Because one thinks of downtown's Taft Museum of Art as a traditional place, a historic home containing art collected by the last family to live there (Charles and Anna Taft, who bequeathed the home and its art to the city in 1927), one forgets how relevant to today's art trends its changing exhibitions can be. The current one, which regrettably ends too soon on Aug. 8, is a case-in-point.
Truth/Beauty: Pictorialism and the Photograph as Art, 1845-1945, culled from the collection of Rochester's George Eastman House, uses work by some of photography's biggest names of its first century (Julia Margaret Cameron, Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, Imogene Cunningham, Ansel Adams and more) to show how the purposes of fine-art photography evolved from pictorialism — soft-focus, dreamy "artiness" not unlike Romantic paintings of the era — toward something more aware and confident of what photography could be as a medium true to itself.
And we've seen photography develop (no pun intended) in that direction ever since.
Get show and gallery details here.