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Now re-emerging as a cult figure, Marie Cosindas gained recognition during the 1960s. The artist proved to be instrumental in the recognition of color photography as an acceptable artistic medium in an era where color was relegated to commercial and amateur ventures. Both an historical exception and a product of her times, Cosindas’ warm, intimate portraits as well as her reminiscent arrangements separated her from the prevailing trends of Pop Art’s irony and Minimalism’ rigor that pervaded in the art world. The artist fills her tiny polaroid compositions with found or borrowed objects -- flowers, figurines, perfume bottles -- that came to define her signature style of excess delightfully bordering on kitsch.

Cosindas was born in Boston in 1925. She studied at the Modern School of Fashion Design and attended evening drawing and painting classes at the Boston Museum School. On a trip to Greece in 1959 Cosindas realized the photographs she was using as models for her paintings could stand on their own as finished products. Shortly after, Ansel Adams recommended her to the Polaroid Corporation, which sought to test a new instant-developing color film. Her photographs were a success, and by the end of the 1960s she had received a Guggenheim grant to continue her work in color, a Rockefeller grant, and honorary degrees form Philadelphia Moore College of Art and the Art Institute of Boston.

In 2013 Cosindas was the subject of a retrospective at the Amon Carter Museum, Forth Worth. In addition to her first two solo shows at MoMA and the MFA Boston in 1966, and her inclusion in John Szarkowski’s 1978 landmark exhibition Mirrors and Windows at MoMA, other major exhibitions of her work have been held at The Art Institute of Chicago; the International Center of Photography, New York; and the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco.

Her work is represented in prominent collections including George Eastman House, Rochester, NY; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; and The Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. Cosindas passed away in 2017.


2016 The Polaroid Project: At the Intersection of Art and Technology - Amon Carter Museum of Art, Austin, TX

2015 Marie Cosindas: Portraits - Bruce Silverstein Gallery, NY

2014 Arrangements by Marie Cosindas - Bruce Silverstein Gallery, NY

2013 Marie Cosindas: A Life of Color - PRC Gallery, Boston, MA Marie Cosindas: Instant Color - Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Forth Worth, TX The Polaroid Years: Instant Photography and Experimentation - Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center Light My Fire: Some Propositions about Portraits and Photography - Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada

2012 Portraits of Renown: Photography and the Cult of Celebrity - The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA

2011 The Expressive Voice: Selections from the Permanent Collection - Danforth Art Museum and School, Boston, MA

2010 Beyond Color – Bruce Silverstein Gallery, New York, NY The Art of the Polaroid – Gallery 4, Tiverton, RI

2009 Still Seen – Robert Klein Gallery, Boston, MA

2004 Marie Cosindas – Robert Klein Gallery, Boston, MA

2000 Photography in Boston – 1955-1985 – DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, MA

1999 Marie Cosindas Photographs – St. Botolph Club, Boston, MA

1997 Real Life/Still Life Marie Cosindas – Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA Marie Cosindas Photographs Then and Now – Fitchburg Art Museum, Fitchburg, MA

1995 Marie Cosindas “Paradise in Color” Key West Photographs from the 1960’s – East Martello Museum Art Gallery, Key West, FL

1986 Photographic Portraits – Palm Springs Desert Museum, Palm Springs, CA Marie Cosindas – Retrospective – The Santa Barbara Museum of Art

1985 An Exhibition of Color Photographs by Marie Cosindas – Dallas Public Library, Dallas, TX Boston Now – Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA Style – Vision Gallery, Boston, MA

1984 Marie Cosindas Color Photographs – Plains Art Museum, Fargo, ND

1982 Marie Cosindas Portfolios – Boston Athenaeum Gallery, Boston, MA

1981 Color Photographs by Marie Cosindas – Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, OH

1980 Official Photographs of the Carter Administration – National Portrait Gallery Color Photographs by Marie Cosindas and Eliot Porter – The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL Marie Cosindas Color Polaroid Photography – The Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco and the Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, CA

1979 Discovering America, 1959-1970 – The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL American Photography in the ‘70’s – The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL Exploration of a Medium: The Polaroid Collection – Venezia 79 American Photography’s Curator’s Choice – Venezia 79

1978 Mirrors and Windows – Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY Marie Cosindas: Moments of Affection – International Center of Photography, New York, NY Marie Cosindas Color Photographs – Boston Athenaeum Gallery, Boston, MA

1977 Marie Cosindas and Emmett Williams – Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Cambridge, MA

1976 Marie Cosindas Polaroid Photographs – Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA

1970 Brockton Art Center, Brockton, MA

1967 The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL Photography in the Fine Arts Exhibition V – Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY

1966 Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

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