Current Exhibitions

Past Exhibitions

Starburst: Color Photography in America, 1970-1980

February 10, 2010 to January 02, 2011

Garish, pedestrian and commercial - that’s how critics characterized color photography in the 1970s. It was in fact an explosion of color and the beginning of a new form of art.


Starburst: Color Photography in America 1970-1980 is the first survey of a burgeoning period in photography. Through the work of artists such as William Eggleston, Stephen Shore and Mitch Epstein, conventions of the snapshot are turned into high art.


Starburst offers the first historical survey of what critics of the 1970s called “The New Color Photography,” a loose artistic movement that generated much controversy and excitement in a multitude of exhibitions and publications throughout the decade. Addressing various themes, such as the technological factors contributing to color’s emergence, cultural biases against color photography’s use as an art form, and shifting attitudes between formalist and conceptual practices, the exhibition explores color’s role in the transition between modern and contemporary approaches to art photography during the 1970s.



Starburst: Color Photography in America 1970-1980 is accompanied by a full color catalogue published by by Hatje Cantz and distributed by DAP/Distributed Art Publishers and including texts by Kevin Moore, James Crump and Leo Rubinfien. The catalogue will be released in conjunction with the opening of the exhibition in Cincinnati and can be purchased ($70) at the Cincinnati Art Museum Shop or by calling (513) 639-2959.



Exhibition Sponsor: LPK: Building Leadership Brands

Fine Arts Fund Partners: Cincinnati Bell The Cincinnati Insurance Companies



Lightborne Lecture: Doug Aitken
Wednesday, February 17, 7:00pm
Doug Aitken utilizes multiple media to create psychological environments that are at once original, familiar and alien. Join the Cincinnati Art Academy and Cincinnati Art Museum in hosting Aitken as he shares his critical approach to art making through a series of stills, digital video clips and installation views that have established him worldwide as a leading force in contemporary art.
Free. No reservations required


Reel Art: Five Easy Pieces
Sunday, March 7, 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Experience changes in the 1970’s film industry as director Bob Rafelson embraces the cynicism of his time on this journey of an upper-class drop-out who attempts to find his place in oil rigs, hotels and bars.
General Public $8; Museum members $5, Series prices also available.


In Depth: American Photography
Saturday, March 13, 11 – 12:30p.m.
Saturday, March 20, 11 – 12:30p.m.
Explore the work of American photographers in this two-part investigation into the Art Museum’s special exhibition Starburst: Color Photography in America 1970-1980.
$20 General; $10 Member
Reservations Recommended


Gallery Talk: David Rosenthal
Saturday, March 20, 1 p.m.
Join photographer, artist and teacher David Rosenthal for fresh look at the Art Museum’s special exhibition Starburst: Color Photography in America 1970-1980.
Free. Reservations Recommended.


Family First Saturday: Film Fest
Saturday, April 3, 1-4 p.m.
Families can explore examples of color photography in the Art Museum as well as meet and learn from visiting artists. The Cincinnati Children's Theatre will lead a workshop, "Once Upon a Time: An Introduction to Classic Fairy Tales" for children. This fun and interactive workshop will bring treasured fairy tales to life. Cincinnati librarian Lisa Insenga will lead story time.
Free. Reservations not required.


Evenings for Educators
Wednesday, April 21, 4-7 p.m.
Designed for teachers of all grade levels and disciplines, Evenings for Educators workshops offer an interactive way to learn how to incorporate the Art Museum’s collections and special exhibitions into your classroom. The April workshop will envelop Starburst: Color Photography in America 1970-1980.
General Public $20; Museum members $10, Series prices available.


Inside Story Gallery Talk: James Crump
Friday, May 7, 1:00 p.m.
Join Curator of Photography James Crump on a tour of Starburst: Color Photography in America 1970-1980.
Free. Reservations recommended.



Image: Stephen Shore, West Ninth Avenue, Amarillo, Texas, October 2, 1974. Chromomeric print, 8 x 10 in. © Stephen Shore. Courtesy 303 Gallery, New York. Permanent Collection Cincinnati Art Museum, Acquired with The Edwin and Virginia H. Irwin Memorial Fund.

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