Unscripted Moments The Life and Photography of Joseph Kohl

Unscripted Moments: The Life and Photography of Joseph Kohl examined Baltimore in the 1980s and '90s through the extraordinary eye of local photographer Joseph Kohl (1957-2002), one of Baltimore’s most distinctive and forward-looking photographers.

Saved from the landfill and sent to MdHS by Kohl’s friends and family, the photos in Unscripted Moments (culled from PP284 Joseph Kohl Photograph Collection) provide an invaluable and evocative record of the city drawn from Kohl’s professional work and personal snapshots, including many images never before published or exhibited.

Subjects range from political protests, sidewalk scenes and animal curiosities, to the nighttime world of sex workers, BDSM play and the underground music scene. Kohl’s warmly rendered portraits of friends, models and strangers are a highlight of the show.

Like a time capsule from the end of the last century, Unscripted Moments offers a whirlwind panorama of city life during the Schaefer, Schmoke and O’Malley mayoral years. What emerges is a vision of Baltimore that’s open-hearted and raw, cosmopolitan and compassionate—and a portrait of a photographer who exposed his love for the city and all its variety in every shot.