John Gossage: The Pond

August 26, 2010 — January 17, 2011

Smithsonian American Art Museum (8th and F Streets, NW)

The installation of John Gossage: The Pond celebrates the recent gift to the museum of this remarkable photographic series and the re-issue of one of the most influential photography books of the past three decades. John Gossage (b. 1946) photographed a small, unnamed pond between Washington, D.C., and Queenstown, Maryland, between 1981 and 1985. The title was intended to recall Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, but Gossage advocated a more all-embracing view of the landscape, exploring the less idealized spaces that border America's cities and suburbs. Although many of the images in The Pond appear unruly or uncared for, Gossage found moments of grace and elegance in even the most mundane of places.

Untitled, from the series The Pond - 2007.40.28 - 1a

John R. Gossage, Untitled, from the series The Pond,1985, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of anonymous donors © 1985, John Gossage