Collecting is not simply a matter of picking up a nice bobble that catches your eye. Serious collectors build collections that explore interesting, sometimes complex ideas. Their motivation may be a desire to express an aesthetic point of view, a quest to rediscover under-appreciated artists, or a longing to gather the work of a single, admired artist.Finding and acquiring the appropriate examples,especially if the work is from the distant past,can be challenging.
Imagine adding an extra requirement in your quest to collect, such as, you must find not a single work by a photographer, but each and every variation of a particular photographic session. This might be relatively easy if the artist produced the work as a series and issued them as a complete group. But what if the artist produced several versions of a work and sold them separately over the years?How do you find them? How do you know when you have found them all? How long might it take to reassemble them? It could be a daunting task. Collecting all of the images from single photography session is exactly the challenge that Michael R. Whalen has set for himself. And he has been remarkably successful, as can be seen by the examples in this exhibition.
A Fine Day’s Work is the third exhibition in an ongoing series that the Art Gallery has presented over the last several years on the subject of collectors and their collections. We hope that you accept Michael’s invitation and join us in celebrating this fine demonstration of the art of collecting.
Dennis Reed, Dean
Fine, Performing & Media Arts