The intrepid team of writer Linda Rice Lorenzetti and photographer Daniel Lorenzetti has traveled the far reaches and remote spaces of Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East to search out the sites of coffee production, documenting in rich sepia-toned silver-gelatin prints and informative wall text the people and—mostly traditional—practices that provide the raw materials for the proverbial morning cup. Rather than an exercise in coffee hype, the Lorenzettis’ presentation is a carefully balanced reflection in the old-school humanist tradition that combines a gentle critique of imperialism with a celebration of one global slice of the family of man. The Lorenzettis’ aim is to bring us into contact with the individuals at the beginning of the production chain, and they do so admirably. Of all the Lorenzettis’ adventures, the most exciting took them to Yemen, where it all began. They show us a coffee market that has not changed for 800 years and introduce us to a merchant, with a dagger in his belt, holding out a handful of beans as he looks at us with an intense expression that radiates self-possession. (Michael Weinstein)
Through May 9 at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N. Cannon Dr.