Collectors Circle: California Photography
Monterey Museum of Art is excited to announce Collectors Circle – a series of interactive experiences offered to an exclusive group of passionate art lovers that provides critical funds for our programs, exhibitions, and permanent collection.
Join us for an intimate look into the works of Wynn and Edna Bullock. Join daughter of the artists, Barbara Bullock-Wilson as she recounts family stories alongside hand-selected works from the archive. We will conclude the afternoon with an interactive photography lesson from some of our region’s leading working photographers, including Kenneth Parker, Martha Casanave, Ann Jastrab, Chris Johnson, and Brian Taylor. Groups of four to five will gather in the rose garden, each equipped with a view camera similar to the large 8×10 camera that Bullock employed during the first half of his photographic career.
Saturday, November 13, 2021
12:00 pm – 3:30 pm
MMA La Mirada, 720 Via Mirada, Monterey, CA 93940
Lunch will be provided by Chef Rima Mazzeo Crow accompanied by wine from Albatross Ridge.
For more information email [email protected]
Born in 1902, Wynn Bullock’s first career was as a concert singer. While successfully performing in Europe in the 1920s, he became intrigued with the visual arts and the potential they offered to be more directly creative. He began to photograph and, over time, the process developed into what he described as “a way of life”.
His work received early recognition in 1941, when the Los Angeles County Museum of Art staged his first solo exhibition. He became internationally recognized in the mid-1950s when two of his photographs were included in New York MoMA’s famous Family of Man exhibition.
For the next twenty years, Bullock’s creative journey was guided by an intense interest in questions about the structure of the universe and humanity’s place within it. Inspired by the work of such people as Albert Einstein, Alfred Korzybski, Alfred North Whitehead, Bertrand Russell, and Paul Klee, Bullock used his studies of theoretical physics, philosophy, psychology, spirituality, and art as reference points for his own intuitive, independent, and deeply personal explorations of the world. Photography for Bullock was a way of grappling with and meditating on the idea that there is much more to the world than is commonly understood through ordinary perception, and he was passionate about pursuing and sharing that revelation through his art.
In the mid-1960s, Bullock helped form the Friends of Photography in Carmel, along with Ansel Adams, Cole Weston, and a handful of other friends and colleagues. He served as a founding trustee of that organization as well as its first Exhibition Chair. At Adams’ behest, the exhibition space was named the “Wynn Bullock Gallery”.
Shortly before his death in 1975, Bullock became one of the five founding artists whose archives established the University of Arizona’s Center for Creative Photography. Recognized as a master mid-twentieth century artist, his work is also featured in the permanent collections of over a hundred other institutions throughout the world as well as in three films and numerous publications.
Born in 1915, Edna Bullock didn’t begin her career in photography until 1976, a year after the death of her beloved husband and renowned photographer Wynn Bullock. At the time, she was 61 and as she explained, “I had inherited a darkroom, camera equipment, and supplies. For more than 30 years, I had been immersed in the world of photography. My own needs to be artistically creative were strong, so I decided to enroll in beginning photography at Monterey Peninsula College and see what I could do.” She tackled her new venture with typical zeal, and in an amazingly short time, friends such as Ansel Adams, Morley Baer, and Ruth Bernhard witnessed her evolution from student to workshop assistant to fellow teacher and exhibitor.
An exceptionally prolific artist for two decades, Edna produced a wide spectrum of black and white imagery, including an extensive series on flea markets. Probably her most notable contributions to the field are her photographs of nudes in a variety of settings, especially the male nude, and many outstanding examples of her figure work may be found in a book released on her 80th birthday titled simply Edna’s Nudes (Capra Press, 1995). Reflecting her character as well as her lifelong involvement with dance, her work is intuitive, direct, zesty, graceful, and often touched with humor.
What turned out to be her final exhibition project was titled Edna’s Portraits, a collection of photographs that spanned the entire range of her artistry and gave a fresh glimpse into what portraiture can be. In her Artist’s Statement, she wrote, “I’m not a deep thinker like Wynn was, but like it was for Wynn, photography has become the best way I have to experience and know things. When I’m out with a camera, I feel most alive….”
Edna died in December 1997, just a few months after she made her last photograph. During her relatively short photographic career, Edna’s images were displayed in over 100 individual and group exhibitions throughout the U.S. and abroad, reproduced in numerous publications, and included in the permanent collections of such institutions as Bibliotheque Nationale, Kyoto’s National Museum of Modern Art, Monterey Museum of Art, University of Arizona’s Center for Creative Photography, and University of California, Santa Cruz.
As the wife of master photographer Wynn Bullock, Edna was an important part of her husband’s story for 32 years. As a woman who began a new career in her sixties, she created an inspiring story totally her own.
Barbara Bullock-Wilson (1945- ) is the older daughter of master mid-twentieth century photographer Wynn Bullock and his wife Edna who pursued her own successful career as a fine art photographer after his death.
Involved in the creative process from a very early age, Barbara chose to deepen her interest in it through university and post-graduate studies in communications, philosophy, psychology, and spirituality.
Apart from relatively short periods of work as a pre-school teacher, curriculum developer, and natural history museum administrator, the most important and continuous threads in Barbara’s professional life have been writing and photography.
In her relationships as offspring, model, assistant, colleague, historian, and manager of the Bullock photographic estate, Barbara has enjoyed a lifelong engagement with her parents’ artistic journeys. She has authored and edited numerous articles and books on each of her parents, several in collaboration with them and many since their deaths. As a curator and consultant, she has mounted and helped organize several exhibitions showcasing their imagery. Frequently asked to speak about their work, she has also been an active supporter of the wider photographic community as a juror and portfolio reviewer.
