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In Focus: Ara Güler's Anatolia

Ara Güler, the “Eye of Istanbul,” is famous for his iconic snapshots of the city in the 1950s and '60s. But with an archive of more than 800,000 photographs, Güler's body of work contains far more than these emblematic images. In December 2013, the Freer and Sackler Galleries will open an exhibition of never-before-shown works by the legendary photographer. Curated by Johns Hopkins University students in partnership with the museums, the installation will examine Güler's definition of himself as a photojournalist through the presentation of his photographs. Featured are photographs of medieval Seljuk and Armenian buildings that Güler took in 1965. The exhibition therefore brings images of important Anatolian monuments to an American audience, highlighting Turkey's cultural history. Beyond appreciating their subject matter, the display asks visitors to think critically about the way images were created. Pushing the boundaries of traditional curatorial practice, this exhibition guides viewers into a critical debate about photography: documentation versus art.

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