The Art and Design Film Festival: THE B-SIDE: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography

November 10, 2017 @ 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Newport Art Museum
76 Bellevue Ave
Newport, RI 02840
(401) 848-8200

Portrait photographer Elsa Dorfman found her medium in 1980: the larger than life Polaroid Land

20×24 camera. The instant photographs it producted were enormous, with saturated colors and unparalleled detail. Dorf


man was bewitched.

For the next 35 years she captured the “surfaces” of those who visited her Cambridge, MA studio: families, Beat poets, rock stars, and Harvard notables.

Through her career, Dorfman sought to celebrate the personalities, idiosyncrasies, and everyday triumphs of the people who stepped into her studio.

Dorfman always took at least two 20×24 images per portraits session, but her clients only purchased one. Journey with director and friend Errol Morris through a surreal show-and-tell inside her archives, where the oft-neglected, hidden treasures (the B-Side portraits) live.

Post-film discussion with Francine Weiss, Senior Curator of the Newport Art Museum

Francine Weiss is the Senior Curator at the Newport Art Museum in Rhode Island. A Ph.D. photo historian, she has worked as the Curator at the Photographic Resource Center at Boston University and Editor of Loupe journal. Her past positions include Acting Assistant Curator in the Department of Photographs at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. and Curatorial Fellow at the deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park and in American art at the Harvard University. In addition to her curatorial work, Francine has taught courses in the American art, contemporary art, and the history of photography at Boston University and Wellesley College. She also teaches critical theory in the low-residency MFA program at New Hampshire Institute of Art.

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