W.M. Hunt will curate an exhibition of his recently formed personal collection of American groups in HCP´s X&Y galleries. This assemblage, known as Collection Blind Pirate, has never been exhibited before and is at once a massive and eclectic collection representing various societies, clubs, schools, rallies, and posses that make up part of the history of 20th century America. This selection of photographs at HCP includes over 150 groups of people and speaks to the importance of group culture.
Hunt´s Collection Dancing Bear is the subject of a book to be published by Thames & Hudson this year. He is a partner with Sarah Hasted and Joseph Kraeutler in their new venture Hasted Hunt Kraeutler, a photography gallery in New York´s Chelsea district. He serves on the boards of AIPAD and the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund and teaches at the School of Visual Art in New York.
The exhibition points to the relatively small subset of group portraiture photography within the history of the medium which is highly collectable and increasingly difficult to acquire. It also provides a window into a collector´s passion and methodology. Hunt states, "Collectors play by their own rules. We have all sorts of reasons for acquiring stuff; sometimes thoughtful or thought through and sometimes arbitrary. These come from a collection that has come together over the past dozen years. Why images of American groups made before 1950? My rule…I like these photographs. Posses, clubs, teams, graduations, parades, rallies, klans, assemblies, ceremonies, choruses, and mobs are all here. I respond to images that have intense strangeness. This is not a definitive collection of photographs. I like these because they´re fun, and they resonate with me. For me that is the pleasure of collecting." - W.M. Hunt, 2009
The exhibition Re: Groups — American photographs Before 1950 is curated by W.M. Hunt and features his Collection Blind Pirate. The exhibition is generously supported by Southern Union, Co. and the Eleanor and Frank Freed Foundation.