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JSU to Exhibit Collection of World-Renowned Photographs March 1-18

Dr. David Cummings with his Photo Collection

By Sherry Kughn
JSU News Bureau

23 February, 2005 — Anniston dentist David Cummings has shared his passion for photography several times throughout the past years by displaying his own work. On March 1-18 at Jacksonville State University's Hammond Hall Gallery, Dr. Cummings will share his passion in a new way by exhibiting his collection of photographs by some of the world’s best known photographers.

The exhibit is called “1851 to the Present – A Photographic History: Selections from the Collection of David Cummings.” A reception will take place Tuesday, March 1 from 7-9 p.m. at Hammond Hall. Dr. Cummings will conduct a gallery talk about the collection the next morning on Wednesday, March 2 at 10 a.m.

“Rarely does the public get to see these types and ages of print,” said Dr. Cummings.

Thirty-eight of the forty prints are black and white originals by the photographers. Their names are recognized in the world of photography as the best. Included are works by Edouard Baldus, Francis Frith, Eugene Atget, Brassai, Arthur Rothstein, Dorothea Lange, Henri Cartier-bresson, Andre Kertesz, Phillippe Halsman, Bill Brandt, Michael Kenna, and Frederick Evans.

“The print of ‘Paris, Hotel DeVille, c1852’ by Edouard is one of the most important in the collection,” said Dr. Cummings. “Photography was invented in 1840, and photographs from Paris and the Middle East were the most in demand from the public at that time.”

The collection traces the history of photographic techniques and includes salt prints (the very earliest), albumen prints, platinum prints, and silver prints. It also shows examples of stylistic changes throughout the ages. A few prints represent contemporary photography, which is based on the philosophy that artists should use the camera as a means of creative expression.

Dr. Cummings’ involvement with collecting “gems” from the photography world began in 1991. He has bid in auctions in New York and London and has bought many prints by his favorite photographer, Frederick Evans. One particular photographic plate, taken by Evans, was from Camera Work, one of the first quality magazines devoted to the promotion of photography as an art form.

Hammond Hall is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, call the JSU Department of Art at 782-5626.

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