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Our Lens

Oct 11, 2012–Jan 21, 2013

Our lives are often so saturated with information, experiences, and interactions that it can be difficult to find moments to observe, to pause.

The act of taking a photograph can allow us to slow down and truly notice. Through the lens, we open ourselves to wonder and interpretation. A camera can illuminate subtle stories poised for telling. By making a photograph, we become part of that story, generating a shared moment between photographer and the subject.

These photographs were taken by fourteen youth in Teen Art Connect, The Contemporary Jewish Museum’s internship program. The images are the result of a workshop with Emilio Bañuelos, an editorial photographer and educator based in California and Jalisco, Mexico. In conjunction with the exhibition, The Radical Camera: New York’s Photo League, 1936–1951, these young photographers were given the creative and personal challenge of making a collective portrait of San Francisco. True to the mission of the Photo League, the photographers were encouraged to find their unique voice and capture their own vision. Their most sincere and distinct efforts were selected for display, offering a glimpse into the city that they navigate every day.

the photographs

Our Lens was made possible with generous support from Rayko Photo Center.

The Radical Camera: New York's Photo League, 1936—1951 was organized by The Jewish Museum, New York and the Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio. The exhibition was made possible by a major grant from the Phillip and Edith Leonian Foundation, with generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts and Betsy Karel. 

The Contemporary Jewish Museum presentation is made possible with the Lead Support of the Bernard Osher Jewish Philanthropies Foundation of the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund. Major support is provided by Nellie and Max Levchin. Supporting sponsors include the Lisa and John Pritzker Family Fund, Baird Private Wealth Management, Jim Joseph Foundation, Denise Garone and Stuart Kogod, Joyce Linker, and Randee and Joseph Seiger.

The Koret and Taube Foundations are the Lead Supporters of the 2012–13 exhibition season.