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Rachel Cohen


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Introduction from toward the beginning of the pandemic, Spring 2020

During this period, when we are all in our rooms, and our ways of seeing and learning are virtual, I have been looking through several thousand photos of paintings, drawings, and installations that I have taken, mostly in museums, over the last nine years. Nearly all of these museums are closed to the public right now, and the photos, visual notes, are worlds of color, sometimes like memories, at other times, like steady markers for study and imagination.

Our children have a book, called Frederick, by Leo Lionni. It’s about a mouse, who, in the summer, studies colors. When winter comes, he tries to tell the other mice what he remembers. Looking at my photos, I thought I might try to follow his example.

Thanks to the Guggenheim Foundation for fellowship support, to Slabmedia and Elina Mer for work on the Frederick Project. And to Fatema Ahmed of Apollo Magazine for sending me to see many paintings.