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Bela Kalman: A Vision Fulfilled

July 26 ­ August 31, 2003


"It is, and was, an enjoyable journey in one lifetime, starting from black and white ortho film to the iMac grainless, sharp, true color iris photographs."


Bela Kalman, a larger-than-life octogenarian, was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1921. In 1952 his studio was closed by the governing authorities and in 1956, during the uprising, he left Hungary and moved to the United States. Kalman settled in Boston where he set up his own studio and became one of the leading photographers in the advertising field.

Speaking of his days at STUDIO 350, where he was booked weeks in advance and kept 18 people working, Kalman says 'there was never a dull moment.' Even today he enjoys taking photographs all the time because, "Every photo is one of a kind. Nothing is repeatable."

Kalman is widely traveled and has published many books including Angkor; Indian Country , a book about the Southwest, Flowers, photographed mainly in his Centerville garden; Rare Orchids and soon to be published: Seashells300 Million Years In the Making. (right: Bela Kalman, Orchid)

In 1984 Kalman received the lifetime distinction of Master of the Federation of International Artistic Photographers, one of only 25 photographers in the world who hold this title, and the only American. (FIAP is an international institution under the aegis of UNESCO which holds exhibits all over the world.) Kalman has won 17 medals and has had nineteen one-man shows; his work is included in the permanent collections of eighteen museums.

When Kalman took up the camera, only black and white photos were possible. But today Kalman is delighted to work with the digital process. "Photography has entered a glorious new era," he says. Kalman has worked with the computer-assisted image for this exhibition. 37 photos, which display a range of his interests through the years, have been scanned and enlarged to twice poster size.

Kalman resides in Boston and spends summers at his home in Centerville. His exhibition opens in conjunction with the Cape Museum of Fine Arts' celebration of A Vision Fulfilled on July 26, from 5:30 to 8 pm.

CMFA is having a grand party with rejoicing in art and music on July 26 to celebrate the occasion of the opening of the Frank X. and Mary E. Weny Education Center, and the culmination of 20 years of tireless and dedicated efforts of so many art lovers to create this outstanding year-round museum.

This evening will mark the official opening of the center with the honoring of its major donors: Frank X. & Mary. E Weny Charitable Foundation, CCB & T Financial Companies, Museum Trustee Terry Hart Cogan, the Law Office of Singer & Singer, and Museum Trustee Janet Spence. A Mural painted by children to the theme of DREAMS COME TRUE on July 12 will be hanging in the new center.

In addition to Master Photographer, Bela Kalman, 65 Years of Images, there will be other artists and their exhibits on view at the party: David Forest Thompson, Provincetown Dune Shacks, and Tobi Kahn : Works From The Cape.

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