DAG SOCIETY HOLDS 23RD SYMPOSIUM ON OCTOBER 27-30 IN ST. PETERSBURG, FL; TOKYO PHOTO 2011: A WORK STILL IN PROCESS; PHOTO SHOWS: JULIA M. CAMERON AT HANS P.
KRAUS, JR. AND A PREVIEW OF PARIS AT LAWRENCE MILLER GALLERY, PLUS TWO MORE ON MADISON; RUSSELL LORD APPOINTED CURATOR AT NEW ORLEANS MUSEUM OF ART; PHOTO BOOK REVIEW: A SMITHSONIAN SURVEY OF PORTRAITURE'S CHANGING FACE; RUSCHA ARCHIVE AND PHOTOS GOES TO GETTY; PERSIAN ALBUM BY PESCE SELLS FOR £39,000; PENELOPE DIXON & ASSOC. MOVES BACK TO NYC; SEARCHING FOR OLDEST DATED WEDDING PHOTO; INTERNET SITE SPOTLIGHT: BRITISH PHOTO HISTORY; V&A MUSEUM OPENS NEW LARGE PHOTO GALLERY
DAG SOCIETY HOLDS 23RD SYMPOSIUM
ON OCTOBER 27-30 IN ST. PETERSBURG, FL
The Daguerreian Society's 23rd annual meeting will be held in St. Petersburg, FL, Oct. 27-30. Attendees from around the world will attend lectures, daguerreotype viewings, an auction and a trade fair that is open to the general public. The events will be held in the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront (333 First Street South, the symposium headquarters) and the city's Museum of Fine Arts at 255 Beach Dr. N.E. The symposium registration costs $129 for members and $149 for non-members.
The Symposium will open on Thursday, Oct. 27. Rebecca Sexton Larson, a Tampa-based studio artist working with historic photographic processes, will speak on "Dry Plate Tintypes: History and Process," starting at 10 am. in the Bayview Room, Museum of Fine Arts. She will discuss both the wet- and dry-plate photographic processes. Her work is featured in the book "Pinhole Photography: Rediscovering a Historic Technique," and in private and museum collections.
Also on Thursday, Daguerreian Society member Ken Nelson will speak about the daguerreotype process at a meeting of the museum's Stuart Society. A practicing daguerreotypist and historian for 35 years, he has taught the art of making daguerreotypes in Hawaii and New York. That separate talk begins at 10 am.
Another behind-the-scenes event will have members going on a local private tour of collectors Dr. & Mrs. Robert Drapkin's home. The additional cost of this special tour is $25 per person and is available to the first 25 people who sign up for it. The van will leave from the front of the hotel at 1 pm and the tour will end at 4 pm.
A gala reception officially launches the symposium at 7-9 pm on Thursday in the Marly Room of the Museum of Fine Arts. Attendees will tour the museum's exhibition, "Sitter and Subject in Nineteenth-Century Photography," admiring some of the 14,000 images in the museum collection.
The Trade Fair will be held on Friday, Oct. 28, at the Hilton-St. Petersburg Bayfront, with thousands of antique photographs of all descriptions offered for sale. Dealers from the U.S. and Canada will offer the world's largest display of daguerreotypes for sale in one location. Other photography work and ephemera will also be offered. The general public will be admitted starting 11 am. The trade fair will run until 5 pm. Cost for symposium registrants is free, and $8 for the general public. A reduced student entrance fee of $5 is available upon presentation of a student ID. Dealer tables are still available at $100. Contact the society.
Contemporary daguerreotypes will be on display in the hotel's hospitality suite beginning at 9 pm. Christopher Mahoney, vice president of photography at the Sotheby's auction house in New York City, will participate in the informal discussion about newly-produced daguerreotypes, one of his passions. Modern daguerreians will showcase their art and discuss their techniques.
The Symposium lectures continue on Saturday, Oct. 29 in the Marly Room of the Museum of Fine Arts on topics ranging from daguerreotypes of the California gold rush to the first form of photography predating even daguerreotypes.
