The Morris Museum of Art
presents Civil War Redux: Pinhole Photographs by Willie Anne Wright, an exhibition of more than thirty-four gelatin silver print photographs, all shot with a pinhole (lensless) camera. The exhibition is on view from July 9th through September 4th, 2011. This is an extraordinary exhibition of sepia-toned gelatin silver print photographs, all shot with a pinhole (lensless) camera, which mirror vintage photographs. Wright followed reenactors for thirteen years, capturing not the battles themselves, but the essence of mid-nineteenth-century life and the struggle and conflict of the War between the States.
For nearly fifteen years, Willie Anne Wright followed individual groups of Civil War enthusiasts to re-enactments of battles all over the South, and, just like the re-enactors, she sought to capture more than the experience of armed conflict. She, like they, sought to recapture the essence of mid-century life and the particular details associated with the struggle of the war in camp scenes, images of medical treatment and gruesome death, as well as portrayals of bereft families and widows, commented Kevin Grogan, director of the Morris Museum of Art. Shes often said that she sees herself as a spectator not a participant. But shes noted, too, that she is a spectator who appreciates the authenticity for which dedicated re-enactors strive but who encounters inevitable anachronisms.
A native of Richmond, Virginia, where she still resides, Willie Anne Wright earned a Bachelors Degree in Psychology from the College of William and Mary and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Painting from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has also pursued further study in photography at the Maine Photographic Workshops in Rockport, Maine; the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, New York; and Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.
Although she began her career as a painter and printmakerher work was widely exhibited in juried and invitational shows for many yearsshe chose pinhole photography as her primary creative medium in 1972. Acclaimed for her lensless photography, her work has been exhibited internationally for nearly forty years. She is represented in many private, corporate, and public collections, including those of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Virginia; The Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, Virginia; The Mariners' Museum, Newport News, Virginia; the Southeast Museum of Photography, Daytona Beach, Florida; the High Museum, Atlanta Georgia; New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, Louisiana; Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, Alabama; Longwood University, Farmville, Virginia; University of Maine, Bangor, Maine; and the University of New Hampshire, Dublin, New Hampshire.