Issue #121  3/15/2007
On Exhibit: An Intimate View of 19th-Century Italy At NYC's American Academy in Rome

By Mack Lee

"Steps Off the Beaten Path: Nineteenth-Century Photographs of Rome and its Environs" at the American Academy in Rome, New York Office, 7 East 60th Street, New York.

"Steps off the Beaten Path: Nineteenth-Century Photographs of Rome and its Environs" is a pioneering departure from the traditional views of great monuments and writes a new chapter in the history of photography. Unlike the grand photographs by renowned photographers Anderson, Alinari, and MacPherson, these images are of carefully chosen intimate portraits of Rome.

The exhibit debuts works by Simelli, Chauffourier, and de Bonis. These photographers have intentionally chosen not only what we, the viewers, see but how we see it as well. They leave us no choice but to admire and respect the details of the ancient, hand-carved stone of archways, doorways, and fountains as well as the people living in and around them.

Eugene Atget made this intimate style of photography famous 30 years later in Paris. Here, for the first time, we see the photographs of Atget's stylistic predecessors and see a new context for viewing Atget's work. This show brings to life the intricacies of 19th-century Rome in a way that MacPherson, Alinari and Anderson did not capture in their grand views of ancient monuments. This show is a new and important look at an old and beautiful subject.

Images from the collection of Dee and Bruce Lundberg, which is curated by Dr. Bruce Lundberg and Professor John Pinto, will be open to the public through May 15, 2007.

Please call the American Academy in Rome at 1-212-751-7200 for more information.

The show can also be viewed on the web at http://www.aarome.org .

Mack Lee runs Lee Gallery in Winchester, MA. He is a long-time member of the Association of International Photography Art Dealers (AIPAD) and has been dealing in photography for over 26 years. His website is http://www.leegallery.com.