We are now closed and installing new shows. We open with new exhibitions on the evening of July 19th.
In conjunction with Tree Talk and Tree Talk On-line exhibitions, The Griffin Museum is pleased to host Bruce Myren to talk about his work “The Washington Elm and the Fate of Elms.” Here is more info:
In 2006, I began photographing historical monuments around Cambridge and Boston with my large format camera. While walking on Cambridge Common, I noticed a granite marker that stated: “Under this tree, Washington first took command of the American Army, July 3rd, 1775.” This Elm, while majestic, was obviously too young to have been alive at the time of the Revolutionary War. For me, incongruent visual clues, seen or unnoticed, point to layered histories surrounding us. A tree, especially one connected to historic events, is itself like a photograph: a time traveler, and it has its roots in the past and its leaves in the present. The impulse to memorialize, to respect, and, specifically, to attempt immortality is what I believe makes us build/establish monuments and memorials. The Washington Elm has played this role since the 1830s—when the first person cut a branch from the trunk and planted it elsewhere as a witness to the birth of the nation to alive in perpetuity. Ironically, a fungal disease imported during the 20th century has since devastated the elms’ once common presence in urban centers.
Bruce Myren Bio:
Bruce Myren is an artist and photographer based in Cambridge, MA. He holds a BFA in photography from Massachusetts College of Art and Design and earned his MFA in studio art from the University of Connecticut, Storrs in 2009.
Shown nationally and published internationally, Myren’s work has been featured in Fraction Magazine, afterimage, and View Camera Magazine as well as group exhibitions at the Phoenix Art Museum, RISD Museum’s Chace Center, Houston Center of Photography, and the William Benton Museum of Art, among others. His numerous solo exhibitions include showings at the University of the Arts, Danforth Museum of Art, and Gallery Kayafas in Boston, where he is represented.
In 2012, he launched a successful Kickstarter fundraiser to complete his project “The Fortieth Parallel” and it has since been highlighted in the Huffington Post, Petapixel, Slate, Slate France, and the Discovery Channel online. Myren has presented on panels at the national conferences of the College Art Association and the Society for Photographic Education, spoken at colleges across the country as a visiting artist, and served as a juror for exhibitions at the Griffin Museum of Photography and Magenta Foundation’s Flash Forward Festival. He is a recipient of a 2014 Cambridge Arts Council Grant.
Currently, Myren works at the Boston Public Library’s Digital Lab and Palm Press Atelier. He has taught at Amherst College, Lesley University College of Art and Design, the Rhode Island School of Design, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Fitchburg State University, and Northeastern University. He was the Chair of the Northeast Region of the Society for Photographic Education from 2010-2016, and is on the board of directors of the Photographic Resource Center where he is Acting Executive Director.
In his work, Myren investigates issues of place and space, often via the exploration and employment of locative systems, either literal or metaphoric. Myren’s recent series include an investigation of the Fortieth Parallel of latitude; a new project on the legendary Washington Elm and its scions; a piece that documents the view from every place he has lived to where he lives now; and a study of the poet Robert Francis’s one-person house in the woods of Amherst, MA.