Sign up for our biweekly enews, featuring exhibitions, events, recent news, and more.


, U.Va.

The Fralin is open Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is free. Click here for hours. Please note, second floor galleries (including Earthly Exemplars) will be closed through February 3 during exhibition changeover. The museum will be closed to the public on Saturday, February 11.

The Fralin follows current UVA COVID-19 guidelines.

Beyond Pictorialism: Early 20th-Century Photography and the Fine Arts

Edward Steichen, American, 1879–1973. M. Auguste Rodin, 1911. Photogravure from original negative. Gift of Henry Javor, 1985.18.9.

02/06/2022 to 07/24/2022

At the start of the 20th century, photography served as a scientific and documentary tool and an aid to the fine arts but had yet to achieve status as an artistic medium. The Photo-Secession, a group of American photographers established in 1902, worked against the medium’s identity as a technology of precision and mass production to promote photography as a fine art. In their quarterly journal, Camera Work, they emphasized the photographer’s subjective vision and manipulation of the photographic print and claimed photography to be “a means of individual expression” or “pictorial expression.”  

Pictorial photography comprised a variety of styles and photographic techniques which often referenced other artistic media, such as painting, drawing, printmaking, architecture, and sculpture. Rather than showing photography’s dependence on the other arts, photographers created new ways of seeing traditional media and demonstrated its ability to extend beyond the visual arts. Though the growing Pictorialist movement ultimately produced diverging definitions of art photography, the medium remained essential in transforming artistic conventions and subject matter over the course of the 20th century. 

Curated by Chloe Downe Wells, 2020-2021 Barringer-Lindner Fellow


This exhibition is made possible through support from The Fralin Museum of Art Volunteer Board. The Fralin Museum of Art’s programming is made possible through generous support from The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation. Thanks to our in-kind donors: WTJU 91.1 FM and Ivy Publications LLC’s Charlottesville Welcome Book.

Museum Hours

Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 10 am – 5 pm
Wednesday: 10 am – 5 pm
Thursday: 10 am – 5 pm 
Friday: 10 am – 8 pm 
Saturday: 10 am – 5 pm (Please note, the museum will be closed to the public on Saturday, February 11.)
Sunday: 12 pm – 5 pm

The museum is closed on the following holidays: New Year's Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.