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Structured Vision

Structured Vision: The Photographs of Ralston Crawford

Fascinated by the purified geometry of man-made things, Ralston Crawford (1906–1978) worked in a consistently formal, or abstract, manner across a variety of mediums. His photographs provide an essential look at a vital era of abstraction in American art, and at the cultural scenes and subjects from which that creative sensibility arose.

Crawford used the camera as a tool of both documentary and artistic expression. Some photographs served as studies for later paintings or prints. Most, however, were created and appreciated purely as photographs. His subjects ranged from urban and industrial themes to ships and sailing, jazz, the people and culture of New Orleans, bullfighting and religious processions in Spain, and the destructive power of the atomic bomb.

Educators planning a visit to Structured Vision: The Photographs of Ralston Crawford with students may wish to download the Teacher Guide – Ralston Crawford (PDF) for additional information, discussion questions, and suggested resources.

Exhibition Program

The Work of Ralston Crawford: A conversation with Keith F. Davis and Neelon Crawford
Thursday, March 14 | 6-7 pm

Please join us for a public discussion of the life and work of Ralston Crawford with exhibition curator Keith F. Davis and the artist’s son, Neelon Crawford.

New Orleans Brass Band by Ralston Crawford Grain Elevators in Buffalo by Ralston Crawford Unloading the Cargo by Ralston Crawford
Ralston Crawford, American (1906–1978). Unloading the Cargo, ca. 1942. Gelatin silver print, 4 1/2 × 7 inches. Gift of Neelon Crawford, 2015.49.117.  Ralston Crawford, American (1906–1978). Grain Elevators, Buffalo, 1942. Gelatin silver print, 9 x 13 3/8 inches. Gift of Hallmark Cards, Inc., 2005.27.2602. Ralston Crawford, American (1906–1978). New Orleans Brass Band, 1958. Gelatin silver print, 6 3/8 × 9 1/2 inches. Gift of Neelon Crawford, 2015.49.68.
Sunday: 10 am - 5 pm
Monday: 10 am - 5 pm
Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday: 10 am - 5 pm
Thursday: 10 am - 9 pm
Friday: 10 am - 9 pm
Saturday: 10 am - 5 pm