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Work of Pioneering and Modern Photographers From Atget to Avedon on Exhibition at Godwin-Ternbach Museum April 13 - June 6
-- Museum Announces Major Gift of Photographs from the Matthew R. Bergey Collection -- 
FLUSHING, NY, March 23, 2015 – A donation of outstanding American and European photographs from the 19th and 20th centuries will be exhibited alongside Masters of American Photography, on loan from the Reading Public Museum in Pennsylvania, at the Godwin-Ternbach Museum at Queens College. Together, these collections represent the history of photography from its beginnings to the end of the previous century.

The dual exhibition opens on April 13 and continues through June 6, 2015. A reception on Thursday, April 23 at 6 PM will launch both exhibitions.

The donated work, Photographs from the Matthew R. Bergey Collection, 36 photographs by 26 photographers, includes remarkable images ranging from pioneers of the medium to modern and contemporary photographers such as Walker Evans, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Richard Avedon, David Hockney, and Laurie Simmons.
Among the 19th-century innovative titans in the Bergey Collection are Roger Fenton, active in the second half of the 19th century as a groundbreaking war photographer; Julia Margaret Cameron, celebrated for her “soft-focus” portraits of famous Victorian-era figures such as Charles Darwin, Lewis Carroll, Alfred Lord Tennyson, and Pre-Raphaelite painters Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Edward Burne-Jones; and Eugéne Atget, noted for his distinct style and extraordinary visual records of Parisian architecture and street scenes before their disappearance in the modern era—an inspiration for Surrealist artists a generation later.
The Reading Museum’s Masters of American Photography is a cache of photographs by renowned American photographers of the 20th century—Alfred Stieglitz, Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Dorothea Lange, and Margaret Bourke-White, among others. These vintage and artist-authorized prints include iconic images.
According to Godwin-Ternbach Museum director and curator Amy Winter, the Bergey Collection will greatly enhance the museum’s growing collection of photography.

“It can’t be overstated how valuable this collection is to the study of the history of photography for our community,” she says. “These photos incorporate many of the significant styles and techniques of photography from its inception. In the group, we see superb examples of documentary images of people, places, and historical events made with large-format cameras and glass plate negatives, the flourishing of expressive ‘art photography’ in the pictorialism movement, and classic modernist works.

“In this age of digital photography, it is rare to see so many famous photographs and photographers in one venue,” Winter continues. “This is the most important donation of photographs ever received by the museum and one of the most meaningful in its history. We’re thrilled to be able to offer this to our audiences, and grateful to Matt Bergey for his very generous gift.”

Free public programs include a lecture series beginning on Thursday, April 23, with a talk about the “Masters” photographs by Reading Public Museum curator Scott A. Schweigert. The series continues on April 30 with a lecture entitled “Eyes and Minds on a Group of Photographs” by expert Larry Gottheim, and concludes on May 7 with a reception and gallery talk on the Bergey Collection by Winter. A workshop on Pinhole Photography will be conducted on April 22, in celebration of National Pinhole Photography Day. The public is cordially invited to all events. For further information about dates, times, and directions to the museum, visit the GTM website at

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 significant 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 museum introduces many individuals to art and artifacts they might not otherwise encounter. The breadth of these holdings, and the rich resources of the college, allow presentations that enlighten audiences about art and culture—their own traditions and histories and the American scene. 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, particularly to serve the needs and interests of local communities. All exhibitions and programs are free.


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