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Hunter Museum Features Holiday Tree Tradition + NY Times Photo Exhibit

The Hunter Museum of American Art's Chief Curator Nandini Makrandi and the Director of Communications Hannah Legg join us to discuss two highlights currently at the museum: theNew York Times Magazine Photographs exhibitand the Holidays at the Hunter trees.  Decorated by local small businesses and nonprofits, the trees are an annual draw for many area families.

The Hunter Museum of American Art celebrates a long-standing tradition of decorating the Museum galleries with festive trees and lighted mantels as part of Holidays at the Hunter. Many Chattanooga residents have fond memories of visiting the Hunter during this special tradition, which began in the late 1950’s.  This year, the community is once again invited to join the celebration from November 28, 2014 to Jan. 4, 2015.

Each year, the Hunter Museum invites small businesses and area organizations to decorate the trees and mantels that will be displayed throughout the galleries.  Those participating this year include, Blue Ivy Flowers, Blue Skies, Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise, Chattanooga Public Library Downtown, Crabtree Farms, Creative Discovery Museum, Humane Educational Society of Chattanooga, Hunter Docents, Hart Gallery, Sewn to the Sky, Tennessee Aquarium, and Wally’s Friends.

During this season, guests will have an opportunity to view a new temporary exhibition, The New York Times Photographs, which will feature over 100 works by 35 artists, while experience the breathtaking trees, live music from local performers, holiday shopping and a visit from Santa.


For over thirty years, the weekly New York Times Magazine has commissioned and published photographic work that has ranged from photojournalism to fashion to portraiture.  Opening at the Hunter Museum of American Art on Thanksgiving weekend, the exhibit will explore this wide ranging selection through a number of installations which spotlight notable projects that have been presented in the Magazine.  Focusing primarily on the last fifteen years, long-time New York Times Magazine Photo Editor Kathy Ryan provides a behind-the-scenes look at the collaborative, creative processes that have made this magazine the leading venue for photographic storytelling within contemporary news media.

Using visual materials drawn from different stages of the commissioning process—storyboards, shot lists, work prints and contact sheets, videos, tear sheets and framed prints —the Magazine’s collaborative methodology is revealed from initial idea to the published page, and, in some cases, continues beyond magazine publication, when a subject that begun as an assignment has become a part of a photographer’s ongoing work.

Featured are 35 artists from across the globe, investigating the many concerns of contemporary life. Internationally renowned photographer Sebastião Salgado captures the devastation he encountered at the Kuwaiti oil fields while artist Gregory Crewdson delves into the enigmatic through his piece, Dream House.  Ryan McGinley offers a fresh perspective on traditional sports photography with his inventive imagery of Olympic swimmers and skiers, alongside unique takes on the world of fashion by artists such as Lee Friedlander, Nan Goldin and Jeff Koons. 

The New York Times Magazine continues to provide an increasingly rare venue for visual storytelling on the printed page, and, perhaps of equal consequence, offers a unique forum for the cross-pollination of photographic genres. As Ryan asserts, “Often the best creative work happens when there is crossover between different disciplines. A film is painterly. A photograph is sculptural. Likewise, the Magazine is often at its best when we bring photographers to projects that fall outside their usual borders. When a fine artist takes on a news story, or a documentary photographer embarks on a fashion shoot, sparks fly from the page.”

The exhibit will open to the public on Friday, November 28th and will be on view through March 22, 2015. 

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