Monday, June 12, 2017

History Museum Exhibit Explores High Peaks Photography

A Sense of Place ShowThe Adirondack History Museum opened for its 2017 season with a reception celebrating its new art show, “A Sense of Place: Photography of the High Peaks Region.”

“Our way of seeing and being in the Adirondacks has changed in many ways since the early days of settling and visiting the region. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries photography was about documenting progress and presence. Photographers today are seeking silence and solitude,” Exhibit Curator Dan Keegan said in statement sent to the press.

Keegan is the retired director of the Milwaukee Art Museum, and former Executive Director of the San Jose Museum of Art.  Keegan became a full-time resident of Westport when he retired in 2016, after visiting the Adirondacks for over twenty years.

The show combines the work of modern photographers with a display of historic images. While some of the historic photographs are by well-known individuals like Seneca Ray Stoddard, George Bacon Woods, and W. A. Casselman, many of the photographers remain unidentified.

Keegan said that he intentionally chose these historic images without regard to established photographers. “It was important to show that back then, because of the growing popularity of photography, the invention of the Brownie camera, and comparatively easy transportation, everyone took pictures to document their presence in places of discovery,” said Keegan. “We still do that today, but it’s all digital. Aren’t we all walking around with a few thousand photographs in our pockets and purses on our mobile devices?”

The show is scheduled to be on display until the end of the museum’s current season on October 9th. Several of the contemporary photographers were on hand to discuss their work.

Modern photographers in the exhibit include Nancie Battaglia, Tony Beaver, Linda Benzon, Mark Bowie, Luke Dow, Johnathan Esper, Carl Heilman II, Joanne Kennedy, Chris Lang, Joe LeFevre, Manuel Palacios, Susan Runyon, Jessica Tabora, Chris Tennant and Ed Williams.

“By displaying historic images together with contemporary work, the juxtaposition really brings out how the human relationship with the High Peaks has altered,” according to Museum Director Aurora McCaffrey.

Two lectures in the museum’s summer series complement the exhibit:

Bob Bayle will present “An Adirondack Portfolio: Hiking Photographs of Francis Bayle, 1902-1935,” on July 13th.

Nancie Battaglia, one of the featured modern photographers, will give a presentation on “Photographing the Adirondacks” on August 10th.

The museum is open Tuesday to Saturday 10 am to 4 pm, and Sunday from noon to 4 pm. For more information, visit the Museum’s website at, call (518) 873-6466 or email

Photo: (Back row, l to r) Curator Dan Keegan, Photographers Ed Williams, Johnathan Esper, Tony Beaver;  (front row) Jessica Tabora, Nancie Battaglia and Museum Director Aurora McCaffrey were on hand to celebrate the Adirondack History Museum’s opening with a gala reception for “A Sense of Place: Photography of the High Peaks Region.” Provided by Barry Goldstein.

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Community news stories come from press releases and other notices from organizations, businesses, state agencies and other groups. Submit your contributions to Almanack Editor Melissa Hart at

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