Georgia Museum of Art to feature photography exhibit by John Greenman

Athens, Ga. – The Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia will feature an exhibition of documentary photography by Grady College Professor John Greenman. The exhibit will run from Jan. 25 to March 30.

A public preview reception is scheduled for January 24.

The exhibit consists of 12 black and white prints taken along Georgia’s back roads and nine color prints taken while travelling, mostly outside the U.S.

The photographs attempt to document rural and urban landscapes precisely as Greenman saw them, he said. He is unwilling to manipulate his photographs when he cannot capture the image as his eye sees it. He said that he accepts and celebrates the fact that the eyes can see many things that film cannot record.

“When I was much younger, learning photography, I focused on technique, not my eye,” Greenman said. “As a result, I made technically perfect prints of nothing. Today, it’s all eye. Labs do the technical work.”

In “John Greenman Photographs,” the Georgia Museum of Art catalogue about the exhibit, Greenman identifies three aspects that inspire him to take on a particular photograph. First, he is drawn to the architecture of the scene, the shapes that are present. Second, he focuses on tonality. For Greenman, they work in tandem, shapes becoming more attractive if they take on a wide range of tonal values. Finally, he incorporates access factors into the creative process. Greenman asks himself, “Is it within the scope of photography to record what I see?”

Laura Valeri, associate curator of European art at the Georgia Museum of Art, served as in-house curator for this exhibition and wrote the opening essay in the catalogue.

“The refinement and sophistication of John Greenman’s photographs are a display that cannot be replicated,” Valeri said. “His interest lies in finding beauty where others may not–for instance, in large swaths of clear-cut fields that for him evoke ‘amber waves of grain.’”

Greenman joined the Grady College in 2004 as the first Carolyn Mckenzie and Don E. Carter Professor of Journalism. Greenman teaches public affairs journalism and his research and outreach interests include journalistic courage, poverty and travel journalism.  He retired from Knight Ridder in 2004, at which time he was the president and publisher of the Ledger-Equirer in Columbus, Ga.

This exhibit is dedicated to Carolyn McKenzie Carter, who with her husband, Don E. Carter, endowed the chair that Greenman holds at Grady College.

A preview reception for the exhibit is scheduled Jan. 24 at 7 p.m. at the museum with refreshments, gallery talks and live music.  It is free for members; $5 for nonmembers. Greenman will give a tour of his work Jan. 29 at 2 p.m.

Museum Information
Partial support for the exhibitions and programs at the Georgia Museum of Art is provided by the W. Newton Morris Charitable Foundation and the Friends of the Georgia museum of Art. Individuals, foundations and corporations provide additional museum support through their gifts to the University of Georgia Foundation. The Georgia Museum of Art is located in the Performing and Visual Art Complex on the East Campus of the University of Georgia. The address is 90 Carlton St., University of Georgia, Athens, Ga. 30602-6719. For more information, including hours, see or call 706-542-4662.

Date: January 14, 2014
Author:  Julia Hemingway (, Michael Lachowski (
Contact:  Sarah Freeman,