Kunsthistorisches Museum III Wien Thomas Struth, Historisches Museum III Wien, 1989.

Thomas Struth


Chosen by: Emmy Lee, Assistant Curator


“This photograph was part of the first exhibition I ever worked on at the Gallery called 75 Years of Collecting: Portrait of a Citizen, an exhibition celebrating the Gallery’s 75th anniversary and the Gallery’s permanent collection. When planning an exhibition, one researches many images online and in databases, but when I saw Kunsthistorisches Museum III Wien live and in person, I distinctly remember thinking that it was so beautiful – a term that is rarely used in curatorial circles today.

In an era in which we are constantly bombarded by imagery, this photograph reminds me of the sheer power of seeing something in the flesh – relating to a work’s size and scale, being able to see minute brushstrokes – and the way sometimes a work of art really does seem miraculous when it is physically in front of you. What I love about this work is that the figure is so captivated by the paintings he sees, he is really looking – and, in turn, the portraits seem to look out at him.”


Thomas Struth, Kunsthistorisches Museum III Wien, 1989. Chromogenic print. Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver Art Gallery Major Purchase and Acquisition Funds.

Emmy Lee has been at the Gallery for 6 years, and is currently working on the upcoming exhibition Collecting Matisse and Modern Masters: The Cone Sisters of Baltimore.

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