Lester and Betty Guttman were avid collectors and companions in life who together built an extraordinary collection of photography. Over a lifetime of close looking, they carefully acquired an expansive collection of great photographs that span the very earliest days of the medium to the near-present day.
There was a whole collection made mines the Estate of Lester and Betty Guttman’s 2014 gift of 829 photographic works by 377 artists to the Smart Museum. It introduces this new resource to scholars and the public.
The exhibition presents several hundred works—from rare vintage prints to contemporary classics—organized in thematic clusters that reflect the Guttman's shared commitment to humanist values and social engagement, including sections on the natural and built world; photographic experimentation; documentary; portraiture; and "fifteen minutes of fame," which features images of notable figures. The exhibition's title is taken from Gertrude Stein's Tender Buttons (1914). Stein is the subject of several photographs in the Guttman collection.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website