The morning sessions run from 9:30 am-1 pm.
Gary Ewer, a collector and expert from Denver, will speak on "A Complete Picture of California: The Three Hundred Daguerreotypes by Robert H. Vance." Vance, an American daguerreotypist, arrived in San Francisco in 1850, during the height of the gold rush. Having already spent a few years in Valparaiso, Chile, making portrait daguerreotypes, Vance undertook a project to document the cities, towns and landscapes of the new El Dorado. At the time, photography was only 11 years old. Vance's monumental effort was unprecedented in America.
Walter Johnson, collector of antique photography, will speak on "November 1968," the conference that started his interest in collecting photographica. His presentation details events that helped launch efforts to collect and preserve photographic history.
The topic of Dusan Stulik, senior scientist at the Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles, is "Niépce and Daguerre, Daguerre and Niépce: The First Scientific Investigation of all Niépce's Images from UK and US Collections." Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, a French aristocrat, was the world's first photographer, producing images from nature in the 1820s; however, the crude images on pewter plates required hours of exposure. He and Daguerre entered into a partnership that resulted in Daguerre's inventing the daguerreotype, which was the first practical form of photography. Stulik will report on the first scientific investigation of all the Heliographic and Heliogravure plates created by Niépce in France that he brought with him to England in 1827.
The afternoon sessions run from 2:30-4:30 pm.
"Brady's Calhoun: The Recovery of an American Masterpiece" will be covered by Christopher Mahoney, vice president of photography at the Sotheby's. The subject is a daguerreotype of Southern politician John C. Calhoun, taken by Mathew Brady. A dramatic portrait that was the basis for Calhoun's image in Brady's publication "Gallery of Illustrious Americans," the daguerreotype inspired a monumental painting now owned by the U.S. Senate. The daguerreotype was lost for over a century, and then rediscovered. It was sold at auction for $338,500. Mahoney will tell the fascinating story.
A lively roundtable discussion will also be held, titled "The Daguerreotype Image: Who Owns It? Who Controls It?" Ownership and reproduction rights will be examined from the standpoint of the collector, the author, the publisher and the photographic artists. Who owns the rights to use a photograph? What are the copyright restrictions and challenges for photographic researchers? What are the dos and don'ts involving licensing? What are the legal versus practical issues on controlling the digital reproduction of images? Leonard Walle, longtime collector and a past president of The Daguerreian Society, is moderator for the panel, which includes: Wm. B. Becker, collector, photo historian, author, television producer and director of the American Museum of Photography; Carl Mautz, owner of Carl Mautz Publishing, an author, photo historian and collector with degrees in history and law; Rob McElroy, a full-time daguerreian artist and photo historian who earlier spent 25 years as a commercial, editorial, and advertising photographer; and Jeremy Rowe, EdD, author, photo historian, collector, and recently retired as Associate Director of the School of Computing and Informatics at Arizona State University, who has written a white paper on "Copyrights and Other Rights in Photographic Images" and a book chapter "Legal Issues Using Photographs for Research."
Following the talks, the day's activities conclude with a cocktail party and silent auction, a buffet banquet and a live benefit auction. Craig James, Esq. will be the auctioneer for the evening.
For more details and how to register, go to http://www.daguerre.org/
; or call 1-412-221-0306.
TOKYO PHOTO 2011: A WORK STILL IN PROCESS
By Torin Boyd, Tokyo, Japan
Billed as "Asia's leading international photography fair", Tokyo Photo 2011 took place on September 23-25 amid the shadow of the triple disasters that devastated Japan earlier in the year. Held at the sprawling Tokyo Midtown complex in central Tokyo, this event, now in its third year is Japan's first and only photographic art fair of its kind.
Founded in 2009 by art promoter Tomohiro Harada, this year's fair attracted some of Japan's top photo galleries, as well as a handful of international dealers. Other events included lectures, charity print auctions for tsunami and quake victims, and special photo exhibitions.
