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On Assignment: Griffin Museum of Photography

Posted by Teresa Hanafin  October 30, 2008 08:35 AM

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The front entrance to the Griffin Museum of Photography

Griffin Museum of Photography
67 Shore Road

Text and photos by Kati M. Seiffer

WINCHESTER - As I entered the museum through its rustic wooden front door, I was greeted with a warm and cheerful "Welcome to the Griffin Museum of Photography" from Gallery Monitor Andrea Alberg. Although I drive past the museum every day, this was my first opportunity to step inside and view the exhibits.

Opened in 1992 by photographer Arthur Griffin, the Griffin Museum is a nonprofit organization devoted to the art of photography. Griffin, "New England’s Photographer Laureate," was a Massachusetts native born in Lawrence. In the 1930s and 40s, he served as a photojournalist for a series of magazines such as Life, Time, the Boston Sunday Globe rotogravure magazine, and Yankee Magazine.

Main Gallery
The Main Gallery at the Griffin Museum of Photography

The museum is divided into 3 galleries showcasing a variety of works ranging from well-known photographers to those who are up and coming. Currently the museum is exhibiting the works of:

> Anna Tomczak: "Sanctuary", a collection of "treasures" in large format Polaroids transferred on watercolor paper. In the Main Gallery.

> Karen Davis: "The McCann Family", a visual tribute to the Davis family through a childhood set of four mechanical dolls. In the Griffin Gallery.

> Pelle Cass: "Pins", a collection of images torn out of magazines and combined with colored map pins to create a story about color. In the Atelier Gallery.

New exhibits are put on display approximately every two to three months.

Main Gallery
Another view of the Main Gallery

The museum runs an annual juried show in the summer. For this year’s show, about 350 photographers submitted images; the photos were juried by Katherine Ware, curator of photography at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. If you are interested in submitting your work for a future juried show, you must be a member of the museum to be eligible to enter. An individual membership costs $40 and is tax deductible. Keep an eye on the museum’s events calendar to see when submissions will be accepted for the 2009 juried show.

While walking through the museum, don’t forget to stop by the restrooms. Yes, I said the restrooms. Instead of plain painted walls or patterned wallpaper, these restrooms are lined with wonderful images of New England taken by Arthur Griffin himself.

Arthur Griffin's photos adorn the museum's restrooms.

The museum has a small gift shop where you can buy books, matted prints, and postcards.

The Griffin Museum is definitely worth a visit. It is not one of the largest museums out there, but with with galleries that change exhibits approximately every three months, there is always something interesting to see.

Griffin Museum of Photography
67 Shore Road
Winchester, MA 01890
Hours: Noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday
11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday
Closed Mondays
Admission: Free for members and students
$5 for non-members / $2 for seniors
Free for all every Thursday (no, it's not a free-for-all)
Free passes are available at the Winchester Public Library for Winchester residents.

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