"Iconic: Perspectives on a Man-made World" - book launch at Portland Museum of Art | Arts & Culture

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"Iconic: Perspectives on a Man-made World" - book launch at Portland Museum of Art
"Iconic: Perspectives on a Man-made World" - book launch at Portland Museum of Art

The Portland Museum of Art will host award-winning Maine photographer Brian Vanden Brink on Thursday, December 13, 2012, to celebrate the launch of his new book Iconic: Perspectives on a Man-Made World, published by Down East Books. The event will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and is free to the public. There will be a brief presentation in the PMA’s Bernard Osher Foundation Auditorium with a reception to follow. This 176-page book is available for purchase in the PMA Store.

A striking follow-up to Vanden Brink’s acclaimed book Ruin, Iconic: Perspectives on the Man-Made World represents more than 30 years of work. Vanden Brink offers a stunning perspective on the built landscape and is keenly aware of how cultural changes bear out in the structures that we build. The theme of iconography runs throughout the book, as each structure presented is iconic either for its unique contribution to the field of architecture or for its cultural significance.

Vanden Brink has traveled the country widely, and he has photographed in places from Coney Island to Cairo, Illinois, and Las Vegas to Limestone, Maine. His subjects range from prison cells and churches to hot-dog shacks and the ubiquitous empty stretch of road vanishing over the horizon. His photographs are paired with short captions explaining both the architectural importance and the personal meaning to Vanden Brink. He is passionately interested in American history and Americana and, while several photographs were taken in other countries, the main thrust of the book is America.

Brian Vanden Brink is one of the most sought after architectural photographers in the country. His work has been widely featured in such publications as Architectural Digest, Architectural Record, Metropolitan Home, Coastal Living, Cottage Living, The New York Times Magazine, Old House Journal, Custom Home, Yankee, and Down East. His photographs have also been the subjects of four books, At Home in Maine, At Home by the Sea, Porch, and the monograph Ruin. Iconic represents the very best of his work in stunning color and black-and-white images.

Brian Vanden Brink lives in Camden, Maine, with his wife, Kathleen.


The Portland Museum of Art, Maine’s largest art museum, showcases fine and decorative arts from the 18th century to the present. From Winslow Homer and Andrew Wyeth to Pablo Picasso and Claude Monet, the Museum features three centuries of art and architecture. The Museum is located at Seven Congress Square in downtown Portland. Hours are: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday. Memorial Day through Columbus Day, the Museum is open on Mondays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Museum admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and students with I.D., $6 for youth ages 13 to 17, and children 12 and under are free. The Museum is free on Friday evenings from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. No admission is required to visit the PMA Café and Store. For more information, call (207) 775-6148 or visit portlandmuseum.org.

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