But turnout was lower than expected with only 10,000 visitors attending, nearly the same as last year. According to Harada, "we were anticipating between 15,000 to 20,000 visitors this year, but perhaps we placed too much emphasis on quake and tsunami charity, causing the public to think this was a charity event rather than a photo fair. He went on, "The quake and nuclear meltdown had such a negative impact on the art market in Japan, plus overseas dealers who had expressed interest in attending prior to the disasters, stayed away due to radiation fears".
Even so, this was a well produced event worthy of any international photo fair. But with only 21 dealers exhibiting who mostly experienced moderate sales, Tokyo Photo needs to expand its base of both exhibitors and attendees. Harada explained, "The art market in Japan is still somewhat idle and the current emphasis with many dealers is on first-time buyers and younger customers".
As for what was being offered at this show, this was the most impressive assemblage of modern Japanese photography ever offered under one roof. Many of the big name artists were here: Hiroshi Sugimoto, Yasuhiro Ishimoto, Nobuyoshi Araki, Daido Moriyama, and Toshio Shibata. But many new and emerging Japanese artists were also well represented--all at what seemed like very reasonable prices. As for international artists, they were in the minority at this show.
Also conspicuously missing was pre-World War II Japanese art photography, Pictorialism and 19th-century works. However one Tokyo gallery, MEM, was offering vintage 1930s prints by Osamu Shiihara, a member of the Tampei Photography Club, as well as a limited edition portfolio by 1930s Japanese avant-garde photo pioneer Iwata Nakayama. This was recently printed under the supervision of Nakayama's estate and photo historian Ryuichi Kaneko.
Concerning Japanese contemporary works, throughout the show numerous bargains could be had in the $1,000-$5,000 range. These included both young and established artists because Japan is still a buyers' market, even with the highly inflated Japanese yen.
Some standouts of the fair were Emon Photo Gallery of Tokyo which displayed superb color prints by emerging artist Ryo Ohwada from his bonsai tree and red wine series in the $2,000 to $6,000 range. Emon was also displaying large fantasy cityscape collages by Sohei Nishino from his "Diorama Map" series in editions of five (in the $25,000 range).
Another interesting exhibitor was Zen Foto Gallery of Tokyo. This new gallery established in 2009 by British ex-pat Mark Pearson had a wonderful mix of Japanese and Chinese contemporary artists. One was the Japanese documentary photographer Kazuo Kitai whose large format silver gelatin prints of rural China blended well with the eclectic mix of other images on display. This included works by Liu Zheng, Wang Ningde, Mao Ishikawa and Takahiko Nakafuji. In addition to the prints, Pearson was selling a number of high quality limited edition photo books published by his gallery. Zen also opened a second gallery in Beijing last year, so this is a gallery to watch.
Also exhibiting was Photo Gallery International or PGI. Founded in 1979, this is one of the oldest and most reputable photo galleries in Japan. Exhibiting for the first time at Tokyo Photo, they had their usual big name artists on display including Issei Suda, Yasuhiro Ishimoto and Michiko Kon. But the works by Soeno Kazuyuki from his "Fossil of Light" series were some of the most interesting. These images were a series of enlarged black and white photograms of insect wings, found on roadsides after being hit by cars. The 44-year-old Soeno started this project after being hit by a car and being severely injured. His beautiful one-of-a-kind prints could be had for under a $1,000.
International dealers at the fair included Danzinger Gallery of New York, Torch Gallery and Ten Haaf Projects from Amsterdam, and Ratio 3 of San Francisco. This West Coast gallery showcased large-format monochrome nudes by Ryan McGinley whose image "Butterfly" was used as the promotional image for this year's fair. Also attending was Magnum Photos, which focused more on limited edition books and had only a small number of prints. Magnum had little Japanese material, which according to Junko Ogawa of Magnum Tokyo, was due to the fact that "we wanted to promote all Magnum photographers, rather than just Japanese-themed works at this fair".
