Huntsville Museum of Art

Huntsville, AL

256-535-4350 or 800-786-9095



Encounters: James Ware Pitts


The Huntsville Museum of Art is pleased to present Encounters: James Ware Pitts, an exhibition of platinum-palladium photographs by Sante Fe artist James Ware Pitts. On view in the Huth Gallery, the exhibition opens December 12 and runs through March 12, 2000. (left: Rancho de Taos Church, platinum-palladium print, 4 x 5 inches)

The Museum's prestigious Encounters series is part of the Museum's strong commitment to showcasing the best the state has to offer. The series began in 1986 as a showcase for contemporary art with strong connections to Alabama and the Southeast region. Since that time, the Huntsville Museum of Art has presented two to three solo exhibitions annually, focusing on a wide variety of styles and media.

A native of HuntsvilIe, Pitts' images range from still lifes of graceful flowers to landscapes and nature studies, some of which were taken in Huntsville. His superbly crafted contact prints are painstakingly created with large format cameras ranging in size from 4" x 5" to 11" x 14," utilizing hand-coated palladium and platinum metals. This emulsion of metals is brushed onto artist's rag paper, and the negative is developed by direct contact with the emulsion, giving the image a rich, luminous look. Pitts prefers this older process as opposed to silver prints which are created with pre-treated paper resulting in a glossy surface. (left: Twisted Tree, Monte Sano, platinum-palladium print, 8 x 10 inches)

Pitts interest in photography started very early. Pitts grew up in Huntsville with his grandmother who enrolled him in drawing classes while he was very young and also gave him his first camera. He attended the University of Alabama in Huntsville and earned a bachelor's degree in accounting. He also received a full tuition merit scholarship to the Memphis Academy of Art where he studied painting and photography. (right: Anemone (profile), platinum-palladium print, 8 x 10 inches)

After attending a one-day seminar at the Academy on platinum printing, he was instantly captivated by its unique qualities. For the next 20 years, Pitts researched and experimented to perfect his usage of this rare and beautiful process. Today it is his primary medium, and his works are sought after by collectors around the world and are in private collections and museums in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

Museum visitors can enjoy a personal tour by the artist during a Gallery Talk on Sunday, Dec. 19, from 2 to 3 p.m. in the Huth Gallery. Immediately following the tour, the Women's Guild will host an informal reception where attendees can talk with Pitts. (right: Three Dried Rose Hips, platinum-palladium print, 8 x 10 inches)

Read more about the Huntsville Museum of Art in Resource Library Magazine


rev. 11/26/10

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