Looking Back: Ten Years of Pier 24 Photography

July 1, 2019 - December 31, 2021

The first of two consecutive exhibitions celebrating the tenth anniversary of Pier 24 Photography, Looking Back features photographers and themes collected before the space opened. Many of these photographers—including Robert Adams, Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, Dorothea Lange, and Hiroshi Sugimoto—have been instrumental to the medium’s development. Reflecting the collection’s focus on the genre, the exhibition’s opening galleries highlight a wide range of portraiture, ranging from mugshots and works by unknown photographers to iconic images by celebrated figures in the history of photography. The main gallery—entitled “About Face”—spans more than 120 years of the medium, presenting the portrait through the lenses of nearly fifty different artists. With its other thematic galleries, Looking Back reconsiders subjects explored previously in some of the ten exhibitions since Pier 24 opened.

Looking Back is not meant to reflect the breadth of the collection as a whole, but rather to focus on some of its key building blocks. In 2022, Looking Forward—the second of the anniversary exhibitions—will examine works collected primarily since Pier 24 Photography’s founding. Together, these shows will consider the collection’s origins, recent history, and future trajectory.