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Godwin-Ternbach Museum Celebrates "The Year of the Silk Roads" with Fall Exhibition of Two Master Photographers

-- Queens College’s Museum Presents Photographs of the Famed Silk Roads Territories; Textiles and Other Selections Also on View Oct. 15–Dec. 15 -- 

Photo exhibit, Along the Silk Roads—Lynn Gilbert: Photographs of Turkey and Uzbekistan, and Didier Vanderperre: Photographs of Xinjiang, China
Godwin-Ternbach Museum at Queens College, 405 Klapper Hall,
October 15–December 15, 2015
Opening Reception, October 15, 2015
FLUSHING, NY, August 10, 2015 — Large-format color photographs by two master photographers will act as touchstones for audiences to experience the complex mixture of ancient and modern realities of the Silk Roads, which linked the civilizations and cultures of China, Central Asia, West Asia, and Europe for much of pre-modern history as early as 100 BC, long famous as the route of Marco Polo. As a precursor to today’s global world and economy, the cultural and political significance of these ancient routes cannot be overstated.
Lynn Gilbert’s serene, intimate images of people and domestic interiors are in striking contrast to Didier Vanderperre’s visually dynamic “street photography” of the bustling, sometimes volatile region of Xinjiang, a terminus of the Silk Road. Its borders on Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Tibet account for the region’s exceptional diversity, making it an important crossroads throughout history.
“Lynn Gilbert’s passion for Central Asia has resulted in a series of contemplative images of interiors and portraits of people engaged in their traditional way of life,” says Amy Winter, museum director and curator of this exhibition. “Unlike the voyeurism of tourist photography or the romanticism of travel photography, her thoughtful work offers us cultural anthropology as art.
“In Didier Vanderperre’s series on Xinjiang, pictures of people active in their daily lives display the photographer’s talent for direct, spontaneous imagery that captures the decisive moment in the manner of his countryman Cartier-Bresson,” she continues. “Totally without guise and charged with energy by his frequent 35-mm view, Vanderperre’s work lives up to Robert Capa’s belief that your pictures are good enough only if you’re close enough.” 
As a special addition to the photographs on view are ikat robes and textiles from the collection of George Anavian, a highly respected authority on Eastern arts. A complex and beautiful method of printing woven fabric by tie-dyeing the warp and weft yarns before weaving, ikat is widely practiced in Central Asia, and Uzbekistan in particular. In addition, selections from the Godwin-Ternbach’s permanent collection, representing the Silk Roads’ civilizations and cultures, will be on view in the museum’s Lobby Gallery.
The exhibition will open on Thursday, October 15, 2015, from 6 to 8 pm with a lecture by Morris Rossabi, Distinguished Professor of History at Queens College and Senior Research Scholar and Adjunct Professor of Inner Asian History, Columbia University. On Saturday, October 17, at 2 pm, there will be an Artists Talk in the museum with Lynn Gilbert and Didier Vanderperre in conversation with Amy Winter.
On-campus public programs will run throughout the exhibition. These will include lectures and music, dance, and theatre performances related to the college’s 2015–2016 Year of the Silk Roads. Dedicated to embracing and understanding the complexity and vitality of our world, Queens College has each year since 2010 explored in-depth the history, art, and culture of a different country. With The Year of the Silk Roads, a group of countries will be the focus for the first time.
Lynn Gilbert, a widely published photographer living in New York City, has traveled to more than sixty countries during the past six decades.  Her book, The Silk Road: Then and Now (2015), is the result of her travels throughout Turkey, where she documented for the first time the traditional houses of Turkey, a significant part of that country’s cultural heritage. Photographs for Along the Silk Roads, from her recent travel to Uzbekistan, again record the people and their traditional ways of life that have persisted into the 21st century. Gilbert’s work has been exhibited in numerous exhibitions in Turkey and is currently on view in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.  She is represented in New York by Throckmorton Fine Art. 
A native of France who has lived and worked in New York since 1986, Didier Vanderperre has been photographing for over 30 years, and is a member of the community of Getty photographers. His desire to photograph places off the beaten track has taken him to remote and less-traveled areas of Indo-China and East Asia: Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Xinjiang, and, most recently, Myanmar. His practice parallels the work of the “street photographers”—Bruce Gilden and Elliot Erwitt among those he admires. Closer to home, he is currently at work on a series on Coney Island.
Collector George Anavian apprenticed with his father, Rahim Anavian, the late innovative dealer of Eastern arts. The Anavian family has been involved in the sale, appraisal, and conservation of antiquities for over 90 years, providing artworks and acting as consultants for museums and collections around the world. For over 15 years, George Anavian has taught a course on oriental rugs at New York University.
The Godwin-Ternbach Museum, a part of Queens College’s Kupferberg Center for the Visual and Performing Arts, presents contemporary and historical exhibitions and programs that provide exciting educational opportunities and aesthetic experiences to residents of the borough of Queens and neighboring Manhattan and Long Island. As the only collection of art and artifacts in the borough, housing over 6,000 objects that date from ancient to modern times, the GTM provides a first time museum experience for many individuals, introducing them to art and culture they might not otherwise encounter.  Lectures, symposia, gallery talks, workshops, films, concerts, and tours as well as digital displays, catalogues, and an active website complement and interpret the art on view, to serve the needs and interests of local communities. All exhibitions and programs are free.
Queens College is located at the corner of the Long Island Expressway and Kissena Boulevard (Exit 24) in Flushing. For driving and public transportation directions, visit: Google maps:
For more information and additional photographs, please contact Maria Matteo, Office of Communications, (718) 997-5593, and at the museum Brita Helgesen, (718) 997-4724,


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