THE BOSTON GLOBE

Here, There, and Everywhere

July 30, 2019

“See an exhibit by activist photographer Dona Ann McAdams at Vermont’s Brattleboro Museum & Art Center through Sept. 23." “Dona Ann McAdams: Performative Acts” features black-and-white photos drawn from four decades of the artist’s work, including images of avant-garde performers, cloistered nuns, racetrack workers, and pioneers of gay liberation.”

MONOVISIONS: BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOGRAPHY MAGAZINE

Dona Ann McAdams: Performative Acts

July 22, 2019

McAdams works not as a detached journalist but as a fully engaged social activist. She is an empathetic artist whose subjects are not the exotic ‘other’ but rather participants and allies in her portraiture. She invites the viewer into the particularity of place and the innate humanity of the people she photographs.”

BENNINGTON BANNER

Picturing Social Justice, One Exposure at at Time

July 13, 2019

“‘The work is incisive, uncompromising, and forthright, just like the artist herself,’ BMAC Director Danny Lichtenfeld says. ‘Yet it is also meticulously crafted and suffused with empathy, especially for those who inhabit the margins of mainstream society.’”

TIMES-ARGUS

Dona Ann McAdams: Coming into Focus

June 15, 2019

“The artist is best known for her performance images, captured while she was the house photographer for the innovative New York performance space, P.S. 122. She won an Obie Award for this body of work in 1997 for Distinguished Contribution to Off Broadway. Her iconic images of the raw splendor of such provocateurs as Karen Finley and Ron Athey, who became lightning rods for malicious conservative outrage in the Culture Wars of the 1990s, are key images in the exhibition.”

BRATTLEBORO REFORMER

Six New Exhibits Open at Brattleboro Museum & Art Center

June 12, 2019

“‘Dona Ann McAdams: Performative Acts’ spans more than four decades of the social documentary photographer's work. Curated by John Killacky, the exhibit features McAdams' black and white photographs of performance artists, nuns, race track workers, people with schizophrenia, working farm animals, and anti-nuclear, pro-choice, war protest, feminist, queer liberation, and AIDS activism protests.”

Exhibit at Brattleboro Museum & Art Center

Performative Acts

June 22-Sept. 23, 2019

A retrospective of Dona Ann McAdams’ photographs, curated by John Killacky, will be on view at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center in Brattleboro, Vt., from June 22 - September 23, 2019. The exhibit will then tour Vermont through November 2020. The catalog is available here.

The New York Times

When Resistance Became Too Loud to Ignore

May 2019

“Here again photography opens a window on cultural histories that would otherwise be lost to memory. Dona Ann McAdams’ shots of performances at the lesbian-feminist W.O.W. (Women’s One World) Café, and other East Village clubs, are reminders of the radical talents—John Bernd, Karen Finley, Ishmael Houston-Jones, Holly Hughes, Tim Miller—that this brief time and vanished environment nurtured.”

the gay & lesbian review

Angles on the Revolution

April 2019

“Dona Ann McAdams’ photography is featured in both the Art After Stonewall exhibition and the We Are Everywhere book. She too is a child of Stonewall, having chronicled queer aesthetics for over thirty years, adroitly capturing the urgency of early dyke marches, ACT UP actions, and LGBT military members marching in Washington in solidarity against the ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy that went into effect in 1994.

McAdams’ agitprop works are also included in a retrospective exhibition that I am curating for Vermont’s Brattleboro Museum and Art Center titled Dona Ann McAdams: Performative Acts, opening on June 22, 2019. Augmenting her photographs of avant-garde performers and pioneers of LGBT liberation, the exhibition includes resplendent black-and-white photographs of people living with schizophrenia, cloistered nuns, and racetrack workers, along with luminous images of horses, oxen, and goats.”

the atlantic

The Power of Protest Photography

January 2017

“A new exhibition captures the rallies, riots, marches, and demonstrations that erupted in New York City between 1980 and 2000. Entitled “Whose Streets? Our Streets!” the current show at the Bronx Documentary Center explores residents’ reactions to two decades of swift economic and demographic change. The era was consumed by issues of police brutality, gentrification, AIDS, gay and lesbian rights, reproductive rights, U.S. foreign policy and military actions, and education and labor relations.

‘While this cohort of photographers had made very powerful photographs of protests in New York City during these tumultuous decades, because they were working independently and before the advent of the internet and social media, much of their work had never been seen,’ Tamar Carroll, co-curator of the show, said.”

the guardian

A history of protests in New York City–in pictures

January 2017

“A new exhibition at the Bronx Documentary Center features the work of photojournalists who captured conflict on the streets of New York between 1980 and 2000. Whose Streets? Our Streets! covers moments of violent confrontation like the Tompkins Square Riot, the creativity of the AIDS protesters of the 1990s and non-violent civil disobedience triggered by racial tensions.”

photograph magazine

‘Whose Streets? Our Streets!’ New York City 1980-2000 at the Bronx Documentary Center

2017

“A photographer has only a few seconds to take a picture. How she prepares for that moment can run the gambit. Dona Ann McAdams spends years ‘learning the language’ of her subjects before she captures an image she’s satisfied with. ‘When I do anything, I need to immerse myself in it and be responsible, photographically and humanistically,’ she says. ‘I need to understand the language [of what I’m shooting].’

