One aspect of my position as a photographer here at the Walker is to document the exhibitions. This has been an ongoing process dating back to the beginning of the Walker Art Center. While reviewing images of past exhibitions, I began to notice something now absent in the galleries, potted plants. Up until the opening of the Barnes building in 1971, potted plants were a staple in the galleries. While there are few exhibition views containing patrons, the plants were always present. In these images they seem to act as the stand-ins for the patrons, sometimes aloof and in the background or congregating around the radiator as if in discussion. And then there are those that are really into the work, standing in front of a sculpture’s light, their shadows enveloping the work.
Due to a multitude of reasons, plants only reappear in the galleries if they are part of the artwork. Many of the plants seem to have been around for many years and well taken care of by the staff. Enjoy this look at Exhibition Photography and Plants from the Walker archives.