Appreciating the potentials of her parents’ art to inspire and transform, she is enthusiastic about sharing it with others as well as dedicated to preserving their legacies for future generations.
As a wordsmith and artist in her own right, Barbara’s most recent creative pursuit is the writing of true-life fairy tales.
Kenneth Parker is a large-format landscape colorist working principally in remote pristine wilderness areas throughout the world. He is drawn to elemental forces and their compelling magic, translating into arresting imagery the depths of these feelings, rich in power, radiant. His early experience as fine art color pioneer Eliot Porter’s field assistant helped to nurture a loving eye devoted to isolating and capturing the mysteries in nature that he struggled for decades to unravel as a research scientist in oceanography and global climate change. Ken is currently completing the captivating new portfolio Big Sur ~ Gentle Fury, with its intimate compositions of rugged granitic pinnacles, wave sprays and tide pools along our magnificent shore. And a major coffee table publication is currently underway of his multi-expedition imagery from the remote kingdom of Mustang on the Tibetan Plateau – which the Dalai Lama, who is contributing an introduction, has called “the best Tibetan Buddhism that remains in the world”.
A consistent mentor since the 70s, Paul Caponigro writes: Parker’s stunning prints have impressed me and will no doubt also impress you for their beauty of craft as well as content. Those who will give sufficient time to discover what has been wrought through his efforts will no doubt be rewarded. He has met and mastered the shape of his own passion and vision. And from the lips of the late great Ruth Bernhard at her home: Ken is my favorite color photographer. The way in which he works with light is inspiring. It feels as if he has an arrangement with God.
Parker is represented in leading galleries and collections nationwide including the renowned Weston Gallery in Carmel and Getty Images, and has been exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution, Oakland Museum, California Academy of Sciences, and the San Diego and Los Angeles County Museums of Natural History.
Martha Casanave earned a degree in Russian Language and Literature from the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and then worked as a translator in Washington, DC. She later made her career in photography, which she had practiced since childhood. Every year between 1984 – 1995 she combined her language and photography skills by taking groups of American photographers on workshop tours to the Soviet Union.
Casanave has been a working, teaching, exhibiting, and award-winning photographer for 45 years. She taught photography at Monterey Peninsula College and Cabrillo College for thirty years, until the 2020 pandemic induced retirement. Four monographs of her work have been published: Past Lives, Photographs by Martha Casanave (Godine, 1991), Beware of Dog (Center for Photographic Art, 2002), Explorations Along an Imaginary Coastline (Hudson Hills Press, 2006) and Trajectories, A Half Century of Portraits (Image Continuum Press, 2013). Casanave’s photographs are included in many major collections, including the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Cantor Arts Center (Stanford), the Bibliotheque Nationale, and the Museum of the History of Photography, St. Petersburg, Russia. Her latest work was exhibited in “Present Tense”at the Center for Photographic Art, 2021, and will be featured in a solo exhibit at the Fresno Art Museum in 2022.
Ann Jastrab is the Executive Director at the Center for Photographic Art (CPA) in Carmel, California. CPA strives to advance photography through education, exhibition and publication. These regional traditions—including mastery of craft, the concept of mentorship, and dedication to the photographic arts—evolved out of CPA’s predecessor, the renowned Friends of Photography established in 1967 by iconic artists Ansel Adams, Wynn Bullock and Cole Weston. While respecting these West Coast traditions, CPA is also at the vanguard of the future of photographic imagery.
Before coming onboard at CPA, Ann was the gallery manager at Scott Nichols Gallery in San Francisco where she incorporated contemporary artists with the living legends photography. Ann also worked as the gallery director at RayKo Photo Center in San Francisco for 10 years until their closure in 2017. Ann has curated many shows in the Bay Area while simultaneously jurying, curating, and organizing numerous exhibitions for other national and international venues outside of San Francisco. While being a champion of artists, she created a thriving artist-in-residence program at RayKo where multiple residents including Meghann Riepenhoff, Carlos Javier Ortiz, Kathya Marie Landeros, and McNair Evans all received Guggenheim Fellowships. Besides being a curator, Ann Jastrab, MFA, is a fine art photographer, master darkroom printer, and educator as well.
Chris Johnson is a photographic and video artist, curator and writer. Chris studied photography with Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham and Wynn Bullock. He is a full Professor in the Photography Program at the California College of the Arts.
His photographic artwork has been published and exhibited widely and is represented in collections including the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson Arizona and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Chris Johnson has served as President of SF Camerawork Gallery, Chair of the Cultural Affairs Commission for the City of Oakland under Jerry Brown and Director of the Mother Jones International Fund for Documentary Photography. Additionally, he is the author of The Practical Zone System: for Film and Digital Photography, currently in its 6th edition. He also served as co-author with Barbara Bullock-Wilson for Wynn Bullock 55, a monograph published by Phaidon Press in 2001.
Chris Johnson originated the Question Bridge concept with a 1996 video installation he created for the Museum of Photographic Arts and the Malcolm X library in San Diego, CA.
Brian Taylor is known for his innovative explorations of alternative photographic processes including historic 19th Century printing techniques, mixed media, and hand made books. His work has been exhibited nationally and abroad in numerous solo and group shows and is included in the permanent collections of the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the International Museum of Photography at the George Eastman House, Rochester, NY.
Brian served as the Executive Director of the Center for Photographic Art in Carmel, CA for 4 1/2 years, retiring in 2019 to return to his art practice in the studio. He received his B.A. Degree in Visual Arts from the University of California at San Diego, an M.A. from Stanford University, and his M.F.A. from the University of New Mexico and served as a Professor of Photography for over 35 years, and Chair of the Department of Art and Art History at San Jose State University .