McAdams’ subjects range from performance artists in New York City’s East Village to thoroughbred horses at Saratoga Race Course; immersion has meant understanding, common language and friendship. ‘I don’t want to be dictated to by my lens,” she says. ‘I want that rapport.’ The result is portraits that are disquietingly intimate.”

the eye of photography

‘Whose Streets? Our Streets!’: New York City, 1980-2000

2017

“Featuring work by thirty seven independent photojournalists, this exhibit captures ordinary New Yorkers as they rallied, rioted, marched, and demonstrated. These stunning images document historic moments of violent confrontation such as the Tompkins Square Park and Crown Heights Riots and as well as organized protests involving non-violent civil disobedience and creative street theater. Collectively, these photographs, which have never before been exhibited together, chronicle New York’s history from 1980-2000. ”

the villager

A love letter to Greenwich Village by luminaries who have called it home

April 2014

 “‘Greenwich Village Stories: A Collection of Memories,’ a 102-page book by 67 artists, writers, musicians, photographers, actors and entrepreneurs, had a coming-out party last week.

The April 8 event drew about 100 friends of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation—co-publisher with Universal, a division of Rizzoli International—to Morandi, Keith McNally’s restaurant on Waverly Place.”

the huffington post

Saratoga’s Backstretch Photographers’ Personal POV

July 2011

“‘A View From the Backstretch,’ the National Racing Museum‘s blockbuster photography exhibit, shows the flip side of racing, from the inside of the Sport of Kings looking out. The turnout at the exhibit opening rivaled that of the record setting Seabiscuit exhibit a few years ago.

A group of photographers, who also work behind the scenes at the Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, NY, apprenticed with project director and documentary photographer Dona McAdams for an eight month intensive workshop on recording their stories through the racing season.”

Albany times union

Artful Talents Beyond the Track

July 2011

“Their teacher and photography project coordinator was Dona Ann McAdams, a photographer who lives in Arlington, Vt. She has published two books of photographs and her work has been widely exhibited. She came to the track in 2004, looking to get a few riding lessons, and ended up becoming immersed in the la familia essence of the backstretch community—a rustic ground of well-worn cottages redolent of straw and manure that puddles up badly when it rains, its muddy paths traversed by sinewy mutts workers keep as pets.

‘This place bit me hard and I just fell in love with it," McAdams said. "The backstretch workers often have no voice. I wanted to give them cameras and a chance to tell their own stories.’”

the daily gazette

Backstretch beauty: Track life minus glitz, glamour

July 2011

“As a backstretch worker—one of the people who walks, rides, bathes and grooms thoroughbred race horses—[Wallace] is an expert on sights few people see…Fifteen of these experts have taken photographs of the early-morning and late-afternoon routines. Their candid camera work is on display in ‘A View from the Backstretch,’ a new exhibition at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs…The project began when Dona Ann McAdams, a longtime photographer who lives in Arlington, Vt., teamed up with Karen Wheaton, the education curator at the museum.”

C-Monster.net

The C-Mon Q&A: Photographer and activist Dona Ann McAdams

December 2009

“Last year when we spent the year slacking around Rome, we were fortunate to spend many of those hours wandering the streets with photographer and activist Dona Ann McAdams—the artist best known for Caught in the Act, a book of photographs chronicling the work of performance artists such as Karen Finley, Eric Bogosian, Blue Man Group, Meredith Monk, Ethyl Eichelberger, Ann Magnuson, Bill T. Jones, and Allen Ginsburg, among others. McAdams, a street photographer in the tradition of Henri Cartier Bresson, was a pretty funny companion, riffing on everything she saw. But what we didn’t always notice is that even while she gabbed, she was skillfully zeroing in on her surroundings without breaking pace or even stopping the conversation, snapping away with a three-decade old Leica.”

albany times union

See 'Some Women' with photographer Dona Ann McAdams

November 2009

“Opalka Gallery at Sage College of Albany is showing an important exhibit by celebrated photographer Dona Ann McAdams. Titled ‘Some Women,’ the exhibit consists of silver gelatin prints from various series shot throughout McAdams' career and functions as a retrospective (she calls it a ‘sampler’).

McAdams categorizes her work as social documentary and says it usually involves spending years on one subject. ‘I end up immersing myself into a community and become part of it,’ she says. ‘Basically I fall in love with a project. I don't go searching for subjects.’”

get visual

Dona Ann McAdams at Opalka Gallery

December 2009

“McAdams is a fun study, because her work crosses so many boundaries and mixes freely from contrasting sources. First, there is the nostalgia of her traditional, rigorous 35mm black-and-white technique, right down to the 12" x18" darkroom-made prints—in this digital world, we don't see much of that anymore, and it is still refreshingly direct and visually rich.”

artnet magazine

Street Shots

2009

“When Dona Ann returned to her hometown of New York at the end of the ‘70s and into the ‘80s, she shot the mean streets of Loisaida’s Alphabet City, patients in a mental ward, the Hasidim in Williamsburg, Barcelona before the Olympics and more. But especially she more or less became the top photographer of downtown performance art.

Now when anyone needs pictures of the outrageous talents moshing the club scene and PS 122 in the East Village, Eric Bogosian, Holly Hughes, Ann Magnuson, Meredith Monk, Ethyl Eichelberger, David Wojnarowicz, etc., McAdams is the one they go to. That work became Caught in the Act, published by Aperture in 1996.”

metroland

To Know Someone

2007

“A photographer has only a few seconds to take a picture. How she prepares for that moment can run the gambit. Dona Ann McAdams spends years ‘learning the language’ of her subjects before she captures an image she’s satisfied with. ‘When I do anything, I need to immerse myself in it and be responsible, photographically and humanistically,’ she says. ‘I need to understand the language [of what I’m shooting].’

McAdams’ subjects range from performance artists in New York City’s East Village to thoroughbred horses at Saratoga Race Course; immersion has meant understanding, common language and friendship. ‘I don’t want to be dictated to by my lens,” she says. ‘I want that rapport.’ The result is portraits that are disquietingly intimate.”