Outlandish: Photographs by Ralph Burns from the Collection of Hedy Fischer and Randy Shull/Photographs from the Collection of Allen G. Thomas Jr.

August 20, 2022—January 29, 2023
East Building, Level B, Video Gallery, Photography Gallery 1 (Julian T. Baker Jr. Gallery) and 2 (Allen G. Thomas Jr. Gallery)

Using photography from the Museum’s collection, this exhibition examines the peculiarity of human experience and expression. In one gallery selections from a photo series by Asheville-based photographer Ralph Burns donated by Hedy Fischer and Randy Shull capture the intricacies of worship, ritual, and love. For decades Burns followed crowds of devout Elvis fans during their pilgrimages to Graceland. His documentarian style demonstrates a deep understanding of humanness and emotional connection.

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In the other gallery, gifts from the collection of NC native and collector Allen G. Thomas Jr. explore the eccentricity and intrigue of contemporary photography. The varied selection of portraits, abstract scenes, and other stylized photographs offers another fascinating examination of the characteristics that connect us as people. Ultimately, this exhibition questions the emotions we project onto the subjects of the photographs, confronting our implicit judgments of each other and what we deem unusual.

Organized by the North Carolina Museum of Art. This exhibition is made possible, in part, by the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources; the North Carolina Museum of Art Foundation, Inc.; and the William R. Kenan Jr. Endowment for Educational Exhibitions. Research for this exhibition was made possible by Ann and Jim Goodnight/The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fund for Curatorial and Conservation Research and Travel. 


Kerry Skarbakka, Reflected, 2003, chromogenic print, 24 × 20 in., Gift of Allen G. Thomas Jr. in honor of Lawrence J. Wheeler; © 2022 Kerry Skarbakka

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