The Authentic Self: Photography and Portraits

January 21–April 2, 2023

A monochrome photograph of a person looking at their face in a small handheld mirror
Graciela Iturbide (Mexican, born 1942), Magnolia en el espejo, Juchitán, Oaxaca, 1986, Gelatin silver print; printed 2022, Purchase, Advisory Council for Photography, 2022.29.4

What do we learn about a person when we look at their portrait? Can a photograph show us who they really are, or is it always a façade? This selection of recent acquisitions to the Loeb’s permanent collection explores the ways in which photographs can shape, confer, or interrupt ideas of the authentic “self.” Photographs by Jo Ann Callis, Graciela Iturbide, Marcia Resnick, Tomoko Sawada, Caleb Stein, and Katsumi Watanabe represent a range of perspectives on gender, Indigeneity, conformity, individuality, and the often-fine line between disguise and reality. They demonstrate how our performances for the camera complicate ideas of selfhood.

This exhibition is generously supported by the Hoene Hoy Photography Fund.

Vassar College

124 Raymond Ave
Poughkeepsie, NY 12604
Main (845) 437-5237 | Info (845) 437-5632