Leonard Nimoy Photography Show Opens at MASS MoCA on August 1

Leonard Nimoy's photography exhibit, Secret Selves, opens August 1 at MASS MoCA.

The average fan knows Leonard Nimoy primarily as Star Trek’s Spock, but the fact is Nimoy has always been more than that single character. That will never be more clear this week when Nimoy’s growing stature as a major contemporary photographer will be on display with the opening of “Secret Selves,” an exhibition of 26 color photographs, 11 of them life size, at Mass MoCA in North Adams, MA.

This is Nimoy’s first solo show at a major museum, although his photography is included in many museum collections, including The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Judah L. Magnes Museum, The LA County Museum of Art, the Jewish Museum of NY, The New Orleans Museum of Fine Art and The Hammer Museum.

According to a summary of the project on the site of Nimoy’s primary dealer, R. Michelson Galleries:

In November 2008, Leonard Nimoy was at R. Michelson Galleries in Northampton, Massachusetts, to begin his latest photographic journey: Secret Selves. We gathered 100 subjects from all walks of life: artists, clergy, politicians, business owners, and asked them the question, Who do you think you are? Each subject was recorded as Mr. Nimoy interviewed them and created a portrait of their “alternate identity.”

An 80-page catalog has been published in conjunction with the exhibition and includes a foreword by Joseph Thompson, Director of MASS MoCA; an introduction by Leonard Nimoy; a behind-the-scenes description of the project by Richard Michelson, and an essay by John Stomberg, Chief Curator of the Williams College Museum of Art. The publication features full-page plates of the 25 photographs included in the exhibition, as well as over 80 additional images from the series.

A Clip from the DVD included with Leonard Nimoy’s Secret Selves book

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfvWo31n09Q

More info about the exhibit here.

Don’t miss Charles McGrath’s insightful interview with Nimoy in the New York Times.

Also see Leonard Pierce’s great interview with Nimoy on A.V. Club.