Seventeen photographs by American artist William Wegman, retelling the classic tale of Cinderella, are on view in William Wegman’s Cinderella. All the characters in the story are played by Wegman’s celebrated Weimaraner dogs, in costumes and settings designed by the artist. “Photography has not often been used to illustrate children’s books because it is so stubbornly literal,” states Peter Galassi. “But Wegman’s deadpan wit and his talent for invention—not to mention his remarkable rapport with his dogs—make these pictures both comic and enchanting.”
The 20-by-24-inch color Polaroids have been selected from twenty-eight photographs made for the book Cinderella, for which Wegman also wrote the text. It was published in April 1993.
William Wegman was born in Massachusetts in 1943 and lives in New York City. A major retrospective of his photographs, videos, drawings, and paintings toured Europe and the United States from 1990 to 1992. Since 1973 his Weimaraners have played a prominent role in his photographic work, which is characterized by a delicate combination of agile intelligence and wry humor. Since 1979 many of his photographs have been large-format color Polaroids.
William Wegman’s Cinderella. occupies one half of the Department of Photography’s gallery for contemporary works from the collection. “It is the first of what we hope will be many modestly scaled exhibitions of recent photographic work, in addition to our regular program,” states Mr. Galassi. “Presented in the photography galleries and elsewhere in the Museum, such exhibitions will help us bring to our audience the liveliness and variety of current photography.”
Organized by Peter Galassi, director, Department of Photography.