Today the Dickinson public is welcome to explore the creative life of Elmer Thompson and see through his camera’s pathfinder with the still imagery that he, so long ago, has left behind as contribution to the art community.
“It's a step back in time, to kind of see what the rural life was in North Dakota from the perspective of a North Dakotan." Payton Cole, with the North Dakota Museum of Art, said. “It's nice to be able to then travel with that.”
There will be a public reception to present the opening of the “Elmer Thompson: The Inventor” art exhibit this evening from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
The North Dakota Museum of Art has partnered with Dickinson Museum Center to bring this traveling exhibit to Dickinson. NDMA currently have nearly 25 traveling shows a year and were happy to have Dickinson as one of its stops.
“I run the rural arts program out of North Dakota Museum of Art And essentially I book out traveling shows to go to rural communities that may not have an art museum or maybe a gallery...” Cole said “That allows art to get out into the community instead of people having to go out and find it.”
The museum and NDMA are pleased to present this great opportunity for the public to see some photography and art that is native to North Dakota.
It is a great opportunity for the public to see some photography and art that is a native to North Dakota.
Thompson lived from 1891-1984, was born on a farm in rural North Dakota, and once made a banjo out of an old artillery shell. He later became an inventor, earning 30 patents at the AT&T Headquarters.
Growing up he had a fascination with photography, he educated himself with lighting styles and processing of film. He became an expert with his 5x7 camera. He also had brought a comedic style to still photography.
This exhibit illustrates the marriage of artistic element with technological innovation. Many photographs displayed were taken in and around Ellendale and near his home in Cavalier County. Including landscapes, individual portraits, buildings and staged trick photography.
This exhibit will be on display until Oct. 4. Allowing the community to experience a distant memory with a familiarity of rural North Dakota.
“You get an art background with historical context to it,” said Cole.