Maryland Historical Society sets first exhibition in new photography gallery - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Maryland Historical Society sets first exhibition in new photography gallery

Unscripted Moments: The Life and Photography of Joseph Kohl

BALTIMORE, October 30, 2017 – The Maryland Historical Society will open Unscripted Moments: The Life and Photography of Joseph Kohl, an exhibition celebrating one of Baltimore’s most distinctive photojournalists and fine art photographers.

Joseph Kohl. (courtesy MdHS)

Unscripted Moments showcases Baltimore in the 1980s and 1990s through the extraordinary eye of local photographer Joseph Kohl (1957-2002). The massive 55,000-piece photograph collection was almost lost after Kohl’s untimely death but saved at the last minute by by exhibit co-curator Linda Day Clark and her husband, the late photographer Carl Clark. The photos in Unscripted Moments provide an invaluable and evocative record of the city drawn from Kohl’s professional work and personal snapshots, including many images never before published or exhibited. Joe Tropea Curator of Films and Photographs at MdHS exclaims, “I hope that people will see what Joe Kohl realized: Baltimore is a unique and beautiful place, but almost never in ways that you would expect to find something beautiful.”

Kohl’s subject matter ranged from political protests, sidewalk scenes, and animal curiosities to the city’s underground music scene and workers on The Block. Kohl’s warmly rendered portraits of friends, models, and strangers are a highlight of the exhibition. Exhibition co-curator J.M. Giordano, photo editor at Baltimore City Paper says, “I loved seeing a period in time in Baltimore, the 80s and 90s, that’s fast becoming as historical as a 18th century painting. I want people to see in a lot of Joe’s work, the city’s LGBTQ+ history that was previously hidden underground.”

Like a time capsule from the end of the last century, Unscripted Moments offers a whirlwind panorama of city life. What emerges is a vision of Baltimore that’s open-hearted, raw, cosmopolitan and compassionate-a portrait of a photographer who exposed his love for the city and all of its variety in every shot.

Exhibition Programming

  • Press Preview is on Wednesday, November 7th from 12:00pm-2:00pm. Members of the press are invited to come and preview the exhibition before it opens. (Please reply to RSVP)
  • Opening Reception is on Thursday, November 9 from 6:30 to 9:30 P.M. at the Maryland Historical Society. Music will be provided by DJ Landis Expandis. Beer will be served by Waverly Brewing Company, with themed light fare and a signature cocktail for the evening prepared by Chef Shirlé Hale-Koslowski of Four Corners Cuisine and Baby’s On Fire cafe. This event is free to the public.
  • A reception for the satellite exhibition at The Windup Space (12 North Avenue) is on November 17, 2017 at 7:00pm. This satellite exhibition will remain on view throughout the month of November and features photos not on display in the MdHS main exhibition. This event is free to the public.
Read more about the exhibition:

About the author