Robert Seydel ehibit image

News & Events

Exhibit of Multi-Layered Photographs and Notebooks Celebrates Robert Seydel

Hampshire College Art Gallery’s fall exhibition, “A Short History of Portraiture,” celebrates the work of renowned artist, curator, and Hampshire professor Robert Seydel (1960–2011)

The exhibition will open Wednesday, August 28, with a reception on Wednesday, September 18, from 5–7 p.m., and a talk by Hampshire alum artist Nathan Rubinfeld 09F, who was taught by Seydel, on Thursday, September 19, from 5–6 p.m.

Black and white image of Robert Seydel by Kane Stweart
Robert Seydel on campus. Photo by Kane Stewart

Robert Seydel taught photography at Hampshire College from 1999 to 2011. Prolific in his art making, but reserved in public, at his untimely death he had completed more than 20 large series of works. His most famous is the posthumously published The Book of Ruth (Siglio Press, 2011), featured in the 2014–2015 exhibition “Robert Seydel: The Eye in Matter”at the Queens Museum and Smith College.

Hampshire College’s exhibition—curated by Professor of Art History Sura Levine, with newly-accessed archival materials from the Seydel estate—will focus on a selection of Seydel’s lesser-known (and largely unseen) work comprised of intimate and idiosyncratic Polaroid transfer montages. These multi-layered and multimedia portraits of real and fictional character—torn, turned, transferred—picture the muses and mentors of the artist himself. In addition, the exhibition will feature selections from Seydel’s “notebks,” densely intertextual notebooks which move between the visual and the verbal, illuminating their ceaseless interplay throughout his career.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a range of related programming throughout the fall. All events are free and open to the public and take place in the Hampshire College Art Gallery, ground floor of the Harold F. Johnson Library.

Opening Reception
Wednesday, September 18, 2019, 5–7 p.m.

Talk by Nathan Rubinfeld 09F, “Collagist as Collector: Voyeurism from Cornell to Seydel”
Thursday, September 19, 2019, 5–6 p.m.

Find related programming at the Hampshire Art Gallery.

Multi-layered Polaroid self-portrait in notebook Multi-layered Polaroid image by Robert Seydel with woman's face and backside of nude woman's body Multi-layered Polaroid image by Robert Seydel with man's bearded face and woman's nude figure Multi-layered Polaroid image by Robert Seydel with man's bearded face and moth Multi-layered Polaroid image by Robert Seydel with Jackie Kennedy and circular shapes Multi-layered Polaroid image by Robert Seydel with woman's face and body with spine exposed
Stay In Touch
With The Communications Office
Snail Mail
Office of Communications
Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002