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Nearly ninety photographs by many of the most exciting talents in the field of photography comprise the Michael Hoffman Tribute Collection, donated to the Museum in 2003. Seen for the first time in this comprehensive exhibition, the group of pictures was assembled in honor of legendary curator and publisher Michael E. Hoffman (1942-2001) with donations from artists with whom he worked during his active career.
Hoffman was Adjunct Curator of Photographs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art from 1968 to 1998 and is known for his work at the helm of the nonprofit Aperture Foundation, where he was executive director from 1965 to 2001. Because of his passion for photography and a commitment to working closely with living artists, Hoffman had an impact on the careers of innumerable photographers, exhibiting their work and publishing it in Aperture magazine. He organized major traveling retrospectives of the work of Minor White, Robert Adams, Graciela Iturbide, Robert Capa, and Mary Ellen Mark, all of whose work is part of the collection and exhibition.
This tremendously varied group of images will include photographs by such international figures as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Flor Garduño, Eikoh Hosoe, Raghu Rai, and Javier Vallhonrat. Masters of American photography such as William Christenberry, Irving Penn, Ray K. Metzker, Bruce Davidson, and Ralph Gibson will be represented, along with posthumous prints from the estates of Robert Capa and Robert Mapplethorpe. Among the contemporary artists who have donated work are Lynn Davis, Donna Ferrato, Kahn & Selesnick, Sally Mann, and Richard Misrach. Many of the pictures chosen for the collection were favorites of Hoffman’s or were selected by the artist with his tastes and interests in mind. The collection significantly enhances the Museum’s holdings of contemporary photography.