“Pure Photography” focus of Marxhausen Gallery exhibit at Concordia University, Nebraska

The works of 20 acclaimed photographers make up the “Pure Photography: Pictorial and modern photographs” exhibit on display in the Marxhausen Gallery of Art at Concordia University, Nebraska in Seward. A gallery reception will be open from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 26, with a 2 p.m. exhibit talk by Larry Gawel, photography instructor and program coordinator at Metropolitan Community College in Omaha, Neb.

“This is a superb show,” Jim Bockelman, gallery curator and professor of art at Concordia, said. “I wanted to bring this exhibit to Concordia because I thought it complemented much of what our art history covers. But more importantly, I wanted to provide an opportunity for the campus and Seward community to see the early developments of modern image making."

Photographers in the show include Alfred Stieglitz, Paul Strand, Bernice Abbott, Edward Weston and Eugene Atget.

“When we unwrapped the Stieglitz, all of the students were amazed that his photograph of The Steerage was presented in our gallery. They had seen the work in Modern Art History just the semester before,” Bockelman said.

“Pure Photography” features images from the pictorial and modern photography eras. Gawel will speak about the techniques used by the artists.

The pictorial photographers used photographs as inspiration and then developed the images through various chemical processes to create rich tones, blurred edges and other effects. The trend then shifted to modern photography in which artists strived to capture a scene as realistically as possible. The special effects were no longer a part of the artwork.

The photographs, on loan from Syracuse University in New York, are also influenced by the Czech, German, American, French, Mexican and Canadian backgrounds of the photographers.  Depicted scenes in the photographs range from still-life fruit, buildings and landscapes to portraits and laborers.

The exhibit will run through Feb. 21 and is open to the public. The Marxhausen Gallery is the on-campus exhibition space for Concordia and hosts a variety of exhibitions each year. It is located in Jesse Hall and is open Monday – Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m.

About Concordia University, Nebraska
Concordia University, Nebraska, founded in 1894, is a fully accredited, coeducational university located in Seward, Neb. that currently serves over 2,200 students. Concordia offers more than 50 professional and liberal arts programs in an excellent academic and Christ-centered community that equips men and women for lives of learning, service and leadership in the church and world. For more information, visit