Shuttered: Camera Obscura to close later this spring

Hal Gould started curating photo shows back in 1963 when he was the director of exhibitions for the Colorado Photographic Arts Center. Then, in 1979, he opened Camera Obscura Gallery near the corner of Bannock Street and 13th Avenue, which became the first and one of the only photo-specialists ever in Colorado. Thirty years later, Loretta Young-Gautier came on as a partner in the business.

Now the decision has been made -- though the official announcement has not been sent out -- that the gallery will be closing its doors for good. "We're shooting for May 1," says Young-Gautier, revealing that the building's lease is up at that time.

Anyone who has ever been in the gallery will realize that shutting down will be quite an undertaking, because the place is the photographic and bibliographic version of an episode of Hoarding: Buried Alive. Expect a series of book and photo sales, as well as silent auctions, both at the gallery and online, as Gould and Young-Gautier attempt the Herculean task of emptying out the filled-to-the-rafters place.

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Michael Paglia is an art historian and writer whose columns have appeared in Westword since 1995; his essays on the visual arts have also been published in national periodicals including Art News, Architecture, Art Ltd., Modernism, Art & Auction and Sculpture Magazine. He taught art history at the University of Colorado Denver.
Contact: Michael Paglia