Analog Culture: Printer’s Proofs from the Schneider/Erdman Photography Lab, 1981–2001
May 19, 2018 – August 12, 2018, University Research Gallery, University Study Gallery, University Teaching Gallery, Harvard Art Museums
This exhibition takes an unprecedented look at the productive and dynamic collaboration between photographer and printer, through the lens of the Harvard Art Museums’ Schneider/Erdman Printer’s Proof Collection, a remarkable group of nearly 450 photographs printed over three decades by Gary Schneider of the Manhattan-based studio Schneider/Erdman, Inc. The collection includes works by Richard Avedon, James Casebere, Robert Gober, Nan Goldin, Peter Hujar, Gilles Peress, and David Wojnarowicz, among many other artists, photojournalists, and fashion photographers who made up New York’s cultural milieu in the 1980s and ’90s. As Schneider and Erdman began to build a collection of photographs, through their practice of retaining a print from each artist with whom they collaborated, they came to realize the educational value of this unique body of work. Comprising approximately 90 printer’s proofs as well as related archival material and artist’s tools, the exhibition highlights the collection’s teaching potential by looking closely at the techniques and methods of darkroom photography. It ties the material history of darkroom photography to the historical narratives that Schneider and Erdman experienced, such as the transformation of New York’s urban landscape, the AIDS crisis and its repercussions in American culture, and September 11, 2001.
Here’s a video interview with Gary Schneider about the Sex book: