Avedon in Texas

 

This week I visited the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth. While I have visited quite a few museums in the Dallas/Fort Worth area I had never visited this one. I was impressed with the art selection and how diverse all the artwork is. The exhibition called “Avedon in Texas” by Richard Avedon especially caught my attention because I felt it most related to me personally as well as to what we have been discussing in class. Personally, the photos in this exhibition related to me because there a few photos taken in El Paso, Texas which is my mother’s birthplace. I truly appreciate the rawness of the photos and how he could capture the people in their element. I also related his work to what we are studying in class. In the poem, “Let America Be America Again” by Langston Hughes he talks about the forgotten people, those who still believe in American values, those who work night and day, and those that despite the struggle still have hope in this great country. I think that even though Langston’s poem and Avedon’s photography took place at different times in history I could use these photos as the backdrop to this poem. The essence of the people is clear, the struggle that they experienced is real, and the look in their eyes can pierce the heart of anyone. In the poem performed by Manuel Gonzalez, he talks about what being a Chicano is all about. Gonzalez states, “being Chicano is the passion in my heart, being humble yet knowing when to fight”, this is the emotion shown in the eyes of the oil workers in Avedon’s photos. I cannot help but picture in my mind the passion, humbleness, and respect that Gonzalez talks about and how it is seen so brilliantly in the eyes of these people. The exhibition is a reminder of the forgotten, of those that work hard day in and day out, of those that do not need an Instagram filter or likes to be real but rather the look in their eyes and the sweat of their brow after a hard day’s work to gain the respect they deserve. In conclusion, Avedon in Texas is a great photography exhibition that relates not only to Texans but to all American’s. It serves as a great reminder of what this great country is made of, resilience, hard work, and dedication.

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6 comments

  1. I agree with you. Even though I haven’t been to this particular museum, from these photos I can totally picture them being the background images for that poem. Without color, without props or anything else they tell a story. It feels like I am standing there with them. That I know them, the struggles they have dealt with. The hard work they have put in and the not so great of an reward that they received. Its amazing how such a simple photo can speak to you.

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  2. I enjoyed reading your blog, it makes me want to visit the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth and see this exhibit. Great correlation between the art work “Avedon in Texas” and Langston Hughes poem! A picture is worth a thousand words; the images you shared really do speak for themselves. In these photos, Richard Avedon was able to carry out a message by each individual through their faces, clothes, and postures. In a away everyone can relate to the images; they are a soul reminder that with hard work and dedication you can achieve anything you put your mind to.

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  3. I admire that you have visited quite a few museums in DFW area. I always make plans to visit museums but it has only happened twice. I also enjoyed looking at “Avedon in Texas” photography that you posted. I really liked the expression “the essence of the people is clear, the struggle that they experienced is real, and the look in their eyes can pierce the heart of anyone”. You also made some great connections between “Let America Be America Again” poem and Avedon’s photography. I can see how you can use these photos a s a backdrop to the poem.

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  4. I agree with you on the pictures and the raw nature of their dedication to what they and the ability that they have. This goes to show that not matter where you work or how hard you work we are all the same. Along with the poem “Let American be America Again”, I can completely see these pictures in the background and as a representation of what they are trying to represent in the poem.
    The images that you posted are very touching and inspiring to me. You do not see men and women in suits, heels and working in nice offices in tall buildings. You see the faces covered in dirt, the shirtless due to the heat and trying to not get too hot while in the field or even the woman who to me represents the extreme hard work that has to be put into the day just to be able to earn a little bit of money.
    Thank you for your post, I really enjoyed seeing the photography of the artist and just the way that others are seen.

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  5. Billy Mudd, trucker reminded me of Micheal Angelo’s David. If you look at the hips and left hand i think there is a remarkable resemblance. I think the pictures remind us that each of us has a life that we have led and lead. Each picture can tell us we get our hands dirty at times. We are trying to keep the lights on make a living. I do not get the impression by any of the those pictures that their lives are easy but quite the opposite. I enjoyed reading this blog.
    Ric Ramirez

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  6. First I must say that I’m in awe of the collection and hope the exhibit is still open. The images definitely depict people who are hard working and dedicated to their craft. Often times people think the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. What they fail to realize is that everyone has a story and obstacles to overcome. If truth be told this is truly the life of an American. We work extremely hard and our exterior demeanor reflects the exhaustion we feel. These people exude confidence and sheer determination to do whatever needs to be done to support their family. Great selection and I look forward to seeing this collection soon.

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