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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University October 3, 2005 | Vol. 35 No. 5
'Look Again in Baltimore': An Exhibition of Photographs by James DuSel Opens

The Rotunda

By Abby Lattes
Historic Houses

Photographer James DuSel is known for his quirky black and white photographs of Baltimore architecture — images that explore and celebrate both the grand and the overlooked aspects of the city's buildings. In his work, DuSel treats the sweeping marble staircase in the Maryland Institute's Main Building, the ornamentation on the Mount Vernon United Methodist Church, a transit waiting shed in Roland Park and a dormer window at the Boys' Latin School with the same reverence and interest.

Look Again in Baltimore, an exhibition of DuSel's photographs celebrating the details of Baltimore's architectural heritage, opens in the gallery at Evergreen House on Friday, Oct. 7, with a reception from 5 to 7:30 p.m.

The images also appear in DuSel's book of the same name, with text by former Sun art critic John Dorsey, to be published this month by The Johns Hopkins University Press. The exhibition remains on view through Jan. 3.

A longtime admirer of DuSel's work, Dorsey describes his images as "beautifully produced, with subtle, rich tonalities and clarity of details" and praises his ability to capture and isolate the overlooked elements in familiar buildings. In the book's introduction, Dorsey writes of the photographs, "Sometimes they made you slap your forehead and think, 'My God, I've seen that building a hundred times, but I never noticed that before.' So often they caught the essence of a building or an aspect of architecture that a more inclusive picture would have missed."

Dorsey and DuSel's hope is that after seeing these images, people will be encouraged to look at architecture in new ways — to become more conscious of the details around them, the connections between structures, their histories and influences.

"Because of the ubiquity of architecture, because whether inside or outside we are continuously surrounded by it, it tends to become subject to what Jim calls 'the anesthesia of daily life,'" Dorsey says.

DuSel gives a guided tour of the exhibition at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8. The book will be sold in Evergreen's Museum Shop beginning Oct. 27.


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