Mianus River Gorge: Photographs by Willam Abranowicz at Bruce Museum

The natural grandeur of the Mianus River Gorge will be on view at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich from March 12 through June 5. Three years ago, to commemorate the 60th anniversary of its founding, Mianus River Gorge, Inc. gave renowned photographer and longtime Bedford, NY, resident William Abranowicz unrestricted access to the Gorge preserve for a year. While the Gorge is open only seasonally to most visitors, Abranowicz was able to photograph in the preserve through all four seasons and create a record of nature’s annual cycle in this timeless forest.

Fiddleheads, May 8 @ William Abranowicz.

Fiddleheads, May 8 @ William Abranowicz.

In his photographs, Abranowicz captures the profound beauty and myriad faces of this primeval forest in our midst. Selected photographs from Abranowicz’s experience are on view for the first time in the exhibition Mianus River Gorge: Photographs by William Abranowicz at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich. The show is generously supported by the Bank of America. The photographs are also featured in a book of the same name, published to mark the Mianus River Gorge organization’s anniversary.

Mr. Abranowicz’s photographs enable viewers who are already familiar with the Gorge a chance to see the landscape year-round, including when it is closed to the public for the winter season — when the frozen trails crunch underfoot and the ice-covered river meanders through the deep hemlock valley. The photographs also give viewers who have never visited the Gorge a real sense of what it is like to walk in this protected place, a place of rushing water, abundant wildlife and ancient trees.

Only forty miles from New York City, the Mianus River Gorge is a 1000-acre island of forest and fields in suburban Westchester and Fairfield Counties, a rare, surviving remnant of the original, primeval forest found by colonial explorers. Glacial movement dating to the Pleistocene era shaped the landscape and watershed ecosystem that now support the drinking water for more than 130,000 people in parts of Westchester County, New York, and Greenwich and Stamford, Connecticut. Steeped in history, the Mianus River Gorge is the first land project of The Nature Conservancy. It is also the nation’s first registered Natural Landmark, as designated by the Federal Government in 1964.

Founded in 1953, Mianus River Gorge, Inc. is an independent, not-for-profit organization, whose mission is to preserve, protect and promote appreciation of the natural heritage of the Mianus River watershed through land acquisition and conservation, scientific research and public education throughout the region. The early founders protected the land as a living laboratory to develop sound land and watershed management strategies.

About William Abranowicz

William Abranowicz has been a photographer for nearly 40 years. His work is included in public, corporate and private collections throughout the world including The National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Museum, The National Portrait Gallery in London, The Getty Museum, The Menil Collection Library, Bibliothèque Nationale, the International Center of Photography, The Museum of Art at RISD, The Newark Museum, and The Thessaloniki Museum of Photography and the Goulandris Museum in Greece.

He was a contributing photographer for Conde Nast Traveler for 25 years and his work has appeared in nearly every major publication in the United States, Europe and Asia including The New York Times Magazine, WSJ Magazine, Vanity Fair, Elle Décor, Architectural Digest, Vogue, Town and Country, Bon Apetit, and Travel and Leisure. He has created successful campaigns for Ralph Lauren, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Rolex, Eddie Bauer, Orvis, Estée Lauder, IBM, Giorgio Armani, Merrill Lynch and Target.

Abranowicz is the author of THE GREEK FILE Images of a Mythic Land (Rizzoli), HELLAS Photographs of Modern Greece (Hudson Hills), THE MIANUS RIVER GORGE (Mianus), and has photographed books with Ellen DeGeneres, Jeffrey Bilhuber, Alice Hoffman Martha Stewart, and Alan Wanzenberg. He is currently at work on a book of his travel and design photographs and a monograph of his family images.

A graduate of The School of Visual Arts in New York, early in his career he assisted photographers Horst P. Horst, Robert Mapplethorpe, and George Tice. As a photographic printer he printed the work of Edward Steichen, Horst, George Hoyningen-Huene and Michael Disfarmer. Abranowicz taught photography at Parsons School of Design and The New School and was an artist in resident at Peters Valley in Layton, New Jersey.

Along with his son and daughter, Abranowicz is a licensed falconer and avid environmentalist with involvement in local, regional and national water, land and climate issues. Abranowicz lives in Bedford, New York with his family.

Lectures and Events

Complementing the exhibition will be a series of public events held at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT; the museum’s Seaside Center in Old Greenwich, CT; and the Mianus River Gorge preserve in Bedford, NY.

Sunday, March 13, 2:00 – 3:15 pm

Mianus River Gorge Lecture and Book Signing

William Abranowicz, photographer. Free. RSVP [email protected]

Location: Bruce Museum

Sunday, April 3, 1:30 – 4:00 pm

Fred Elser First Sunday Science at the Seaside Center: Earth Day Month Celebration

Citizen Science, Secrets of the Soil, Find Your Watershed and more. Free, drop-in.
Location: Bruce Museum Seaside Center at Greenwich Point Park

Tuesday, April 5, 6:30 – 8:00 pm
Gotham Coyote Project

Chris Nagy, Director of Research and Land Management at Mianus River Gorge
Reception with light refreshments precede lecture at 7:00 pm. RSVP [email protected]
Location: Bruce Museum

Sunday, April 24, 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Earth Day Family Day

Fun, family activities for all ages and at 2:00 pm a performance by Bash the Trash, an energetic musical group that builds, performs and educates with musical instruments made from recycled and reused materials. Free with Museum admission. Supported by GIVE: Steve & Alexandra Cohen Foundation.

Location: Bruce Museum

Saturday, May 7, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Mianus River Gorge Field Trip: Exploring Spring Wildflowers

Rod Christie, Mianus River Gorge Executive Director.
RSVP 203-413-6756 or [email protected]
Location: Mianus River Gorge, 167 Mianus River Rd., Bedford, NY (Meet at the Gorge or call 203-413-6756 to carpool at 9:20 am from Bruce Museum parking lot.)

Havemeyer Falls Stream, Mianus River Gorge, June 23 @ William Abranowicz.

Havemeyer Falls Stream, Mianus River Gorge, June 23, @ William Abranowicz.

Annes Meadow, Aug. 7, @ William Abranowicz.

Annes Meadow, Aug. 7, @ William Abranowicz.

American Beech (Fagus Grandiflora), January 10 @ William Abranowicz

American Beech (Fagus Grandiflora), January 10
@ William Abranowicz

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