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Color Rush at MAM
Fresh colors make an appearance at the Milwaukee Art Museums exhibit about color photography

Photo courtesy of Library of Congress

It’s rare when an art exhibition can be both academic and blockbuster. But Lisa Hostetler, the Milwaukee Art Museum’s valued photography curator who left recently for the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., has given us one heck of a going-away present. “Color Rush” traces the history of color photography from 1907 to 1981. Co-curated by Katherine Bussard (Art Institute of Chicago), it examines how the rise and proliferation of color photography mirrors many cultural developments, winding its way through two world wars to blossom within the art world during the 1970s. In 1969, Walker Evans said, “Color photography is vulgar.” By 1975, he was making gorgeous color Polaroids. Such is the roller coaster evolution of this medium. As for the museum's evolution, in January, Hostetler was replaced by Lisa Sutcliffe, a former assistant curator of photography at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

➞ Color Rush: 75 Years of Color Photography in America (Feb. 22-May 19). Milwaukee Art Museum. 700 N. Art Museum Dr., 414-224-3200, mam.org.

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