"Refocusing the Lens: Pranlal K. Patel’s Photographs of Women at Work in Ahmedabad" hasn’t yet opened at the Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art. But that hasn’t kept ARTnews from noticing and celebrating the upcoming exhibition on its website and in print. The publication’s Jan. 23 article, “10 Must-See Museum Photo Shows of Spring 2014,” includes the Wellin exhibition along with shows at the Morgan Library & Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, Yale University Art Gallery, the High Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Nelson–Atkins Museum in Kansas City, Missouri.
Indian photographer Pranlal K. Patel (b. 1910-2014), an active photographer for 70 years, was approached in 1937 by a women’s social reform organization in India to photograph women engaged in a variety of economic activities that supported the growing city’s life. "Refocusing the Lens" provides unprecedented insight, via the images he captured, into the lives of working-class women as they performed a range of labor activities inside their homes as well as within the city’s neighborhoods and its major markets.
The ARTnews article describes the exhibition as providing “an intimate and respectful look at a complex and usually hidden economic and social world.” According to the publication’s website, ARTnews is “the oldest and most widely circulated art magazine in the world with a readership of 180,000 collectors, dealers, historians, artists, museum directors, curators, connoisseurs, and enthusiasts.”