MMAM to display uncovered treasure of mid-century photos


The Minnesota Marine Art Museum (MMAM) in Winona, will be opening an exhibition of never-before-seen mid-century photographs on January 10, 2020. Shutterbug: The Mid-Century Photography of David Tewes features spectacular found photographs of amateur photographer, and Hutchinson, Minn., native, David Tewes (1913-1991). Shutterbug runs through May 3, 2020.

David Tewes was not a professional photographer, but when a family member found a box of his old color Kodachrome slides years after his death, they knew they had something special. Born and raised in Hutchinson, Minn., Tewes was a soldier in the U.S. Army during World War II with a penchant for photography. Featured in the exhibition are Tewes’ photographs spanning from 1944-1955. The unearthed images begin with his time in the army serving in Alaska during World War II, and offer a unique view of post-war America, including river and lake scenes around Minnesota, and snapshots from his trips to California and beyond. Tewes photographed large cities like Minneapolis, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, as well as remote locations like Minnesota’s North Woods, all while capturing fleeting moments of life in mid-century America. Tewes’ photographs serve as an example of the importance of preserving photographs as documentary images.

There will be a special lecture given in conjunction with the exhibition by Winona State University Professor Emeritus and photographer Drake Hokanson on January 23 from 6-7 p.m. In his talk, titled Shutterbug Redux, Reuse, Recycle: The Photographs of David Tewes, Hokanson will explore Tewes’ photographs in the context of that exuberant era, and will provide some ideas about what to do with that inevitable box of old photographs in your closet.

There is always something new to experience at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum, a nonprofit art museum that engages visitors in meaningful visual art experiences through education and exhibitions that explore the ongoing and historic human relationship with water. It is located at 800 Riverview Drive in Winona and is surrounded by acres of native prairie gardens along the Mississippi River. Gallery and MMAM Store hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


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