In her eloquent introduction to William Eggleston’s The Democratic Forest (1989), Eudora Welty writes,
“These…unsparing photographs all have to do with the quality of our lives in the ongoing world: they succeed in showing us the grain of the present, like the cross-section of a tree…. They focus on the mundane world. But no subject is fuller of implications than the mundane world! When you see what the mundane world so openly and multitudinously affirms, there is everything left to say.”
The mundane world of which she speaks is so expressive because it does not announce its meaning. It is simply there for whomever cares to see it. Meaning emerges in the mind of the viewer.
This sequence of my photographs, made between 2012 and 2016, is my journey. I have been photographing in this forest for 19 years and during the first fifteen years, the forest taught me to be patient and to wait. In 2012, it opened and its beauty was dazzling.
The extraordinary, the transcendental is always right there in front of us. It lives in the ordinary, right now, right here.
Many thanks to my teacher, Minor White, who understood.
©1972 Arnold Kramer
- Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts 1944.
- Received undergraduate and graduate degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1966 and 1968.
- Studied photography with Minor White in Arlington, Massachusetts 1967 to 1972.
- Received individual grants from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1975 and 1979 and from the Creative and Performing Arts Board
- Grants from the University of Maryland in 1972 and 1977
- 1970 to 1981 – lecturer in still photography at the School of Architecture, University of, Maryland
- 1981 to 1987 – commercial and architectural photographer in Washington DC
- 1987 to 2017 – staff of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum as photographer, head of the Information Technology office, and senior advisor for institutional projects
Represented by the Joseph Bellows Gallery, La Jolla, CA
- Joseph Bellows Gallery, La Jolla, CA 2013
- Phillips Collection, Washington DC 1974
- “Arnold Kramer/ Interior Views,” The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1978 (catalogue)
- PS1 ( Institute for Art and Urban Resources), Long Island City, New York 1979
- “Eleven Pictures of this Time,” Sander Gallery, New York, 1981 (portfolio published)
- 20th Century Portraits, Sander Gallery, New York City 1985
- “Jerusalem”, Tartt Gallery, Washington DC 1988
- portraits of survivors of the Holocaust (large scale projections of onto the exterior walls of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington DC) 2007
- “Octave of Prayer,” MIT, 1972 (catalogue)
- “Celebrations,” MIT, 1974
- “Pictures: Photographs,” Castelli Gallery, New York 1979
- Ikona Photo Gallery, Venice, Italy, “Arnold Kramer, Joan Salinger, Rosalind Solomon” 1980
- “Exposed and Developed,” National Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C., 1984 (catalogue)
- “Portrait: Faces of the 80s” the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond 1987
- “Terra Sancta” Corcoran Gallery, Washington DC (catalog) 1990
- “The Deep Element: Photography at the Beach,” Corcoran Gallery, Washington DC 2012