Patti Smith’s Exhibtion, Camera Solo at the Wadsworth Atheneum

Rosemary and I spent a delightful afternoon in Hartford, CT at the Wadsworth Atheneum. Our mission was to spend quality time with Patti Smith‘s photography exhibition entitled Camera Solo.

It was our second visit to the Wadsworth Atheneum in three days. We were first there on Friday October 21, 2011 for the opening of the exhibition. We attended a signing by Patti Smith in the Avery Court at 11:00 a.m.

We brought a copy of the exhibition catalog and Patti Smith’s latest CD, Outside Society for Patti to sign. It’s always a friendly interchange with Patti Smith. She signed both the cover and the liner notes for Outside Society as well as the inner pages of the catalog.

Patti Smith was gracious to allow me a photograph of her after she signed.

We couldn’t stay to pursue the exhibition on Friday as we wanted to get to Mohegan Sun to get online to see Stephen Stills at the Wolf Den. (see yesterday’s blog post for that event). We made a pact that we would return to the Wadsworth Atheneum on Sunday.

We love what we learn each time we have a touch point with Patti Smith. Our art tastes have been extended to a whole new plane of thought. Patti Smith is a prism into many forms of art, visual, audio, literature, poetry and now photographic experiences.

The Patti Smith: Camera Solo exhibition was exquisitely curated. There were more than 70 photographs by Patti Smith, displayed along the walls.

There was also interesting physical mementos such as Robert Mapplethorpe‘s slippers and Patti Smith’s father’s Charles Dickens cup she had gotten him in London. You could just see her father savoring his coffee in it 🙂

We especially liked the 7+ minute 16 mm black and white film about Rene Daumal that Patti Smith directed and narrated with her articulate voice adding poetic emotion. This was the first time we had seen the film. It was a visual excursion in Paris that taught us more about the life of  a great poet. Jem Cohen did the camera work which was a visual  surreal immersion.

My favorite Patti Smith Polaroid photograph was the bed of Virginia Wolf where the sheet forms a raised cross.  I found this photograph the most peaceful as it represents the rising of one’s spirit. It fortified today’s homily at mass about how we move to the afterlife at the moment of death.

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