The Norton Museum of Art’s newest exhibition, “Ellen Graham: Unscripted,” debuted with a private opening February 29th, showcasing the six-decade-long career of Ellen Graham. One of the most influential photographers of our time, the exhibition will be open to the public until June 16th for viewers to see her unparalleled contributions to portrait photography.  

A tribute to Graham’s legacy, the collection of selected photographs offers an intimate look into Graham’s encounters with iconic figures like Sharon Tate, Marissa Berenson, Cher, David Bowie, and others, through more than 400 subjects. Graham’s approach, characterized by authenticity and intimacy, captures the true essence of these personalities, offering audiences a glimpse into their lives beyond the public eye.

Graham’s work, which has graced the pages of major U.S. publications such as Harper’s Bazaar, People, W Magazine, Time, and Newsweek, is celebrated for its profound impact on the photographic world. The Norton Museum of Art’s dedication to enriching cultural experiences through diverse and engaging exhibitions finds a perfect partner in “Ellen Graham: Unscripted,” which aims to highlight the depth and breadth of Graham’s illustrious career.

Moreover, “Ellen Graham: Unscripted” extends its narrative to include vibrant street scenes from cities around the world, such as New York City, Paris, Havana, and Beverly Hills. These images add a rich layer of complexity to the exhibition, showcasing Graham’s versatility and keen eye for capturing moments of spontaneous beauty and genuine emotion.

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Alexis Graham at the opening of Ellen Graham
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Whitney Port at the opening of Ellen Graham

Dr. Lauren Richman, the Norton’s William and Sarah Ross Soter Curator of Photography, emphasizes the exhibition’s contemporary approach to Graham’s work, stating, “The exhibition and its accompanying catalogue revisit Graham’s photographs through the theme of ‘the unscripted,’ exploring how her style and the external influences on her have shaped her extraordinary career.”

In addition to featuring a curated selection of Graham’s latest masterpieces from 2021 and pieces loaned from the Ellen Graham Archive, the exhibition is bolstered by a transformative gift from The Ellen and Ian Graham Foundation. This endowment not only supports the Norton Museum’s mission but also secures a lasting legacy for Graham’s work within the museum’s collections.

Ghislain d’Humières, the Norton’s Kenneth C. Griffin Director and CEO, expressed his enthusiasm for the exhibition, stating, “The collection of photographs from Ellen Graham will engage and delight Museum visitors for years to come.”

Reflecting on her journey, Graham shared, “Photography changed my life, and through this exhibition, I hope to share the transformative power of photography with others.”

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David Bowie, Rehearsal, Los Angeles, CA, 1975 © Ellen Graham

As “Ellen Graham: Unscripted” opens its doors, Miami’s art community eagerly awaits the opportunity to dive deep into the world of Ellen Graham, offering a fresh and insightful perspective on the art of photography.