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'Fauxtography' exhibit to open in Foster Gallery

"Fauxtography: Real Photos, Fake Stories, and the Intersection of Fact and Fiction," a new exhibition of 19th and early 20th century photography, will be displayed Nov. 4-23 in the Haas Fine Arts Center's Foster Gallery at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

B.J. Hollars, Jyl Kelley and Greg Kocken have teamed up from UW-Eau Claire's departments of English, Art & Design, and Special Collections and Archives in McIntyre Library to co-curate the exhibition. The gallery will display 24 photographs and glass plate negatives by 19th century Wisconsin photographers Charles Van Schaick and Daniel Nelson, along with contemporary text vignettes by Hollars. Van Schaick, a professional photographer, captured the lives of people in the Black River Falls area with vivid, uncompromising detail. Nelson, an amateur photographer from Eau Claire, provides an intimate portrait of family life. Many of the 24 featured photographs will be displayed publicly for the first time.

The opening reception for "Fauxtography" will take place from 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3. A gallery talk featuring Hollars and Kocken will take place at 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 11.

Photographs and audio of the vignettes featured in "Fauxtography" can be accessed online this November. Those viewing the exhibition are invited to use their smartphones with earplugs to listen to an extra audio component in the gallery.

Photographs were provided courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical Society and UW-Eau Claire McIntyre Library’s Special Collections and Archives department. The installation of "Fauxtography" was funded in part by UW-Eau Claire Foundation support for McIntyre Library’s special collections.

The Foster Gallery is open 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 1-4:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, and 6-8:30 p.m. Thursdays.

Related event: "Fauxtography" will be displayed at the Foster Gallery simultaneously with "The Archive as a River: Paul Vanderbilt and Photography," an exhibition examining how archivist and photographer Paul Vanderbilt (1905-1992) developed new ways of understanding the world through visual images.

For more information, contact Jill Olm at or Jyl Kelley at