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If Memory Serves: Photography, Recollections and Vision

On View: December 16, 2023 - February 24, 2024

Opening Reception: Saturday, December 16 | 6-9pm

It's About Time postcard

Image: Aline Smithson, "Melanesia, from Fugue State." 30 x 30 inches, 2017

Brand Library & Art Center, Glendale Library, Arts & Culture, and the Los Angeles Center of Photography (LACP) presented “If Memory Serves: Photography, Recollections and Vision." Curated by LACP Executive Director Rotem Rozental, Ph.D., “If Memory Serves” featured artworks by Aurora Wilder Collective (Jennifer Pritchard in collaboration with Patrick Corrigan and DALL-E), Elizabeth Bailey, Annette LeMay Burke, Dena Elisabeth Eber, Sarah Hadley, Diane Hemingway, Rohina Hoffman, Susan Lapides, Annie Omens, Lori Ordover, Rosalie Rosenthal, Safi Alia Shabaik, and Aline Smithson.

Our hard drives may fail. Our phones might break. We may forget an image that was once cemented in our minds. Our relationships with the images and devices that hold our memories define how we understand our position in the world. “If Memory Serves” emerged from the moments those devices fail us, our recollections betray us, and our pictures refuse to bring back the people they once captured. This exhibition emerged from the intersection of our haunting pasts, possible futures, and our connections to photographic images, technologies and the systems that ask to speak for our photographs.

These projects are defined by the viewpoint and lived experiences of their creators: female-identified, immigrants, descendants of inherited traumas, caregivers, providers. Photography is key to efforts to claim visibility, capture narratives and elicit conversations about the lives of vulnerable bodies and communities. The exhibition began with and honored Aline Smithson, a mentor, photographer and educator, whose work with artists is redefining photographic practice. This exhibition celebrated her immense contribution to photography and further comments upon the reach of her stewardship and pedagogy. The participating artists have all been studying with and from her. Seen together, their works offered profound insight into our co-existence with photography, suggesting meeting points between personal experiences and broader societal issues and conflicts – from privacy to grief, from representation to immigration.

Rotem Rozental, Ph.D., is the Executive Director of the Los Angeles Center of Photography. Between 2016-2022, she served as Chief Curator at American Jewish University, where she was also Assistant Dean of the Whizin Center for Continuing Education and Senior Director of Arts and Creative Programming. Her recent book, Pre-State Photographic Archives and the Zionist Movement (Routledge Publishers, 2023) was named recipient of the Jordan Schnitzer First Book Award by the Association for Jewish Studies.

Los Angeles Center of Photography (LACP) is a crucible that forges creative vision, insight, and experimentation into a vibrant photographic community that expresses the cultural and artistic crosscurrents that are the essence of Los Angeles. For over two decades, LACP, a 501(c)3 non-profit charitable organization, has been supporting, mentoring and promoting visual storytellers on their creative journeys, at all stages of life and career. Each year, LACP programs, organizes and offers the wider public over 150 exhibitions, classes, workshops, public programs, reviews and events each year, both online and in-person.

"If Memory Serves" was on view December 16, 2023 – February 24, 2024, at Brand Library & Art Center located at 1601 West Mountain Street Glendale, CA 91201.

Exhibit-Related Programming

January 25: Artful Conversations, hosted by the Brand Associates - Join us for a collaborative art history and poetry workshop in the gallery.

February 3: What Happened to the Family Photo Album? - Join us for a kid-friendly arts & craft family workshop with Ford Lowcock on one possible way to start bringing back the long missed and forgotten family album. Use the materials supplied and/or bring your own photos. Make it a day with the family at Brand! Come early for Music Animated with Sara at 10:30am.

February 10: If Memory Serves - Panel Discussion - Join us for a panel discussion featuring the curator of "If Memory Serves" and four exhibition artists. Learn more about the themes of "If Memory Serves" and the art practices of the artists.

For purchase inquiries, email

Exhibit-Related Articles:

If Memory Serves’: LA Center of Photography show honoring Aline Smithson by Leah Schwartz (LA Downtown News, December 11, 2023)

If Memory Serves: Photography, Recollections and Vision by Aline Smithson (Lenscratch, December 16, 2023)

If Memory Serves: Photography, Recollections and Vision by Jania Marissa (Musée, December 26, 2023)

If Memory Serves: Photography, Recollections and Vision at Brand Library and Art Center Q&A with Aline Smithson by Rotem Rozental (Artillery Magazine, January 29, 2024)

Brand Library & Art Center

1601 West Mountain Street

Glendale, CA 91201


Tuesday-Thursdays, 11am - 8pm

Fridays & Saturdays, 10am - 5pm

Sunday & Monday, CLOSED


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