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A Newspaperman's Eye: American Photographs from the Collection of Russell G. D'Oench

Friday March 30, 2007 - Sunday May 27, 2007
A Newspaperman's Eye: American Photographs from the Collection of Russell G. D'OenchLewis Wickes Hine (American, 1874-1940), Untitled (Steel Worker, Empire State), ca. 1931, gelatin silver print. Gift of Russell G. D'Oench, Jr., 1991.30.24 (photo: R.J. Phil)

Starting in 1973, Russell "Derry" D'Oench, then editor of The Middletown Press, built a collection of almost 200 photographs, which he later gave to the Davison Art Center. A Newspaperman's Eyehighlighted more than 50 photographs by artists ranging from Ansel Adams to Diane Arbus, Margaret Bourke-White to Weegee.

As a newspaper editor, Russell D'Oench believed in the power of the image. This exhibition included works by Farm Security Administration photographers Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, and Arthur Rothstein. Lewis Hine celebrated the strength of the working man in his images of the construction of the Empire State Building, seen above in an untitled image of a hoister guiding steel girders.

Among the highlights of A Newspaperman's Eye were works by Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Imogen Cunningham, and other photographers associated with the f/64 group. The breadth of D'Oench's collection was demonstrated by photographs by Alfred Stieglitz, Man Ray, Weegee, Diane Arbus, and Robert Frank.

Russell D'Oench (1927-2002) was editor of The Middletown Press and co-owner of the newspaper with his brother Woodbridge A. D'Oench from 1959 to 1991. He was the founder of the Middletown Foundation for the Arts and served on many community organizations. At a time when photography was rarely considered an art, he was an inspired and generous collector.

Friday, March 30, 5:00-7:00 p.m.

Opening reception sponsored by the Friends of the Davison Art Center. At 5:30 p.m., Ellen G. D'Oench, DAC Curator Emerita, and Andrew Szegedy-Maszak, Chair of Wesleyan's Classical Studies Department and Jane A. Seney Professor of Greek, discussed photography and collecting. This event was open to the public free of charge.