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D.C.-based photographer to be focus of new National Building Museum exhibit

Centered on Alan Karchmer’s architectural photography, the exhibit debuts this fall

The top of a revival-style building at the top of a subway escalator
National Building Museum as seen from Judiciary Square Metro escalators
The Washington Post/Getty Images

A forthcoming exhibit at the National Building Museum will highlight the work of prominent District-based photographer Alan Karchmer, who for decades has captured iconic images of structures around the world. The exhibit will feature more than 40 large-format photos of buildings, bridges, and other projects, and run from November 9 through October 4, 2020.

Karchmer, whose work has been published in various journals, books, and museums, has a master’s degree in architecture—a background that has deeply influenced his photography. The exhibit will also look at his creative process. As the National Building Museum explains:

“A professional architectural photographer plays a critical role in capturing the essence of a building, and the intent of the designer’s work, making critical decisions about which aspects to emphasize and which to suppress or even exclude. Photographs provide the primary, and often the only, way we experience important works of architecture. Such images have a profound influence on how a building is perceived and remembered. They shape public impressions of the structure’s architectural character and even its social value. An extraordinary image of an iconic building may assume iconic status in its own right.”

Karchmer plans to donate his collected work, consisting of thousands of photographs, to the museum. Several images that will be displayed at the roughly year-long exhibit follow below.

The inside of a translucent building. Two people are standing in the background amid shadows.
National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.
Alan Karchmer, courtesy of the National Building Museum
A curved, tiered building along the waterfront. The building is white.
Auditorio de Tenerife in the Canary Islands
Alan Karchmer, courtesy of the National Building Museum
A glassy, bridge-like building that sticks off a hill.
Tanglewood House 2 in West Stockbridge, Massachusetts
Alan Karchmer, courtesy of the National Building Museum
A memorial structure with dozens of straight pillars under a roof.
National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama
Alan Karchmer, courtesy of the National Building Museum
A stone structure with a circular skylight in the French countryside.
Château La Coste Art Center in Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade, France
Alan Karchmer, courtesy of the National Building Museum
A low-lying art museum with curved lines.
Milwaukee Art Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Alan Karchmer, courtesy of the National Building Museum

National Building Museum

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