Walter Wick photographs on view

The New Britain (CT) Museum of American Art presents a special exhibition of Walter Wick photograhs, Walter Wick: Hidden Wonders!, opening March 31 through September 3, 2023.

The whimsical world of Walter Wick has fascinated people of all ages since 1991, when his first children’s book series I SPY found its way onto the bookshelves of millions of American households. The success of Wick’s books has established him as one of the most celebrated photographic illustrators of all time.

A Hartford native, Wick began his artistic career as a landscape photographer before becoming enamored with the technical aspects of studio photography. Wick aspired to master studio techniques, but also to represent such concepts as the perception of space and time in photographs, and experimented with mirrors, time exposures, photo composites, and other tricks to do so.

This manipulation of processes and perception has led to a prolific career that has now, over 30 years after the release of I SPY: A Book of Picture Riddles, resulted in the publication of more than 26 children’s books.

In the past 16 years, the New Britain Museum of American Art has celebrated Walter Wick photographs delightful imagery in several installations, including the highly acclaimed 2006 exhibition Walter Wick: Games, Gizmos, and Toys in the Attic, which traveled to 15 additional museums across the United States. In 2015, through the generosity of Walter Wick and Linda Cheverton Wick, the NBMAA was gifted a collection of 84 Walter Wick photographs.

The appeal of Walter Wick photographs, books, and installations has continued to draw admirers of all ages, from across Connecticut and around the world.

In March of 2023, the NBMAA is excited to launch the largest survey of Wick’s work to date. Titled after his recent book, Walter Wick: Hidden Wonders! will span 50 years of innovation, wonder, and imagination. Tracing the span of Wick’s career, the exhibition is organized by themes that have long fascinated Wick, including Miniature Worlds; Floor Games; Craft-Built Worlds; Optical Illusions; I Spy Games; Puzzle Challenges, Wonders of Science; Connecticut Woods; and Curiosity Shop. The exhibition pairs beloved images, including over 15 never-before-seen works, with numerous three-dimensional models upon which his photographs are based.

Celebrating five decades of creativity, as well as Wick’s indelible role in the development of photographic illustration, this exhibition is a must-see for art lovers of any age.

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