Philadelphia

Philadelphia

Mary Ellen Mark: Photographs

Philadelphia Museum of Art
26th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway
May 13–August 6, 2000

Mary Ellen Mark is the Diane Arbus of narrative documentary vérité. Like Arbus, Mark photographs the forgotten and the marginalized, the show-offs and the disastrously narcissistic. But, unlike Arbus, she makes empathetic picture stories as well as single portraits. In this 141-print show (accompanied by a handsome catalogue), curators Michael E. Hoffman and Melissa Harris focus on Mark's American work since 1963, which includes homeless families, Christian bikers, beauty contestants, Aryan separatists, transvestite parade-goers, and pet lovers.