Past Exhibitions

Storyteller: The Photographs of Duane Michals

November 1, 2014 – February 16, 2015



A definitive retrospective of groundbreaking photographer Duane Michals.

Born in 1932 and raised near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in a steelworker family, Michals was a pioneer in the 1960s when he broke away from established traditions of documentary and fine art photography. Rather than respecting the primacy of the photographic print, Michals added handwritten messages and poems to the paper surface. Instead of accepting the widely recognized dominance of a powerful single image, so respected by masters like Ansel Adams or Henri Cartier-Bresson, Michals created sequences of multiple images to convey visual stories. He has always considered himself to be a storyteller. 

Inspired by Surrealist painter Réné Magritte, Michals experimented with double and triple exposures to expand the meaning and interpretation of his subject. These innovations won both derision and acclaim, including a one-person exhibition at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 1970. Consistent worldwide publication of his photographs in books and journals followed. In the major histories of photography, Michals is cited as being seminally important in his willingness to bend the rules of the medium to suit his own ends. He is credited for broadening our understanding of the philosophical dimensions of photography from the 1960s to today.

The accompanying catalogue, Storyteller: The Photographs of Duane Michals (250 pages, 285 illustrations), is available in softcover for $45 and hardcover for $75 at the CMOA Design Store.

Storyteller: The Photographs of Duane Michals is organized by Linda Benedict-Jones, curator of photography at Carnegie Museum of Art.

Related Events

February 12: Culture Club—Image to Word, A Public Reading  

Photography from every angle
Don't miss these other opportunities to explore photography at Carnegie Museum of Art:

The Hillman Photography Initiative, ongoing
Teenie Harris Photographs: Civil Rights Perspectives,October 16, 2014-March 31, 2015  

Exhibition Credits

Major funding for Storyteller: The Photographs of Duane Michals is provided by The Henry L. Hillman Fund.

Additional support is provided by Pamela Z. Bryan, The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, the Henry John Simonds Foundation, W. Douglas Gouge, Mark T. Phillis, Barbara and Jerry Chait, Dr. Elliott J. Kramer and William M. Modrak, Gordon D. Fisher and Wesley B. Scott, and Dee Jay Oshry and Dr. Bart Rack.

General operating support for Carnegie Museum of Art is provided by The Heinz Endowments and Allegheny Regional Asset District. Carnegie Museum of Art receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Installation Views


installation view ©Tom Little


Duaneinstall2installation view ©Tom Little
Duaneinstall3installation view ©Tom Little