"The Archive as a River" - Paul Vanderbilt at Watrous


  • James Watrous Gallery, Overture Center 201 State Street, 3rd Floor Madison, WI 53703

The Archive as a River celebrates the work of Paul Vanderbilt (1905-1992). He was an archivist, photographer, and visionary who found new ways to understand the world through visual images. From 1942-1945, Vanderbilt worked with Roy Stryker at the Library of Congress to classify over 200,000 photographs of tenant farmers and farm workers commissioned by the Farm Security Administration. In 1954 he was hired by the Wisconsin Historical Society (WHS) to curate and organize a treasure trove of images and photographs that became known as the Iconographic Collections. 

The Archive as a River opens September 12, 2014 and runs through November 2 at the Wisconsin Academy's James Watrous Gallery, located on the 3rd floor of Overture Center for the Arts. The opening reception (free and open to the public) will be Sunday, September 14, 1-4:00 pm in the James Watrous Gallery.

Related Events:

  • Opening Reception Sunday, September 14 from 1:00 - 4:00 pm in the James Watrous Gallery, with a curator's talk at 1:30 pm followed by poetry readings of Mark Kraushaar, Sara Parrell, and Thor Ringler
  • Informal gallery talk with Madison photographer James Rhem on Sunday, October 5, 2:30-4:00 pm in the James Watrous Gallery.
  • "Paul Vanderbilt's Intuitive Iconography", a panel discussion moderated by James Watrous Gallery director Martha Glowacki with historian Jack Holzhueter, WHS curator Andy Kraushaar, and author Michael Lesy,  Saturday, October 18, 1:30-3:00 pm, in the WHS Auditorium, 816 State St. Advance online registration requested.
  • Informal gallery talk with Madison photographer Lewis Koch on Thursday, October 30, 1:00-2:30 pm, in the James Watrous Gallery.

For more information, hours, and directions, please visitwisconsinacademy.org/gallery or call 608-265-2500.