Photographs Take Time: Pictures from the Chrysler Collection

Vera Lutter (German, b.  1960), Clock Tower, Brooklyn, XLIV: June 22–23, 2009, 2009.  Unique gelatin silver print, Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian Gallery, © Vera Lutter.  Courtesy Gagosian
Vera Lutter (German, b. 1960), Clock Tower, Brooklyn, XLIV: June 22–23, 2009, 2009. Unique gelatin silver print, Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian Gallery, © Vera Lutter. Courtesy Gagosian

Explore photography’s complex relationship with time, history and memory in Photographs Take Time: Pictures from the Chrysler Collection. On view at the Chrysler Museum of Art from April 6 – Aug. 12, 2018, the exhibition will feature more than 70 photographs from the Chrysler’s permanent collection. These works span all of photographic history — from 19th-century photographs for which subjects sat immobilized during the early camera’s long exposure time to contemporary images that use special lights and mechanics to capture multiple moments in a single snap.

“The Chrysler Museum has an active photography program, and the time seemed right to share remarkable things from the archives while highlighting an array of new additions to the collection. The theme of time allows us to share so many exciting works,” said Seth Feman, Ph.D., Curator of Photography at the Chrysler Museum.

Since the rise of photojournalism in the 20th century, photographs have been widely understood as an undistorted moment. In fact, from the advent of the medium photographers have explored the camera’s ability to capture, convey and distort our sense of time. While technical innovations have enabled photographers to isolate previously imperceptible slices of time, artists have also creatively addressed themes of permanence and decay, history and memory and essence and accident.

“Each artist featured in this exhibition uses a different approach to display time,” Feman said. “Harold Edgerton’s quick shutters and strobe lights freeze a bullet in mid-flight, and Barbara Morgan suspends dancer Martha Graham in a virtuosic leap. O. Winston Link captures a blurry image of a rushing train while William Christenberry’s sequence documents a building’s decay. Susan Worsham’s scene is constructed to evoke a childhood memory. Each artist approaches time differently. There’s a lot to discover through the lens of time.”

Photographs Take Time is divided into four sections — Stop|Motion, Documents, Total Recall and Keeping Time. Each highlights a different complex theme and presents a mix of recent acquisitions and rarely seen photographs from the Chrysler’s collection. 

  • Stop|Motion begins with the story of how photographers pushed the camera to deliver precise studies of motion. It continues with how they exploited the camera by using motion-blur, long exposures and sequenced images to evoke a sense of movement.
  • Documents examines the rise of photojournalism and how the camera’s claim to truth propelled photographers to compose images capable of illustrating the past.
  • Total Recall explores the complex relationship between history and memory, highlighting artists who constructed scenes that creatively evoke a recollection or the forgotten past.
  • Keeping Time examines photographs that make time their subject with sequenced images, long exposures or direct takes on aging. 


Gallery Talk

June 16, 2018

2 p.m.

Join Curator of Photography Seth Feman on a journey through photographic history with works from the Chrysler Museum’s impressive collection. Explore the technical stories in the exhibition as well as works that make time the subject.


For more information on the Chrysler Museum of Art, visit



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