Max Hirshfeld is recognized as a master at spotting decisive moments while revealing the warmth and humanity of his subjects. He has undertaken several focused projects over the past decade. From...
Friday, August 11, 2017
| Success Stories
| V. Feature
I was recently honored as just the second photographer — Arnold Newman was the first — to be commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery to provide the official portrait of a former Secretary.
Thanks to Leica for the loan of their powerful S system, Sarah Oliphant for her beautifully subtle backdrop and Larry Small, eleventh Secretary of the Smithsonian, for choosing my team and me for the portrait.
Along with five other photographers, I was commissioned to document The Kreeger Museum in Washington, Philip Johnson’s masterful work of architecture as it celebrates its 50th anniversary. For my portion, I envisioned a 30′ floating shelf where the 36 8×10 Dibond-mounted photographs (shot exclusively with an iPhone) could be displayed in a structured yet informal way, an attempt to foster the idea that the images might be seen more as sketches than as stand-alone photographs. I wanted them to be viewed in a stream-of-consciousness sort of way, allowing a visitor to move along at a comfortable pace or perhaps double-back should the instinct arise. My hope was that this might highlight some of the subtle, more intimate details of this ‘museum-as-house’ and its world-class collection of paintings and sculptures.