Boston University College of Fine Arts presents Leonard Nimoy: Secret Selves

Veteran actor takes photographic journey in portrait exhibition exploring the inner yearnings and fantasies of the residents of Northampton, MA
on view at the Sherman Gallery at Boston University — March 20 – May 9

Boston, MA – The School of Visual Arts at the College of Fine Arts (CFA) at Boston University is proud to present Leonard Nimoy: Secret Selves, the Star Trek actor’s photographic series exploring the inner yearnings and fantasies that we all share, on view at the Sherman Gallery at Boston University — March 20 – May 9.

Leonard Nimoy: Secret Selves
Dates and Events: Thursday, March 20 – Friday, May 9, 2014
Gallery Talk and Reception: Thursday, March 27, 5pm
Live Skype conversation with Leonard Nimoy and Rich Michelson, Owner/Director of R. Michelson Gallery
Location: Sherman Gallery at Boston University (775 Commonwealth Avenue, Second Floor)
Exhibition and Gallery Events are Free and Open to the Public

Inspired by Aristophanes’ theory that humans were once double-sided creatures with two heads and multiple limbs before Zeus divided humans in two, Nimoy’s project reveals his subjects’ other, or second self. Nimoy recruited portrait models with an open call to be photographed posed and dressed as their true or imagined “secret selves.”

“Leonard’s instructions were minimal,” said Rich Michelson, Owner and Director of R. Michelson Gallery. “The ‘self we keep hidden from others’ and ‘the self we would really like to be’ might be one and the same,’ he suggested. ‘I leave it to the subject to decide what they want to show to the camera.’”

Gathering 100 subjects from all walks of life: artists and clergy, as well as politicians and business owners, Nimoy asked each of them the question: Who do you think you are? Each subject was recorded as Nimoy interviewed them and created a portrait of their “alternate identity.” The resulting large-scale portraits offer an intimate, sometimes humorous, and profound new look at the residents of Northampton, MA.

Secret Selves is one of Nimoy’s three concurrent exhibitions in Boston spanning 60 years of work. The Griffin Museum in Winchester will exhibit Shekina in their Digital Silver Imaging satellite gallery from March 20th to May 8th, and Gallery 555 in Boston will exhibit Eye Contact from March 27th to May 3rd.

About Leonard Nimoy
Leonard Nimoy first experienced the magic of making photographic images as a teenager in the early 1940s. His darkroom was the family bathroom in their small Boston apartment. His subjects were family and friends. He studied at UCLA under Robert Heineken in the early 1970s and later received an “artist in residence” appointment at the American Academy in Rome. Nimoy’s photography is included in many museum collections, including The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Judah L. Magnes Museum, The LA County Museum of Art, the Jewish Museum of NY, The New Orleans Museum of Fine Art, and The Hammer Museum. Besides his rising stature as a major contemporary American photographer, in his spare time, Nimoy moonlights as an actor, director, philanthropist, and as one of the world’s best loved and respected personalities, Mr. Spock.

About Sherman Gallery at Boston University
The Sherman Gallery at Boston University is located at 775 Commonwealth Avenue on the 2nd Floor of the George Sherman Union. The gallery is located on the Boston University campus (BU Central T stop on the “B” Green Line.) Gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday from 11:00am-5:00pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00pm-5:00pm. For more information, visit

Institutional Biography

Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized private research university with more than 30,000 students participating in undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. BU consists of 17 colleges and schools along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes which are central to the school’s research and teaching mission. The Boston University College of Fine Arts was created in 1954 to bring together the School of Music, the School of Theatre, and the School of Visual Arts. The University’s vision was to create a community of artists in a conservatory-style school offering professional training in the arts to both undergraduate and graduate students, complemented by a liberal arts curriculum for undergraduate students. Since those early days, education at the College of Fine Arts has begun on the BU campus and extended into the city of Boston, a rich center of cultural, artistic and intellectual activity.

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