Experience the world through a photographic lens

Photography both captures the real world and distorts reality. The Carleton Art Collection, featuring over 900 photographs, reveals how photographers navigate between the real and imaginary.  

  • Ralph Gibson and other artists reframe everyday objects as formal explorations, morphing the familiar into artful abstractions.
  • William Garnett and Marilyn Bridges use aerial photography to display vast landscapes, providing soaring views to earthbound viewers.
  • Photographic portraits, including works by Richard Avedon, construct distinct personalities through compositions of light, shadow and texture.

Arthur D. Kowaloff, a 1968 Carleton graduate, has donated over 750 photographs to the college since 1979. The Photographers & Authors Collection, a gift of Raphael and Jane Bernstein P’86, celebrates achievements in the literary and visual arts. Commissions such as Vantage Points: Campus as Place (2002) and Picturing Carleton Students (2008) capture the spirit of the college. Recent acquisitions of works by Martin Chambi (Peru) and Alioune Bâ (Mali) expand the global dimensions of the collection.

Description and image selection by Julia Olson ’13


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William Garnett
William Garnett
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Richard Avedon
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Ralph Gibson

Ralph Gibson
Untitled, 2002
Gelatin silver print on paper
Gift of Arthur D. Kowaloff, class of 1968


Ralph Gibson
07 May 2012