NEW YORK — If photography is to retain the high cultural standing it won for itself in the 20th century, we probably want less of it, not more.

There’s no chance of that happening, of course. But the problem facing the medium today is undoubtedly acute. Diminished in the digital age by its staggering ubiquity, photography also has been rendered untrustworthy, its once precious relationship to reality sabotaged by the limitless possibilities of digital manipulation.

To counter the medium’s rolling collapse into banality, gallery presentations of photographs have lately tended toward smaller, more discriminating selections (solo shows rather than big group surveys), magnified prints (size signals prestige) and a renewed fascination with the medium’s 19th-century beginnings.

“The New Woman Behind the Camera” bucks all of these trends — which may help explain why everyone is talking about it. It’s a big, baggy show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in

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Corrie Zacharias, “A Mighty Fortress,” infrared photograph, 16×20 2018 Submitted photo

“The Permanent Photography Collection: Recent Acquisitions in the Stephen K. Halpert Photography Collection at UNE” exhibit opening will be held from 5-7 p.m. on Friday, July 23, at the UNE Art Gallery on the Portland Campus. This omnibus exhibit will feature approximately 70 recently collected photographic works selected by Stephen Halpert, Curator of Photography, and steward of the Stephen K. Halpert Photography Collection at the college.

Visitors are welcome. Please mask if unvaccinated (or cautious) and social distancing is required for all.

The UNE Art Gallery on the Portland Campus will subsequently be open to all on Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., with expanded hours to be announced. The gallery is located toward the back of the UNE campus at 716 Stevens Ave., Portland. For more information, contact Hilary at [email protected] or go online to library.une.edu/art-galleries.

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