Jon Blumb Photographs
February 1, 2005 – April 10, 2005
Recent work by Kansas-based photographer Jon Blumb was on view from February 1 through April 10. Blumb earned a BFA in photography from the Massachusetts College of Art (1977) and an MFA in photography from the University of Kansas. From 1981 to 1993 he was the photographer at the Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas. Well-known for his work in commercial photography, Blumb is highly regarded for his photography of art objects, much of which can be seen in countless volumes of exhibition catalogues and other art-related publications. He is also known for his involvement with grassroots art in Kansas, particularly the Garden of Eden in Lucas, Kansas. His photographic documentation of the Garden of Eden as well as many of the important grassroots and visionary art sites in Kansas and the region represents an enormous contribution to the visual arts culture of the state.
Concurrent with his work in commercial photography, Blumb has produced a large body of personal creative work. Among the photographs included in the exhibition will be large-scale panoramic views of the Italian, Scottish, and Kansas landscape. One of Blumb’s abiding passions is the outdoors. Hunting, fishing, and camping subjects constitute a significant portion of his commercial work. The panoramic views in the exhibition are products of Blumb’s love of the life and culture of the outdoors and the landscape. Subjects of these photos include boar hunters in Italy, deer stalking in Scotland, and a farmstead in Atchinson County, Kansas.
In addition to the panoramic photographs, the exhibition featured William S. Burroughs in Prints: A Portfolio of Original Photographs, 1990-1998. Blumb was a close personal friend of Burroughs, the late Beat writer best known as the author of Naked Lunch. Over the years, Blumb assembled a large body of work related to Burroughs. The portfolio, recently acquired for the museum’s collection, contains sixteen photographs. Among the subjects treated in the portfolio are Burroughs reading from Naked Lunch, Burroughs shooting his Smith and Wesson .357 caliber handgun, and scenes from Burroughs’s funeral.
This exhibition is presented in part by the Kansas Arts Commission, a state agency, and by the National Endowment for the Arts, a Federal agency.