Gordon in the News: last updated 01/20/2009

Gordon College to Host First Collaborative Art Exhibit Featuring Eastern European Photography

December 19, 2008

Jo Kadlecek
Office of College Communications

WENHAM, MA - Czech and Slovak photographers from World War I to 1994 and Russian photographers from World War II to the early 1990s did the world a favor by capturing life in their countries through their artistic lenses. Murray Forbes, president and founder of the Navigator Foundation, continued the favor by collecting such photographs during the last decade of the Cold War and beyond. Out of these experiences, two exhibitions were born, offering a profound glimpse of Eastern European culture and history. To celebrate these images, the Navigator Foundation has collaborated with the galleries of Gordon College and Endicott College for a first-of-its-kind joint show. 

The timing of the two presentations coincides with the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, recalling the turmoil of post-World War II Russia and Eastern Europe. The endeavor marks the first large-scale artistic collaboration between the two colleges and the Navigator Foundation, and both exhibitions highlight the amazing ability of all art forms to thrive in the midst of political chaos, economic turmoil and personal despair--a theme that is all too familiar to a 21st-century audience.

Beginning January 12 and running through February 27, Gordon's Gallery in the Barrington Center for the Arts will exhibit Renewal and Metamorphosis, which includes almost 50 Russian photographs from the late Soviet era to the 1990s. From January 19 through March 31 Endicott College will inaugurate its new Center for Visual and Performing Arts with the Navigator Foundation's award-winning exhibition of 20th-century Czech and Slovak photography. This exhibition consists of 15 Slovak photographers and 15 Czech photographers.

Renowned for its unique archives which convey the art, culture and history of European nations, the Navigator Foundation provides an essential resource to New England and the country by organizing major regional, national and international exhibitions of 20th-century photography spanning historic decades from Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Russia, Lithuania and Scotland. The visual intelligence that saturates the art of both peoples from this unusual part of Europe has added striking accomplishment to 20th-century photography.

Forbes, a Beverly Farms resident and painter who has exhibited in the U.S. and Europe, had been interested in bringing together the art community on the North Shore and contacted Gordon's Bruce Herman, gallery director and Lothlórien Distinguished Chair in the Fine Arts, as well as Endicott's Dean of Visual and Performing Arts Mark Towner.

"We wanted two dynamic institutions on the North Shore working together to show material that is very hard to come by," Forbes said. "Cape Ann is known throughout New England and the country for its significant commitment to the arts. It was important for us to reach out to the community by building on what's already been established from so many artistic contributions here."

Herman, who is designing the Gordon installation of the Russian photographs, believes the photographs bring an important political, historic and artistic perspective to the campus. Renewal and Metamorphosis will coincide with various lectures, events and class discussions.

"Because the Navigator Foundation has shown its collections at world-class museums, we recognize the privilege of exhibiting this important collection of Russian photographs," Herman said. "To work with Murray Forbes and the Navigator Foundation as well as our friends at Endicott as they inaugurate their new center with these striking Czech and Slovak images is a great honor."

The Navigator's Russian exhibit begins with an overture of images from World War II until 1994 and represents the most varied selection of postwar Russian photography yet to be offered to the American public. Likewise, the selection of 26 Slovak photographers and 26 Czech photographers reveals an equally striking variety of styles, themes, visions by known and unknown masters, spanning the period 1919-1994.

"The exhibit illustrates powerful aesthetics originating in this part of Europe which forever influenced Western art and photography," Towner emphasized.

Gallery Information:

Renewal and Metamorphosis
Russian Photographers: An Exhibit from the Navigator Foundation
Dates and times: January 12 - February 27

  • Lecture: Murray Forbes, January 24, 4 - 5 p.m. 
  • Reception: January 24, 5 - 7 p.m.
  • Gallery times: Monday - Saturday, 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.
  • Location: The Gallery, Barrington Center for the Arts, Gordon College, 255 Grapevine Road, Wenham, MA

20th-Century Czech and Slovak Photography

  • Dates and times: January 19 - March 31
  • Lecture: Tuesday, February 10, 2 - 3 p.m. Reception: Thursday, February 19, 5 - 7 p.m.
  • Panel Discussion: Tuesday, March 24, 7 - 9 p.m.
  • Gallery times: Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Location: The Presentation Gallery, Center for Visual and Performing Arts, Endicott College, 376 Hale Street, Beverly, MA

Both exhibitions are free and open to the public.

For more information on the Gordon College Russian exhibit and its coinciding events, contact Jo Kadlecek in the Office of College Communications at 978.867.4752 or email .

For more information on the Endicott College Czech and Slovak exhibit and its coinciding events, please contact Kathleen J. Moore, 978.232.2655 or email 

For more information on the Navigator Foundation, please 978.927.0166 or visit www.navigatorfound.org or www.scotlandcalls.org.


Gordon College is a Christian college of the liberal arts and sciences on Boston's North Shore. The College offers majors in 37 fields and has graduate programs in education and music education. Leading the way in Christian college merit, Gordon is nationally ranked for its excellence in academics and its role in character building. These achievements recognize Gordon as one of the nation's top Christian colleges.