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Florida International University Press Release
Media Contact:
Erica Corsano
Peggy Levison Nolan "Untitled (Bowl Cut)" Gelatin silver print, c. 1986 Courtesy of the Artist and Dina Mitrani Gallery 
Frost Art Museum FIU presents 
"Peggy Levison Nolan: Blueprint for a Good Life"
 The first solo museum exhibition for renowned and beloved Miami photographer is set to open at FIU
MIAMI (June 3, 2021) - On June 5, 2021, the
Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum FIU will present “Peggy Levison Nolan: Blueprint for a Good Life,” the first solo museum show of Miami photography legend Peggy Levison Nolan.
Nolan raised her seven children as a single mother in a working-class Miami-area neighborhood alongside other families who became a source of support and occasionally served as her muses. Her work embodies intimacy and the photography in “Blueprint for a Good Life” depicts fleeting moments in time. Nolan’s photographs are personal and tap into a collective nostalgia of family and the joy of recording a family’s resiliency amidst economic and social challenges. Nolan cites three artists as the strongest influences on her work: Diane Arbus, Priscilla Forthman, and her son Abner Edward Nolan.
Nolan attended Syracuse University during the 1960s and completed her BFA at Florida International University in 1990 and her MFA in 2001. She has worked at FIU for over 23 years as an audio-visual specialist and instructor and received the FIU adjunct faculty award of the year in 2019.
“The Frost Art Museum is the right venue to present Peggy Levison Nolan’s first solo museum exhibition. The exhibition, comprised of an impressive body of photographic work from an esteemed FIU instructor, captures the complicated and inspiring dynamic of her family life over the span of two decades and celebrates the intimacy, challenges, and joy of raising a large family in South Florida during the 1980s and 1990s,” said Frost Art Museum Director Jordana Pomeroy.
“When my youngest was about three, my dad gave me an old Nikon [camera] and said, ‘make pictures of the grandchildren.’ And I got hooked. I got so hooked I can’t even describe it to you. One roll of film got me,” explains Nolan.
While Nolan’s more recent work encompasses color photography, for this earlier body of work from the 1980s and 1990s, she worked exclusively with black and white film.
Inspired by the domestic space, Nolan photographed her seven children and aspects of their life as a large, boisterous family. Nolan recounts that over time, her children eventually forgot she was documenting their every move, nap, and relationship. Nolan, steeped in the history of photography, draws on street photography with her candid and organic approach.
This exhibition marks the artist’s first solo exhibition at a museum. 
“Peggy Levison Nolan’s visceral photographs invite us to participate in her family’s lived experiences. From joyous neighborhood friendship to blossoming young love, Nolan invites us on an energetic and deeply personal ride,” said Chief Curator Amy Galpin.
This exhibition is sponsored by Francie Bishop Good and David Horvitz and will be on display from June 5, 2021 — August 27, 2021, for more information, please visit

About the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum FIU:
One of the largest art museums in Florida, the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University was founded in 1977 and is the Smithsonian Affiliate in Miami. The museum’s mission is three-fold: to be a campus resource for the entire FIU community; to offer interdisciplinary training in the arts for the next generation of artists and art historians; and to serve as a premier cultural destination for the residents of Miami, and visitors. The Frost is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and is located on the FIU MMC Campus at 10975 SW 17 Street. Open Tuesday-Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 4:45 p.m., and Sunday noon - 4:45 p.m. Closed on Mondays and most legal holidays. The Sculpture Park is open every day. Admission to the museum is always free. For more information, visit

About FIU:
Florida International University is a Top 50 public university that drives real talent and innovation in Miami and globally. High research (R1) activity and high social mobility come together at FIU to uplift and accelerate learner success in a global city by focusing in the areas of environment, health, innovation, and justice. Today, FIU has two campuses and multiple centers. FIU serves a diverse student body of more than 58,000 and 260,000 Panther alumni. U.S. News and World Report places dozens of FIU programs among the best in the nation, including international business at No. 2. Washington Monthly Magazine ranks FIU among the top 20 public universities contributing to the public good.

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