ROCKLAND — Paul Caponigro is one of the most important American landscape photographers of his generation.

He is still very much alive and living in Cushing in midcoast Maine. This summer, the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland features a selection of his black-and-white silver gelatin prints.

“Paul Caponigro: The Hidden Presence of Places” is on view through Oct. 9, and includes dozens of images drawn from the photographer’s collection. It focuses on the importance of place in his work.

“This show is about what these places held for him on a personal level,” said chief curator Michael Komanecky. “The title was taken from one of his own comments about ‘the hidden presence of places.’ What’s so distinguished about Paul’s work is that it demonstrates a profound depth of meaning in the subjects he has chosen to photograph. Each goes far beyond simply what is being photographed. There is an emotional and spiritual content to his work.”

Caponigro worked closely with Komanecky to assemble this exhibition. He chose the prints, worked with installers in the gallery, and designed the catalog that accompanies the exhibition.

The show spans Caponigro’s 50-year career. Among the locations featured are Ireland, the American Southwest, rural Connecticut and Maine, where he has lived since 1993.

One of the photos from Maine shows the Olson House in Cushing, where Andrew Wyeth made his famous “Christina’s World” painting. The house and the Cushing neighborhood that appealed so much to Wyeth are the focus of other shows at the Farnsworth.

Komanecky studied Caponigro’s work in school, and has wanted to assemble an exhibition since he arrived at the Farnsworth as curator in 2007.

The Boston-born Caponigro, 78, evolved from a generation of photographers that included Ansel Adams, Walker Evans and Paul Strand. An early mentor was Minor White.

Komanecky described viewing the assembled works as “a powerful experience.”

“The more I looked at his work, the more I said, ‘Oh, my God,’ ” he said. “His work has literally brought me to tears. There is almost too much to see — all these powerful works are almost too much.”

The museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, with extended hours to 8 p.m. Wednesdays. Admission is $10 to $12. Call 596-6457 or visit farnsworthmuseum.org. 

Staff Writer Bob Keyes can be contacted at 791-6457 or at:

[email protected]