E-Photo
Issue #250  5/13/2019
  • Issue #250
  • Article
 
250th Issue of the E-Photo Newsletter and 20 years of Publication

By Alex Novak


This issue of the E-Photo Newsletter is our 250th issue, and we've now been publishing it for just over 20 years. It's a milestone that not many in the art and photography field can claim as their own. The E-Photo Newsletter was one of the first of its kind, and continues to have one of the largest audiences with a direct reach on its email version of about 15,000 people focused on photography collecting and curating. In addition over 30,000 visitors to the I Photo Central website view it there each month.

We are proud to have served you all this time, and will continue to bring news and information to the photo collecting community. We've always tried to be a uniting influence to promote our own passion for art and historically important photography of all kinds, as well as trying to provide useful information to collectors and curators of all levels. We believe that education and good information breeds passion and connection. We also believe that community is extremely important—that when we share our important interests, those personal connections that we make enrich our lives.

All these newsletters are available in the archive on I Photo Central. In fact, if you'd like to see our first such newsletter, just go here: https://www.iphotocentral.com/news/article-view.php/1/1/1/7/24/0/0. You can also search the entire archive with a key word (or words if you enclose with quote marks). While you are in the archive section, scroll to the bottom of any page to enter your search.

Here's what some of our regular, long-term readers—fellow photo dealers, collectors, educators and curators--have said about this significant anniversary and achievement (and thank you very much):

"Congratulations, Alex, on two great milestones! When I first began to collect seriously, the newsletter was an invaluable introduction to the photography world. The reports on who bought what at auction and the stories behind sales, such as the early Andre Jammes auctions, were invaluable. Today, in a very different environment of phone and Internet bidding, it is inevitably much harder to provide such analysis, but the breadth of the newsletter remains an invaluable overview. In a fractious world the newsletter continues to provide a welcome sense of familiarity and community. Here’s to the next 20 years!" --James Hyman, James Hyman Photography, Ltd., London

"The newsletter is a master class in the photographic marketplace. It not only tells you what is going on in salesrooms and key comings and goings in the field, it explains and identifies attitudes and trends, often before anyone else has. Combined with book reviews, obituaries and other news, it is an incredible resource for curators, collectors and those who just want to know more about the field, presented with just the right mix of humor and opinion. I can honestly say I have read all 249 issues leading up to this one. There is no mistaking Alex’s knowledge and passion for all things photographic, or his background in journalism. It is truly the finger on the pulse of photography." --Phillip Prodger, Yale University, formerly Head of Photographs, National Portrait Gallery, London

"Congratulations on this publishing milestone. Your newsletter has served a really important role in the photography field over these years. It provides a timely, deeply informed perspective on the market and many of the field's leading personalities and institutions. Far from simply reprinting standard press releases, the newsletter conveys an insider's personal perspective on the scene. This is always informative and helpful. And I very much appreciate the occasional editorial or thought piece; these, too, convey a sincere and ethical concern for the field and its practices. My thanks and best wishes for a long publishing life to come! --Keith F. Davis, Senior Curator of Photography at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

"Have been reading E-Photo Newsletter for 20 years! It is an important part of my learning process for this great field! Alex, I hope to be around for another 20 years of reading and learning from the E-Photo Newsletter." --Stan Kaplan, collector

"Congratulations for generously publishing the 250th issue of E-Photo Newsletter! What a wonderful achievement to your perseverance in sharing news and more importantly insight about the global collecting community. As you know, I have more than once suggested that you charge a subscription fee, yet you have demurred. For someone living in cyberspace and away from New York City, London and Paris, the Newsletter has helped maintain my interest in historical and fine art photography. Furthermore, your website section on collecting insights and resources is excellent. I say this not to promote what you have done, but as someone who truly appreciates your role as a photo journalist." --Len Walle, collector and Chairman of the Daguerreian Society

"Congratulations on the milestone, and thank you for providing such a useful newsletter! I have recommended E-Photo to countless students as a means by which they can educate themselves about the history of photography, as they scan the array of amazing images on offer. And also educate themselves about the practicalities of being in business as a creative artist, or creative art dealer. As a customer, I must say that the service you provided was of the highest order. From initial sale to the amazing care that went into bringing the work to my door, it was a seamless series of quality experiences. Thanks for all you do on so many fronts to support artists and the market for their works, and students of the medium of photography who hope to be part of the stream of successful image-makers in the future." Peter Glendinning, Professor, Dept. of Art, Art History, & Design, Michigan State University

"One word: BRAVO!" –Alain and Francoise Paviot, Galerie Francoise Paviot, Paris

"Throughout the last 20 years the E-Photo Newsletter has consistently and reliably chronicled the universe of photography with stimulating insight and wit. Alex’s enthusiastic and tireless reporting of the photography scene continues to make an invaluable contribution to all those in the field. On behalf of all photo aficionados, kudos to Alex for achieving this milestone. We look forward to the next 20 years!" –Stephen Stein, collector

