In 2009, the MFAH acquired 100 black-and-white photographs by American street photographer Simpson Kalisher (born 1926), given by Gloria Richards, a longtime supporter of the artist’s work. Kalisher’s pictures document everyday scenes primarily from the 1950s and 1960s in a profound—yet straightforward—fashion. In celebration of the gift, Simpson Kalisher: The Alienated Photographer features 59 of the photographs, capturing the social landscape of New York. The show includes an image from Kalisher’s first photojournalism series, Railroad Men, which was published in the 1961 book Railroad Men, photographs and collected stories.
In the foreword to Kalisher’s new book, The Alienated Photographer, critic Luc Sante writes that Kalisher is “our Virgil through this rapidly receding time, giving the impression in every frame of remembering a stricter but richer past while also perceiving the outline and maybe even the details of the anarchic future . . . There are photographs here that will seem instantly familiar . . . [because] they seem to represent the culmination of a thousand thoughts that were in the air.” The Alienated Photographer is available in the MFAH Shop.
This exhibition is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.