This past spring, in honor of the College’s bicentennial, I had my Photography III students spend the entire semester studying and creating portraits. The students learned to resolve the many technical and logistical problems inherent in this genre. They studied numerous examples of portraits—from mid-19th-century portraits by the French photographer Nadar to the myriad approaches of such contemporary practitioners as Richard Avedon, Diane Arbus, Dawoud Bey, Rineke Dijkstra, and many others.
Each portrait seen here reflects the photographer’s sensitivity to the subject, the space the artist and subject share, and the attention to detail necessary for a successful result. It is in a sense a collaboration between artist and subject. The archive of portraits—approximately 100 photographs—will remain at Colby as a creative record of this very special time in the College’s history. A portion of that record, including some of the photos that appear here, is displayed in the new exhibition space outside the photo studios in the Alfond-Lunder Family Pavilion. —Gary M. Green, assistant professor of art