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    Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition

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    Walter Czekaj

    Posted on December 8, 2009

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    A photo of a magnoliaDigital images by Robert Creamer on display beginning Dec. 18 at California University

    CALIFORNIA, PA (Dec. 4, 2009) — Digital technology reveals the beauty of nature in Transitions: Photographs by Robert Creamer, an exhibition created by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service in collaboration the National Museum of Natural History. 

    Transitions will open Dec. 18 in Manderino Gallery, on the third floor of Manderino Library at California University. The images will remain on view through April 27. 

    In creating the works for this stunning exhibition, Creamer traded his usual camera for a flatbed scanner. His compositions use flora and fauna that are placed directly on the scanner in aesthetic arrangements or suspended over it. The resulting detail is eerily lifelike and yet incredibly expressive.
    “I’m challenging the traditional notion of beauty as something perfect and flawless,” said Creamer. 

    Many of his photographs show flowers in various stages of decay. Creamer’s subjects were drawn from the research collections at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Florida, and the Echo Hill Outdoor School in Maryland.  

    Transitions features 39 of Robert Creamer’s high-resolution images created exclusively for the exhibition.  Many are paired to show a subject in transition. This exhibition also features a video by videographer Jeannie Yoon about Creamer’s scanning and printing. s

    “I enjoy exploring the transitory nature of beauty and am constantly enthused by the serendipitous understandings and new relationships that this technique reveals to me,” Creamer said. 

    SITES has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D.C., for more than 50 years. SITES connects Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science and history, which are shown wherever people live, work and play.

    All SITES exhibitions at Cal U are open to the public. Gallery hours and other information is available online at To discuss group tours or field trips, call exhibitions coordinator Walter Czekaj at 724-938-5244 or e-mail