Open Road, which features over a hundred works by eighteen photographers, and spans a time frame from the 1950s to today.


Guests at the opening

The Open Road, which was organized by the Aperture Foundation in New York, tells the story of America’s great romance with the automobile and our love of “getting lost and finding ourselves” in the vast expanse of territory that runs from sea to shining sea. This is not only a show of amazing landscape, but also a vivid portrait of our people, their habits, pastimes and way of life. The exhibit is extremely evocative: I was blown away by the humor, pathos and drama of many of the images, as well as by their sheer beauty. Below are a few examples. I hope they will whet your appetite to visit The Open Road, in my opinion a must-see for all who appreciate deeply moving imagery, and who would like to feel better about what’s going on in our country in these divided times.

robert frank

Robert Frank, Parade — Hoboken, New Jersey, 1955-56, Gelatin silver print

bernard plossu

Bernard Plossu, New Mexico, 1980, Gelatin silver print

Justine Kurland

Justine Kurland, detail from New Family, Black Bear Ranch, 2011, Archival pigment print

inge morath

Inge Morath, Outside Memphis, Tennessee, 1960, Archival pigment print

Joel Sternfeld

Joel Sternfeld, McLean, Virginia, December 1978, Digital C-print

joel sternfeld

Joel Sternfeld, Wet’n Wild Aquatic Theme Park, Orlando, Florida, September 1980, Digital C-print

alec soth

Alec Soth, Adelyn, Ash Wednesday, New Orleans, Louisiana, 2000, Archival pigment print

robert frank

Robert Frank, Car Accident — US 66, between Winslow and Flagstaff, Arizona, 1955, Gelatin silver print

cherokee village

Inge Morath, Cherokee Village, North Carolina, a Favorite Tourist Attraction, 1960, Gelatin Silver Print


Blanton intern, Alexandria Watson, standing in front of Inge Morath’s Reno, Nevada, 1960, Archival pigment print, taken on Nicole Jeffords’ iphone

This last photo was obviously not part of the exhibit, but you can see I was having fun. The Open Road opened at the Blanton Museum, 200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Austin, TX on November 25, 2017 and runs through January 7, 2017. Enjoy!


Cover photo: Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs, Wires, 2008, Gelatin silver print

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