About the Exhibition
The photographer Norma Holt (1918-2013) was passionately committed to photo-documentation as a way of life and a means to initiate social change. Her work took her from the streets of New York City, to anti-war protests of the Vietnam era, to the villages of the working poor across the globe. For over five decades Holt summered in Provincetown; she treasured the egalitarian nature of the town, where celebrated artists and writers mixed easily with locals and developing artists. Two books of portraiture resulted from her time on the Cape: Face of the Artist and On Equal Ground: Photographs from an Artists’ Community on the Tip of Cape Cod.
Raymond Elman (b. 1945) arrived in Provincetown in 1970. He made abstract art until 1989, when he invented a technique for making large-scale portraits to document his wife Lee’s pregnancy and the birth of their son, Evan. Elman then shifted focus to documenting his life in the art community, by making portraits of the many talented artists and writers he knew who embrace the Outer Cape. Since 1989, Elman has made more than 220 portraits, including those of Norman Mailer, Robert Motherwell, Stanley Kunitz, Alan Dugan, Annie Dillard, Mark Strand, Sebastian Junger, Alec Wilkinson, Varujan Boghosian, Budd Hopkins, Paul Resika, Mischa Richter, Al Jaffee, Lee Falk, Anne Bernays, Jane Leavy, Daniel Okrent, Susan Orlean, Jhumpa Lahiri, Robert Pinsky, and Knox Martin. Four of Elman’s pieces are in the collection of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.
Left: Ray Elman, Portrait of Douglas Huebler
Right: Norma Holt, Portrait of Tony LaSelle