Taking Aim

In a show curated by musician Graham Nash, it’s no surprise that the rock ‘n’ roll photos in “Taking Aim” should celebrate his Laurel Canyon heyday. Most are black-and-white, dating from the golden age of album rock. All of which ended with digital cameras and MP3 players. The survey actually extends from Elvis in the ’50s through grunge and millennial hip-hop, and it reads like the birth and death of rock photography: We see the form develop, flourish, then repeat itself with Rolling Stone familiarity. The art became codified quickly: stage performances, portraits (several ending up as magazine and album covers), and “candids” designed to maintain the rock star’s image in an implicit bargain with the shooter. Locals Alice Wheeler, Jini Dellaccio, and Charles Peterson are among the big-name photographers represented; and you’ll also see Mudhoney, Nirvana, and Neko Case among their subjects. And there are a few surprises. Dennis Wilson, captured Lebowski-style in his bathrobe, proves that Annie Leibovitz once took interesting pictures (this back in 1970). And Lynn Goldsmith’s shot of the Beatles’ pointy-toed boots—from 1964, at The Ed Sullivan Show—is a reminder that rock itself was once new and strange, unfit for the walls of a museum. BRIAN MILLER

Feb. 6-May 23, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., 2010

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