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Janet Parker

Untitled

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About Janet

Janet Parker is an exciting addition to the Columbia Museum of Art's volunteer group. She brings with her enthusiasm for her local community and the arts and a passion to bring the two together at the Museum. Janet loves the CMA because "there is art from all over the world", and the Museum allows everyone, especially those who may not be able to go on a trip out the country or even the state, to see great works of art "right in their backyard."

Janet is a Virginia native, but is a true southern belle, having been raised in the small South Carolina town of Cheraw, home of jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie.

At a very young age Janet knew she would make an impact on those around her in some way, living out her mom's daily affirmation "You are destined for greatness."

Janet is a University of South Carolina graduate and joined the WACH Fox News team in July 2008. She currently serves as a lead anchor of Good Day Columbia, a four-hour morning program covering the community, news, and entertainment. She believes strongly in improving literacy rates and volunteers her time by reading at local elementary schools.

About the Piece

  • Sally Mann
  • Untitled, 1992
  • Gelatin silver print toned with tea
  • Museum purchase with funds provided by The Contemporaries

Born in 1951 in Lexington, Virginia, Sally Mann has achieved recognition as one of America's most important photographers for her large black-and-white photographs. Mann has published a number of books including Second Sight (1983), At Twelve (1988), Immediate Family (1992), Still Time (1994), What Remains (2003), Deep South (2005), Proud Flesh (2009), and The Flesh and the Spirit (2010).

Her best-known works depict her own children in and around their country home. Some of these photos portrayed the children in decidedly un-childlike activities such as smoking, and controversies resulted. Mann's interest was not in corrupting her own children, however, but rather to have them be character actors in the artist's often unsettling, but always imaginative, compositions. Mann has the uncanny knack for identifying the slightly off-kilter, slightly disturbing twist in American life. She weathered controversy to emerge as a chronicler of the atypical American family. She extended this talent to the American landscape, and the CMA's untitled work from 1992 is a prime example.

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Untitled shows us an urn, an object associated with antiquity and Arcadian gardens, situated in the center of an open field bordered by shadowy trees. In the distance, detail dissolves into mist. This is an image steeped in romanticism in that it suggests passing time, and thus loss, while it also suggests the openness and pleasure of the garden-yet, no one is present. Mann successfully shrouds the landscape in ambiguity, much as she grayed the lines between childhood and adulthood in her family pictures. Nothing, Mann reminds us, is as it seems. Even in, or perhaps especially in, a photograph because we assume photographs are "truthful." Perhaps, Mann says. Perhaps not.

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