Press Release for Monday, August 22, 2011

MOCA Jacksonville Displays Pre-Eminent Private Photo Collection

Carl Holman, Assistant Director 

Department of Public Relations

(904) 620-1921

Selections from one of the world’s best private collections of photography will be on display this fall at the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, a cultural resource of the University of North Florida. Organized by Ben Thompson, MOCA’s curator, and Dr. Paul Karabinis, assistant professor of photography at UNF, “Shared Vision: The Sondra Gilman and Celso Gonzalez-Falla Collection of Photography,” opens Saturday, Sept. 17, and closes Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012.   


Curated from the collection of Sondra Gilman and Celso Gonzalez-Falla, “Shared Vision” features 200 iconic images that reflect the rich and diverse nature of the past 100 years of photography. Street scenes, the human form and environment, unique viewpoints, children and spectacular landscapes represent just a portion of the amazing holdings amassed by two individuals that Art Newsranks among the world’s Top Ten photo collectors. The exhibition features prominent photographers, including Alfred Stieglitz, Margaret Bourke-White, Walker Evans, Eugene Atget, Doug and Mike Starn, Robert Mapplethorpe, Sally Mann, Loretta Lux and Ansel Adams. 


“Few passions in the history of collecting have persisted as long and have yielded equally unparalleled results as Gilman and Gonzalez-Falla’s self-admitted love affair with photography,” said Marcelle Polednik, director of MOCA Jacksonville. “Over the course of more than four decades, the couple’s steadfast devotion to the medium has guided the gradual growth of their collection, which began in the 1970s, when Gilman acquired three exceptional prints by Eugène Atget.” 


Gilman and Gonzalez-Falla’s collaboration hinges on a few underlying principles—mainly, to acquire works of major importance by leading photographers of their generation and to focus on vintage prints. Although each of the collectors brings a different point of view to the photography—Gonzalez-Falla analyzes color and form, while Gilman responds to images on a more visceral level—these distinct approaches merge into a single, shared vision and emanate from the same goal: to collect photographs that move and inspire them.  


“The whole issue is that you see the image and walk away from the image—and the image is still haunting you,” said Gonzalez-Falla. “It’s like it is saying, ‘Come back, come back.’ And until you do that, you are not satisfied.” 


The “Shared Vision” exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog published by MOCA and produced by the Aperture Foundation, a nonprofit foundation dedicated to promoting photography and the definitive publisher of scholarly works related to the subject. This catalog will feature selected photographs from the exhibition with historical context about each image and the photographer, curatorial remarks from Thompson and Karabinis and an exclusive interview with the collectors.  


Public Programs  


Photography Portfolio Review  

Saturday, Sept. 17 

10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m. 

Are you an emerging photographer, ready for a professional to tell it like it is? Mark your calendar for MOCA’s portfolio review. A line-up of experts will be on hand to offer frank evaluations and critiques. You'll make valuable business connections and get helpful advice on your work in progress. Portfolio Reviewers: Marcelle Polednik, director of MOCA and Dr. Paul Karabinis, UNF assistant professor of photography; Other reviewers to be announced closer to the event. 


LECTURE: Larry Clark’s “Tulsa Series”  

Thursday, Sept. 29 

6:30 p.m. 

Chris Trice, visiting assistant professor of photography, will discuss the provocative photography of Larry Clark’s “Tulsa Series,” providing viewpoints about the work’s historical context and artistic merit.  


FILM/LECTURE: Dirty Pictures: Controversy and Photography  

Saturday, Oct. 8 

2 p.m. 

See a screening of “Dirty Pictures,” a retelling of the 1990 attempts to censor the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center's controversial Robert Mapplethorpe photography exhibit. Afterwards, MOCA Director Marcelle Polednik will discuss and answer questions about controversy and broader issues facing photography: Who gets to decide what forms of expression are valid? Does the constitutional right to freedom of expression apply to forms of expression you don't like? 


LECTURE: “The Territory of Light: Reflections on the Sondra Gilman and Celso Gonzalez-Falla Collection”  

Thursday, Oct. 20 

6:30 p.m. 

Dr. Paul Karabinis, exhibition co-curator and UNF assistant professor of photography, discusses the process of selecting and organizing this exhibition. 


GALLERY TOUR: “Shared Vision: The Sondra Gilman and Celso Gonzalez-Falla Collection of Photography”  

Saturday, Dec. 10 

2 p.m. 

A curator-led tour of “Shared Vision” offers insight into the artists and their works represented in the exhibition. 


This exhibition and supporting public programs is made possible by Sondra Gilman and Celso Gonzalez-Falla; Folio Weekly; The Haskell Company; Marilyn and Charles Gilman, III; Joan and Preston Haskell; and Sunshine Frames, Inc. Other contributing sponsors include: Agility Press; Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville; the City of Jacksonville; and Drs. Barbara L. Sharp and Todd L. Sack.  

For more information about “Shared Vision: The Sondra Gilman and Celso Gonzalez-Falla Collection of Photography” and its related activities, visit or call MOCA at (904) 366-6911.