Saturday, January 24 through Sunday, April 12, 2009
Montgomery, AL—Sonia Handelman Meyer’s photography provides insight into the lives of Americans who faced challenges during the years surrounding World War II through honest and unmanipulated images. The exhibition will be on display at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts January 24 through April 12, 2009. The public will have the chance to meet the artist on Tuesday, April 7 at 3 p.m. For more information, call 334. 265.4365.
Sonia Handelman lived in New York City and worked as a photographer, focusing on the lives of common people who surrounded her. The child of Eastern European immigrant parents, she gravitated toward the poor and dispossessed. Like other photographers of the Great Depression, she believed that social documentary photography could improve the lives of people by communicating the humanity of the oppressed and disadvantaged.
Handelman’s sentiments were shared by members of the Photo League, a group of photographers active in New York City from 1936 to 1951.The Photo League was a cooperative of amateur and professional photographers whose activities formed a significant movement for American photographic activity. The group often supplied the press with images of working-class life.
As the only non-commercial photography school in America at the time and having trained over 1,500 photographers during the years it was open, the Photo League was poised, by 1947, to realize an ambitious plan to become the Center for American Photography. It was organized around exhibitions, lectures, classes, and a newsletter. Handelman was an active member and served briefly as its secretary, the only paid staff position.
1n 1947, Photo League members were shocked to find it and 90 other groups listed in the New York Times as a Communist front organizations. The Photo League soon succumbed to Cold War politics and disbanded in 1951. In 1950, Handelman married Jerry Meyer, started a family, and gravitated toward nature photography. Recently, her Photo League photography has sparked renewed interest.
Don’t miss this unique opportunity at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. The Williamson Gallery exhibitions are sponsored by Knology.
The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday Noon to 5p.m. Admission is free and donations are welcome. For more information, call the MMFA at 334.240.4333 or visit the website at www.mmfa.org.
The MMFA, a department of the City of Montgomery, is supported by funds from the City and County of Montgomery and the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Association. Programs
are made possible, in part, by grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.