June 9 – September 23, 2017
The personalities and stories of a small, scenic town in rural Pennsylvania come to life in a new exhibition at the BYU Museum of Art. No Dull Days: J. Alfred Myer’s Turn-of-the-Century America features over 80 photographs of the charming and lively town of Milford, Pennsylvania, as seen through the lens of a local photographer, J. Alfred Myer. This exhibition is presented in collaboration with Special Collections at the BYU Harold B. Lee Library.
The photographs of No Dull Days reflect small-town American life in the decades surrounding the turn into the 20th century, through rich black and white images. Photographer J. Alfred Myer lived in Milford for over 40 years and his photographs capture Americans embracing the challenges and progress of this vibrant time—a time of changes in technology, economics, business, as well as class and gender dynamics.
J. Alfred Myer’s grandson, Peter Myer, a former BYU professor in the Visual Arts Department, spent years gathering his grandfather’s photo negatives and compiling a history of his grandfather’s life and work. Those glass plate negatives were donated to BYU Library Special Collections and form the basis of the exhibition.
Tom Wells, Curator of Photographic Archives at the HBLL, agreed to create the exhibition photographs using the labor-intensive, historic Collodion chloride and gelatin processes used during Myer’s time.
No Dull Days: J. Alfred Myer’s Turn-of-the-Century America is open through September 23, 2017.