This week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast features the new Museum of Fine Arts Houston exhibition “War Photography: Images of Armed Conflict and its Aftermath.” Anne Wilkes Tucker, the show’s co-curator (along with MFAH’s Will Michaels and Natalie Zelt) joins me to discuss the exhibition and the related 600-page book from the MFAH and the Yale University Press.
The show, which runs through February 3, includes almost 500 objects, images by more than 280 photographers on six continents, all of it covering 165 years of war. The exhibition and catalogue are presented thematically, with sections on war-related topics such as recruitment, training, daily routine, patrol, the wait, the fight itself, leisure time and more.
Do you recognize this picture? If you saw this more famous image first, you’d recognize the picture here as being the raising of the flag on Mt. Suribachi on the Pacific Ocean island of Iwo Jima. One of the things Tucker tells us on this week’s MAN Podcast is that she and her team found images that conclusively document that Joe Rosenthal’s iconic picture of the raising of the flag on Iwo Jima is legit, not staged. You can see more images from Iwo Jima here. In the exhibition catalogue Tucker details the history behind how the images — and the moment — were made.
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Image: Bob Campbell, USMC, American, 1910–1968, Flag Raising at Iwo Jima — Installing Large Flag on Mt. Suribachi, February 23, 1945. Collection of the MFA Houston.
The art: Gerhard Richter, Uncle Rudi, 1965.
The news: "World War II From the Ground Up," by Richard J. Evans in The New York Times Book Review. Evans’ essay is a review of Max Hastings’ new book "Inferno: The World at War 1939-45," which Evans says is an “account of the war that concentrates on the lived experience of the men and women who took part in it,” men like Richter’s Uncle Rudi.