Truthiness and the News

Charles “Teenie” Harris, Girl Reading on Stack of Pittsburgh Courier Newspapers,
Click images for larger view
On View Oct 11, 2019 - Mar 15, 2020
Exhibition Location: Dewey Family Gallery

Dewey Family Gallery

Truthiness and the News explores the evidentiary role of photography, from the heyday of newsprint in the first half of the twentieth century to the current age of post-truth politics. Presaging the contemporary turn to “alternative facts” and “fake news,” photographs in print journalism have always offered a multiplicity of truths depending on when and how editors chose to print them. Featuring works from the 1940s to the present, this exhibition highlights photojournalists and socially engaged photographers, such as Charles “Teenie” Harris and Barbara Norfleet, alongside spreads from the newspapers and magazines that published their photographs, and contemporary works responding to the dissemination of the news today. Displaying lush photographs of current events as “art” next to the same images presented as “news” offers rich insights into the way photography informs our politics and beliefs.

Organized by Sam Adams, Koch Curatorial Fellow.

Photography at deCordova

This fall 2019 deCordova will be showcasing a series of photography and photo-related exhibitions. Spanning all of the museum’s galleries, these shows will promote a far-reaching, trans-historical examination of photography’s enduring social and artistic impact. This expansive focus on photography represents a culmination, thus far, of deCordova’s investment in the photographic arts. deCordova began exhibiting photography a year after the museum’s founding with an exhibition of work by Jules Aarons in 1951. The museum’s commitment to the medium strengthened in the 1980s when it began collecting photographs for its permanent collection and increased the number of temporary photography exhibitions in its galleries. The permanent collection now numbers over 1,500 photographs and includes works by Harold Edgerton, Nan Goldin, Lee Friedlander, Erin Shirreff, Charles “Teenie” Harris, and Irving Penn. The permanent collection continues to expand largely due to the generosity of donors and artists, particularly those with strong connections to New England.