Philip Trager: A Retrospective

Tuesday March 28, 2006 - Sunday May 28, 2006
Philip Trager: A Retrospective

Philip Trager, Glastonbury, 1976, from Photographs of Architecture,gelatin silver print. Collection of the Artist. © Philip Trager.

The Davison Art Center celebrated internationally renowned photographer and alumnus Philip Trager (B.A. Wesleyan 1956) with a major retrospective exhibition.

For more than 40 years, Philip Trager's luminous and compelling photographs of architecture and dancers have revealed a distinctly personal approach to form and place. Presenting more than 160 published and unpublished photographs dating from the 1960s up to the present, this exhibition was on view at both the Davison Art Center and Wesleyan's Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery.

Trager New York

Philip Trager, From 120 Broadway,1978, from Philip Trager: New York,gelatin silver print. Collection of the Artist. © Philip Trager.


Philip Trager was born in 1935 in Connecticut. From his evocative photographs of New York City in the 1970s to the elegiac portraits of the villas of Palladio in the 1980s and the ever-changing face of Paris in the 1990s, he has captured the subtleties of our built environment with singular nuance and skill. Since the 1980s, Trager also has collaborated with contemporary dancers and choreographers to photograph the most evanescent of arts--dance.

Trager Dancers


Philip Trager, The Second Hand Dance Company, 1989, from Dancers, gelatin silver print. Collection of the Artist. © Philip Trager.


Trager's photographs are held in major collections including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris. The Library of Congress recently accepted a comprehensive archive of his photographs and will present a retrospective exhibition in 2008.

Trager Villas

Philip Trager, Villa Barbaro, 1984, from The Villas of Palladio, gelatin silver print. Collection of the Artist. © Philip Trager.


Ten monographs of Philip Trager's photographs have been published. His books have received exceptional critical acclaim. Four have been selected as Editor's Choice by the New York Times Book Review. Other book awards include Finalist for the Grand Prix Award at Les Recontres Internationales de la Photographie, and Book of the Year from the American Institute of Graphic Arts.

Trager Paris


Philip Trager, Pont Mirabeau, 1995, from Changing Paris, gelatin silver print. Collection of the Artist. © Philip Trager.


The catalog Philip Trager has been co-published by Steidl Publishing, the Davison Art Center, and the Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College. The traveling exhibition is organized by the Davison Art Center in conjunction with the Allen Memorial Art Museum.

Trager Faces

Philip Trager, John J. Kelly, 1988, fromFaces, gelatin silver print. Collection of the Artist. © Philip Trager.

On Friday, May 5, from 5 to 7 p.m., a reception was held at the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery, located at 283 Washington Terrace, Middletown. At 5:30 p.m., Philip Trager discussed his work and career. The reception and talk were open to the public free of charge. Special gallery hours that day were 12 noon to 7 p.m. at the Davison Art Center and 5 to 7 p.m. at the Zilkha Gallery.

"Photo Fun," part of the World Arts Family Series, offered a special introduction to the exhibition with art activities for children 6-14 years old. This event took place at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 13.