Clark Humanities Museum: Partial Witness

Clark Humanities Museum, Scripps College
Open Feb 2 , 2023

Since its inception, photography has occupied a unique position as visual record-keeper. Its name, meaning to write or to draw with light, derives from the Greek words photos and graphos. The exhibition Partial Witness features a wide array of photographic examples that prompt questions about photography’s relationship to truth, history, and the camera’s role as putative witness.

To explore this theme, student curators selected pairs of photo-based works. The results forge a conversation between collections at the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery (Scripps), the Benton Museum of Art (Pomona), and the special collections at the Ella Strong Denison Library (Scripps). Across multiple periods and genres, and inclusive of the sometimes-overlapping categories of art and documentary, the selections reflect the ways that artists, amateurs, visual journalists, and institutional archives attempt to capture—to document—an event or a story. What are the intentional and unintentional narratives embalmed by photography’s direct relationship with its objects? What remains inside and outside the frame? How do titles and captions redirect our gaze? What is invested in a camera’s presence?

Featuring works by:  

Ansel Adams,  Associated Press Wirephoto Service, Eve Arnold, Dawoud Bey, Sean Black, Lucienne Bloch, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Morrie Camhi, Cooper Photo, Walker Evans, Larry Fink, Leonard Freed, Ken Gonzales-Day, Ken Heyman, Lewis Hine, Jacques Lowe, Danny Lyon,Bill Owens, Edward Ruscha, Ada Watkins Hatch, Carrie Mae Weems, and Dody Weston Thompson.

An exhibition curated by students in ARHI 161: Photography and the Archive

Curatorial Team:

 Seojin Ahn, Lucy Bloomstran, Max Buenviaje-Boyd, Vera Caldwell, Casey Donnelly, Lila Gamble, Ananya Goel, Jad Gorman, Riya Hariharan, Ruby Marks, Sam Messitte, Ali Simone-Parker, Corrie Waters, Lily Wellington, Sam White; Research Assistance: Genevieve Hume, Maya Pal; Instructor: Professor Julia Lum

Clark Humanities Museum

Monday through Friday

Please note that the Clark Humanities Museum is open to all Claremont College students, faculty, and staff, by appointment only.