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A Collection Worth More Than a Thousand Words

PRC exhibition showcases annual auction photographs

Click on the slide show above to see images from the Photographic Resource Center shows and to hear the PRC’s Jim Fitts and Leslie Brown talk about the center and its upcoming benefit auction.

The walls of the Photographic Resource Center are covered — with photos by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Bradford Washburn (Hon.’96), Gordon Parks, Elijah Gowin, and Marie Cosindas, among others — but center staff hope they will be bare after its annual fundraising auction later this month.

Nearly 200 photographs will be auctioned off October 27 to support the PRC and its operations and programming. A preview exhibition of more than 30 donated and vintage prints selected for the live auction will run through October 21 at the PRC; a preview exhibition of more than 150 works available at the silent auction will be held at the same time at the nearby 808 Gallery at Boston University. An opening reception, free and open to the public, takes place today, October 4, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the PRC and at the 808 Gallery.

“The show itself is one of the best photography shows Boston has to offer,” says Jim Fitts, executive director of the PRC, an independent nonprofit center on the BU campus. “You can see work on the level of major museums. You can also see work by photographers you probably haven’t even heard about, which will be in the museums in the years to come — and you have the chance to purchase them.”

“There are some fun connections you can make between images,” says Leslie Brown, PRC curator. “Certainly, we have some venerable names that are hanging on our walls.”

The PRC was established in 1976 to provide a clearinghouse for photographers and a way to educate the public about photography. It offers members and the general public exhibitions, education programs, and special events.

“Photography was not considered an art even 10 years ago, but now major institutions are having shows, dedicated not only to vintage, but contemporary photographers,” says Fitts, who joined the PRC a year ago. “Photography is no longer seen as the bastard stepchild of the fine arts world. It’s a viable, amazingly relevant art form.”

The live and silent auction preview exhibitions will run until October 21, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursdays, and noon to 5 p.m. on weekends. Tickets to the auction, at the 808 Gallery at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, October 27, are $75 and include an auction catalogue and paddle, a light buffet, and parking. The PRC is at 832 Commonwealth Ave., and the 808 Gallery at Boston University is at 808 Commonwealth Ave. For more information, contact the PRC at 617-975-0600.

Kimberly Cornuelle can be reached at kcornuel@bu.edu.