Oklahoma City, OK—This fall, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art will present its first, large-format photography exhibition featuring works by internationally acclaimed photographer Michael Eastman. Faded Elegance: Photographs of Havana by Michael Eastman, opening September 8 through December 31, 2011, consists of twenty-nine, 6 x 7 1/2 ft. photographs taken by the artist between 1999 and 2010.


For more than a decade, Eastman has captured Havana’s changing cultural landscape in his images of the city’s architecture and lush interiors, ravaged by the effects of time. His large-scale photographs evoke the nostalgia and wealth of a bygone era, while shedding light on the harsh economic realities faced in present day Cuba. While in Havana, Eastman photographed a number of subjects, from the interiors of homes along Ambassador Way, to stairwells and music schools, to abstract patterns found on the exteriors of buildings. Eastman is known for his richly colored photographs, which he captures with his 4 x 5 camera. This exhibition will be the first to explore the depth and range of Eastman’s Havana photographs.


“The Oklahoma City Museum of Art is pleased to be able to present such a fine sampling of Michael Eastman’s famous photographs of Havana, Cuba,” said Glen Gentele, president and chief executive officer. “Visitors to the exhibition will be captivated by Eastman’s images. They portray the grand elegance of Cuba’s past while providing a lens through which we can experience the dramatic interiors and architecture that has survived the passages of time.”


Based in St. Louis, Michael Eastman has established himself as one of the world's leading contemporary photographic artists. The self-taught photographer has spent four decades documenting interiors and facades in cities as diverse as Havana, Paris, Rome, and New Orleans, producing large-scale photographs unified by their visual precision, monumentality, and painterly use of color. Eastman is most recognized for his explorations of architectural form and the textures of decay, which create mysterious narratives about time and place. He continues to resist the digital movement, capturing his images on film and printing them himself.


Eastman's photographs have appeared in Time, Life, and American Photographer, and are included in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the International Center of Photography, The Art Institute of Chicago, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and other prestigious institutions. His books include Vanishing America (2008, Rizzoli) and Horses (2003, Knopf), which is now in its fifth edition. Eastman’s forthcoming full-color publication Havana (2011, Prestel) is a vivid and poetic tribute to a vibrant, unique city and culture. The book is comprised of over 90 photographs, the fruits of his four trips to Cuba over the last 12 years. Contributors include Cuban-born writer and poet Achy Obejas and photography author and critic Vicki Goldberg (The Power of Photography and Light Matters.).


Exhibition-related events

·         Exhibition Preview Lectures with Michael Eastman, Wednesday, September 7, 5:30 p.m.

·         Book Signings with Michael Eastman, Thursday, September 8, 5:30 p.m.

·         Artist Talk: Michael Eastman, Thursday, September 8, 6:00 p.m.

·         FILM: I Am Cuba

Thursday, September 8, 7:30 p.m; Friday & Saturday, September 9 & 10, 5:30 p.m. & 8 p.m; Sunday, September 11, 2 p.m.

·         Family Day, Sunday, November 6, Noon – 4 p.m.

·         Museum School Classes & Camps, September – December

·         Tiny Tuesdays, Monthly, Third Tuesday, 10 a.m. – Noon

·         Drop-in Art, Weekly, Saturday, 1 – 4 p.m.


About Oklahoma City Museum of Art

Accredited by the American Association of Museums, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art serves over 125,000 visitors annually from all 50 states and over 30 foreign countries and presents exhibitions drawn from throughout the world. The Museum’s collection covers a period of five centuries with highlights in European and American art from the nineteenth through twenty-first centuries, a growing collection of contemporary art, and a comprehensive collection of glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly. The Museum boasts the region’s premiere repertory cinema, which screens the finest international, independent, and classic films, and is home to the Museum School, which offers classes for students of all ages as well as art camps for children. Amenities include the Museum Store, a roof terrace, and the Museum Cafe, a full-service restaurant, offering lunch, dinner, Sunday brunch, afternoon tea, a full bar, and catering services.


The Oklahoma City Museum of Art is located in the heart of downtown Oklahoma City’s Arts District, at 415 Couch Drive. Visit the Museum online at okcmoa.com for admission pricing and hours of operation.




Media Contact: 
Leslie Spears, Communications Manager

lspears@okcmoa.com; (405) 278-8206