"First and foremost, you are to be congratulated on the 20th anniversary of the E-Photo Newsletter. It is remarkable for its longevity, and the photo collecting community would be the poorer for its absence. I have always thought that its strengths are that it brings the market alive, and reminds us that it is about people as much as pictures. The images are of course important, but the Newsletter reminds us that it is the dealers, collectors, auctioneers, museums and sundry institutions that energize everything, and give the market its highs and its lows. My wish for the future is that you should emphasize market analysis as much as just factual reporting of "news". The modern photography market is nearly 50 years old, and we need a regular helicopter view of where things are going, and how we have got to where we are, we need critical analysis and to ruffle feathers in this sometimes opaque marketplace. Not an easy ask, but the Newsletter is the place to do it. Secondly, I would like to see more emphasis on the lower and middle market activities from time to time. One of the strengths of photo collecting is the broadness of the material available at all price points; it is not just about very top end material." --Richard Meara, photo dealer, London

"Congratulations Alex on 250. We are looking forward to receiving the 251th issue. Thanks for your service to our community." --William Earl Williams, Curator of Photography, Haverford College

"Scan a dozen photography magazines and you will find very little about the 'photograph' market; On the other hand, The E-Photo Newsletter is brim full of the latest information--major photo shows; what is selling, who is selling it, and for how much; gallery news; upcoming auctions; museum facilities and their new developments; key movers and shakers in the business of valuing, buying, selling and collecting photographs. In short, it's a great and unique addition to our knowledge base." –Ron Cox, collector

"Congrats for 20th/250th anniversary. For me the E-Photo Newsletter has been of extraordinary utility. Is my window for the Photo World, where I get the information in a CONCISE way that otherwise would not be accessible to me." --Ruy Souza e Silva, collector, Sao Paulo, Brazil

"Congratulations with this double anniversary! I’m always looking forward to the E-Photo Newsletter. It's a very good source to learn more about what's going on in the field of collecting photography. It's interesting to me as a collector, dealer and for my students of photographic history. I recommend this newsletter to them too. The in dept reviews are a pleasure to read. I really appreciate you are sharing knowledge and insight with a large group of enthusiasts. Please, keep doing this!" –Wouter Lambrechts, Bazar Nadar, Belgium

"Alex’s newsletter has been not only a priceless source of information but a means of connecting us all to this very special community. I always learn something from it, and always look forward to receiving it.
To be honest I read all the art publications with their glitzy ads and "curatorial" speak, but they all pale in comparison to this informative and insightful simple publication. Long may it continue and thrive!" --Peter Fetterman, Peter Fetterman Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

"My wife and I have been reading the E-Photo Newsletter since we met Alex almost 20 years ago. Each edition has contained pertinent information regarding the photography world; as a result, we have become better-informed collectors. Alex has provided an invaluable service to the photography community and should be commended for his dedication. We look forward to another 20 years of Newsletters!" --Richard and Karen Glance

"I have found the newsletter fascinating--and it even saved a photograph for me last summer! I have recommended it to several people because it provides a great education about the photography market. Along with many others, I really appreciate your efforts to keep us well informed. I first heard about the E-Photo Newsletter shortly after the Feigenbaum auction of Southworth and Hawes daguerreotypes in 1999. Your insight about the Feigenbaum auction had caught the attention of a colleague. I was impressed when I read that first issue; I have not missed one since. I am particularly interested in your comments about specific sales/events and your broader comments about the market. There have also been times, however, when I found the calendars of photographic exhibitions and events or the book reviews very helpful. I know it's a labor of love for you, and it’s one that has helped to make the market more transparent and has offered great insight over the years. Thank you." –Glenn Willumson, collector, curator and educator

"Congratulations! Your Newsletter is always chock-a-block full of interesting, informative and timely information. We applaud your continuing success and support for the world of fine art photography." –Gretchen and Barry Singer, Barry Singer Gallery, Petaluma, CA

"Happy 20th Anniversary, Alex! I believe I must have been involved in the Newsletter's launch in some minor way (in the room when it happened?), since I started working for you in 1999." –Carol McCusker, Curator of Photography, Harn Museum of Art, University of Florida

"Alex Novak is oxygen to photography. Connoisseurship coupled with a warm, engaging, open personality. What a combination. Novak acquisitions hold pride of place in our collection. –Harry Malcolmson, collector

"250!!! An amazing milestone that clearly demonstrates your continued curiosity for photography, your endurance through the markets thick and thin, and your passion from which we all benefit. Thank you and congratulations. --Larry Miller, Lawrence Miller Gallery

"Just wanted to congratulate you on your newsletter milestone. It's amazing you've stuck with it through thick and thin. I'm sure there were periods when you wished otherwise, but I just wanted to add to the chorus of deep appreciation. A real asset to our small, but passionate community. High five from a Delta 737!" --Michael Mattis, collector