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The Corcoran Curatorial Seminar Takes Manhattan

David Levinthal

By Megan Patrylak (BA, Art Studies)

For the Corcoran’s first Curatorial Seminar, undergraduate students are working under the direction of museum photography curators to prepare for David Levinthal: War Games, which opens May 11. In February, the class traveled to New York City to visit the photographer in his home/studio.

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David Levinthal will be joining Roger Rosenblatt for The Dudley Memorial Lecture 2013 on Thursday, May 9.

Visiting David Levinthal’s (meet David at Corcoran People) studio was a very rewarding experience because we were able to talk with him about his artistic influences, personal interests, and his work over the past 40 years. Generous with  anecdotes and stories, Levinthal spoke about his childhood, education, career, and travels through Europe. He described in particular his first collaborative publication of war-related work, Hitler Moves East, with a former classmate and colleague, Garry Trudeau.

Levinthal studio

Throughout the semester we have been extensively researching David’s work to grasp his concepts and plan for the exhibition. However, meeting the artist himself was an incomparable experience.

the greatest benefit of the studio visit was seeing and experiencing the artist in his home and studio. Understanding how he works and lives through the books he reads and the music he listens to provided an insight to his work and approach. —Matt Rose (BFA, Photojournalism)

Bernard Welt and Jason Tucker chat before lunch while Lauren Wright and Lindsay Crisler look through some of Levinthal’s books.

After lunch, David showed us some of his work and led us through his studio and collection of toys and toy sets. This part of this visit allowed us to begin to visualize the exhibition and select which works would be display in the gallery.

Witnessing David in his studio exposed his practice, academic interests, and business smarts—the embodiment of so many of the things we’ve been taught at the Corcoran. The New York studio visit was an unforgettable experience that we’ll carry with us throughout our various artistic pursuits and careers. —Jane Pierce (BA, Art Studies)

David Levinthal studio

Looking back at this studio visit, the Corcoran students and faculty have developed a more thorough understanding of the artist’s vision, personal disposition, and photographs. Meeting the artist was essential to our planning of this exhibition, and we very much appreciate his willingness to explain his influences, ideas, and personal experiences as we continue to learn about his work. David Levinthal: War Games will be the first time his work will be shown in the Corcoran Gallery since 1997, and everyone involved—students, curators, and artist—are all very excited to see the exhibition come to fruition.

David Levinthal: War Games on view from May 11- September 1, 2013. Register here for the The Dudley Memorial Lecture 2013: An Evening with David Levinthal and Roger Rosenblatt on Thursday, May 9 at 7 p.m.