Art Museum of South Texas' Exhibition Photography is Art on View

A Look at the Art Museum of South Texas’ New Exhibition Photography is Art

Photography is Art, AMST's first traveling exhibition of 2024, showcases various methods and practices spanning over three centuries. 

A photograph on view in the Art Museum of South Texas exhibition shows tents of The Lakota People during a Sun Dance Ceremony taken at night.

STEVE GOFF (b. 1951) Wagagi Thanchanku (Milky Way), 2018, Pigment print, Ellen Noël Art Museum, Odessa, Texas

Calling all art lovers and history buffs, the Art Museum of South Texas’ newest exhibition has your name written all over it. AMST has partnered with three other Texas art institutions to present its latest exhibition, Photography is Art.

Located in the Chapman Gallery, AMST’s first traveling exhibit of 2024 will showcase the advancements of photography as an art form spanning over three centuries with 51 total works on display. The exhibition delves into the history and development of photography over the last 300 years–from daguerreotype and gelatin silver print to dye transfer print and contemporary inkjet printing.

Viewers will find a comprehensive guide accompanying the exhibition which details various photography processes and methods showcased. Daguerreotype, for example, is one of the earliest photography practices developed by Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre in Paris in 1839. It involves a slow, attentive process providing a stark contrast to contemporary inkjet printing.

A partnership between the Amon Carter Museum of American Art and the Art Bridges Cohort program led to a four-way partnership among Texas art institutions whose collections examine the medium of photography. The Art Bridges Cohort Program was built on the Art Bridges ideology of expanding access to American art through nationwide museum partnerships. Photography is Art will be the second exhibition in the American art series.

“As a consortium working together to look deeply into our holdings, and to share aspects of art that we co-curate, has opened our collections to our shared audiences through the lens of contemplation, exploration and imagination, traits we can learn so much from one another,” said AMST’s Curator of Exhibitions Deborah Fullerton when speaking on the partnership between the four institutions.

These partnerships led AMST to be a stop on the traveling exhibition’s tour. One of the included images titled Wagagi Thanchanku is a pigment print made with inkjet printers by Steve Goff who captured the photo during a Wiwang Wacipi ceremony led by the Lakota people. Goff’s print was loaned to AMST by the Ellen Noël Museum of Art. “The long exposure [seen in this image] gives the piece its sense of movement,” Curator of ENMoA Daniel Zeis said when referring to Goff’s piece.

Photography is Art will be open to the public from Jan. 26 to Apr. 7, 2024, and an opening reception will be held on Jan. 25 from 5:30-7 p.m. for AMST members. On the public opening day, Jan. 26, AMST will host a special event called “Art Unboxed” which will include guest speaker John Rohrbach and lunch. Rohrbach is the Emeritus Curator of Photography at ACMoAA and will share knowledge in curating and processes used in printing photography.  The presentation for “Art Unboxed” is free to the public, with a lunch cost of  $17 for members and $25 for non-members. 

The exhibition Photography is Art promises to provide Coastal Bend residents and art enthusiasts access to a journey through the last three centuries with photographs capturing the essence of their time, as well as an exploration into the craft itself. The Art Museum of South Texas is open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Tuesdays through Saturdays and 1-5 p.m. on Sundays.

Interested in more Arts + Culture from The Bend: Make sure you check out this eclectic art gallery space in Rockport, Texas.