Marcia Resnick: As It Is or Could Be

Museum of Art Museum of Art

Exhibition: Marcia Resnick: As It Is or Could Be



Bernard and Barbro Osher Gallery, Halford Gallery
Photographer Marcia Resnick earned recognition as part of the legendary Downtown New York art scene of the 1970s and 1980s with portraits of major cultural figures such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, John Belushi, and Susan Sontag.

The exhibition is traveling to these institutions:

Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, Minnesota: August 13 through December 11, 2023

George Eastman Museum, Rochester, New York: February 10 through June 11,  2023


Selected Works

a hand emerging from a pocket of dark material, holding a  pair of sunglasses

She became an expert shoplifter, gelatin silver print, 1978, by Marcia Resnick. Wilson Centre for Photography.

a black and white image of a close-up, up-side-down woman's face.  Her eyes are closed and there are jacks on her eyelids.

They were continually telling her that she had stars in her eyes, 1978, gelatin silver print with graphite, by Marcia Resnick. From the series Revisions. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

A black and white photograph of a man's head and shoulders, with a shadow behind the figure, on a wall.

Jean-Michel Basquiat, NYC, 1979, vintage gelatin silver print by Marcia Resnick. Museum Purchase, Gridley W. Tarbell II Fund. Bowdoin College Museum of Art.


Marcia Resnick was one of the most ambitious and innovative American photographers of the 1970s. Combining social critique with poignant, often humorous performance, her photographs explore—in a conceptual vernacular—aesthetic, social, and political issues at once timely and timeless. A part of the now-mythic creative community in Downtown New York, she created work that challenged traditional ideas about what a photograph could be. This exhibition brings together for the first time her extraordinary photographs from this period.

This exhibition was organized by the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and the George Eastman Museum.  The Elizabeth B. G. Hamlin Fund and Mary G. O'Connell ’76 and Peter J. Grua ’76 supported its presentation at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.