Idea Photographic: After Modernism, an exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe on display from October 11, 2002 through January 19, 2003, evolved from the Project in Modern Photography developed between Steve Yates, Curator of Photography at the Museum of Fine Arts, and Siegfried Halus, Chair of the Department of the Fine Arts at Santa Fe Community College.
Funding for a research grant to the Museum from the Museum Loan Network, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, allowed the curator and professor to lay the groundwork for the project, first by visiting and working directly in photography collections at the Princeton University Art Museum and at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Together, Yates and Halus designed seminars so that students could work long-term with original works of art, as they developed individual contributions to the exhibition catalog and Web site. The Museum of Fine Arts served as a classroom where students continued their investigation of the original works from the three museum collections and also from special private libraries and institutional libraries at the University of New Mexico, Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe Community College, and College of Santa Fe.
The seminars were organized and taught by Yates and Halus, with the assistance of Diane W. Block. In addition, scholars and artists Van Deren Coke, Lucy Lippard, Eugenia Parry, Betty Hahn, Thomas Barrow, and Jim Stone shared key aspects and history about the works, providing unparalleled viewpoints on new photographic contexts stemming from the history of modern art and growing into the present era after modernism.
A second grant from the Museum Loan Network supported final planning and implementation of the exhibition, and for producing an accompanying 152-page color publication and this Web site, www.museumofnewmexico.org/mfa/ideaphotographic, as well.