ExhibitionsKelli Connell: Pictures for Charis
Future Exhibition

Kelli Connell: Pictures for Charis

September 20, 2024 – January 5, 2025

Kelli Connell (American, born 1974), April, 2008, pigmented inkjet print, © Kelli Connell.

Debuting at the High this fall and co-organized with the University of Arizona Center for Creative Photography and the Cleveland Museum of Art, this groundbreaking exhibition will feature a powerful body of work by Kelli Connell (American, born 1974) that reconsiders the complicated relationship between writer Charis Wilson and photographer Edward Weston from a contemporary queer and feminist perspective.

Through a close examination of Wilson’s prose and Weston’s photographs, Connell enriches our understanding of the couple and weaves their stories together with her own artistic practice. Using their publications and archives as a guide, Connell and her partner, Betsy Odom, traveled to locales where Wilson and Weston lived, made work, and spent time together. Along the way, Connell collaboratively made photographs of Odom that upend conventional notions of photographer and muse. She also photographed, in a raw and less idealized manner, the grand Western landscapes that Weston made iconic seventy-five years before.

The exhibition will include more than forty of Connell’s recent large-format portrait and landscape photographs, along with dozens of Weston’s classic figure studies and landscapes made between 1934 and 1945, one of his most productive periods and the span of his relationship with Wilson. Four of Connell’s photographs in the exhibition are drawn from the High’s collection, exemplifying the museum’s recent commitment to growing its holdings of work by queer artists.

Kelli Connell (American, born 1974), Betsy, Lake Ediza, 2015, pigmented inkjet print, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, purchase with funds from the Friends of Photography, 2022.242. © Kelli Connell.

Connell Betsy Lake Ediza O2

Kelli Connell (American, born 1974), Doorway II, 2015, pigmented inkjet print, © Kelli Connell.

Doorway Ii O2

This exhibition is organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of The University of Arizona, Center for Creative Photography, Tucson; and the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland.

A generous Foundation for Advancement in Conservation (FAIC)/Tru Vue® Conservation and Exhibition Grant and in-kind support of Optium Museum Acrylic® for preservation of this work was provided by Tru Vue, Inc. and Larson-Juhl.

Premier Exhibition Series Sponsor 

Premier Exhibition Series Supporters

Mr. Joseph H. Boland, Jr.

Ambassador Exhibition Series Supporters

Loomis Charitable Foundation
Mrs. Harriet H. Warren

Contributing Exhibition Series Supporters 

Farideh and Al Azadi
Mr. and Mrs. Baxter Jones
Megan and Garrett Langley
Margot and Danny McCaul
Wade A. Rakes II and Nicholas Miller

Generous support is also provided by  

Alfred and Adele Davis Exhibition Endowment Fund, Anne Cox Chambers Exhibition Fund, Barbara Stewart Exhibition Fund, Dorothy Smith Hopkins Exhibition Endowment Fund, Eleanor McDonald Storza Exhibition Endowment Fund, The Fay and Barrett Howell Exhibition Fund, Forward Arts Foundation Exhibition Endowment Fund, Helen S. Lanier Endowment Fund, John H. and Wilhelmina D. Harland Exhibition Endowment Fund, Katherine Murphy Riley Special Exhibition Endowment Fund, Margaretta Taylor Exhibition Fund, RJR Nabisco Exhibition Endowment Fund, and USI Insurance Services.