Beautifully captured images of the unique and imperiled landscape of Lake Erie
For over a decade, large-format photographer Lynn Whitney has captured Lake Erie’s Ohio shores. The beautifully rendered images contained in Lake Erie reveal a sense of diverse communities, changing landscapes, and deep histories of a place. Inspired by Frank Gohlke’s work on Lake Erie, Whitney’s distinct eye acts as a guide through this unique and imperiled landscape; her images ask what the chances are for our collective future and offer hope in the effort of noticing.
Included are Nicholas Nixon’s personal account of Whitney’s practice, a cultural exploration by curator Robin Reisenfeld, and an essay by biologist George Bullerjahn, which chronicles the environmental and geological characteristics of the lake. As a collection, these photographs and texts are reminders of the past we share; of what we have done and continue to do to the lake and to each other.
George S. Bullerjahn is an American microbiologist, a former Distinguished Research Professor at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. He is the founding director of the Great Lakes Center for Fresh Waters and Human Health. His specialty is microbial ecology; his research has focused on the health of the Laurentian Great Lakes, particularly the harmful algal bloom-forming populations in Lake Erie since the early 2000s.
Nicholas Nixon, born in 1947, is known for the ease and intimacy of his black and white large format photography. Nixon has photographed porch life in the rural south, schools in and around Boston, cityscapes, sick and dying people, the intimacy of couples, and the ongoing annual portrait of his wife, Bebe, and her three sisters (which he began in 1975). Recording his subjects close and with meticulous detail facilitates the connection between the viewer and the subject. Nixon has been awarded three National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships and two Guggenheim Fellowships. In 2014, Nixon’s annual portrait series, The Brown Sisters, reached its 40th anniversary and was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art. In Summer 2013 Nixon’s book Close Far was released by Steidl. The body of work explores the relationship of the self in physical and psychological proximity to the urban landscape. In 2010, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston exhibited Nicholas Nixon: Family Album, through May 2011. In 2006, Nixon’s ongoing portrait of the Brown sisters was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas. In 2005 Nixon had a solo exhibition at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. and the Cincinnati Art Museum.
Carlos Gollonet is Director of photography, Fundacion MAPFRE, Madrid
Australian-born Sebastian Smee is the art critic for the Boston Globe. He won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in criticism.
Robin Reisenfeld is a curator at the Toledo Museum of Art. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in art history from the University of Chicago and has worked as an associate curator of prints and illustrated books at the Museum of Modern Art. Beside her curatorial and writing practise, she has served on many art juror panels and is an advisory member on the board of the Leroy Neiman Center for Print Studies at Columbia University in New York.
Emily Sheffer is a photographic artist and founder of Dust Collective, a handmade photography book publisher. She earned her MFA in photography from The University of Hartford, and her BFA in Photography from The Massachusetts College of Art and Design.