Besides the galleries exhibiting here, there were two impressive photo exhibitions taking place. One, a charity exhibition for the Tohoku Earthquake presented by the Embassy of France in Tokyo, included images by famed photographers Kishin Shinoyama and Rinko Kawauchi, along with other Japanese and French artists. The second, curated by Simon Baker of the Tate Modern, featured images by British art photographer Chris Shaw from his "Night Porter" series juxtaposed with works by Japanese masters.
As for the future of Tokyo Photo, Harada and his staff are already busy planning next year's show. This seems to be a trend in Asia as photo and art fairs are now taking place in Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Even though the art market in Japan is still reeling from the economic decline of the 1990s, the art market in the broader Asia seems to be in full swing.
To see more about Tokyo Photo 2012, please visit: http://www.tokyophoto.org/en
Torin Boyd is an American photojournalist based out of Tokyo, Japan since 1986. In addition to photographing for major international publications, he is also a photo historian and has co-authored two books on Japanese photo history. He is affiliated with the Tokyo-based photo gallery Sakura-do, and his work can be seen online at: http://www.sakura-do.com
and at http://www.torinboyd.com
PHOTO SHOWS: JULIA M. CAMERON AT HANS P.
KRAUS, JR. AND A PREVIEW OF PARIS AT LAWRENCE
MILLER GALLERY, PLUS TWO MORE ON MADISON
By Alex Novak
While in New York City for the recent fall auctions, I managed to sneak out to a couple of gallery shows. My apologies to those I failed to find time to see. Considering the dearth of good material at most of the auctions (more on that next time), I probably would have done much better to spend my time visiting more of my New York City brethren.
Just opening when I was there was the wonderful Julia Margaret Cameron exhibit at Hans P. Kraus, Jr. at 962 Park Avenue at 82nd St. (phone: 1-212-794-2064). The show runs until Nov. 18th. Hans has also put together an accompanying catalogue. Both are not to be missed.
Certainly one of the most extensive showings of Cameron's work, the show lends further credence to Cameron as one of the preeminent portrait photographers of her period. The certain magic of so many of these images leaves you almost breathless from the "straight" portrait of Julia Duckworth at the entrance (a rich carbon print entitled "A Beautiful Vision" that seems to float ethereally from its dark background of vegetation) to the romanticized photographs of her sitters in Arthurian garb.
The group largely comes from the artist's niece Adeline Maria Jackson, where they remained in her family until now. And while some here are well-known images, many are rare--even unique--and unknown surprises.
The catalogue is a lovely and welcome addition, documenting this important collection of work, and Larry Schaaf does his yeoman effort once again, producing a text that is both eminently readable and full of gems of information on Cameron and her circle.
A few of the miracles on the walls include the marvelous prints "The Dream" and "Mary Mother", both of Mary Hillers, Cameron's parlor maid. Schaaf quotes Cameron's description of Hillers as, "one of the most beautiful and consistent of my models…" That is quite a statement from a woman who could command the most important sitters from Victorian England.
There are men too: a rich print of Thomas Carlyle has always stood out for me, as it did for Cameron's contemporaries. Again, Larry Schaaf picks up an apt quote from an 1893 review of H. H. Cameron's book on Tennyson's friends by 'The Nation", which "marveled at 'the magnificent profile of Carlyle…it is the most remarkable thing in the book, and one of the best portraits in existence.'" The review went on to compare Cameron's portrait to those of Velasquez or Rembrandt.
And, finally, an early photogram of ferns and portraits of the lady herself add to the richness of the choices here.
With so many masterworks available for sale, one would think you could capture one at the moment before the opening of the show. But that was much more difficult than I thought as I pointed to one after another of the prints with only politely negative answers to be had. I did finally buy one, a perhaps unique variant of the Merlin image that Hans had stashed away in a separate box. For good measure I bought another non-Cameron image before I left this beautifully appointed (and recently expanded) gallery.
After the Sotheby's auction, Chicago dealer Stephen Daiter and I traveled over to see Lawrence Miller Gallery, which was showing a preview of its Paris Photo walls. A fine sampling of several of the artists that Miller represents was up in the gallery. Not surprisingly, Ray Metzker's work was one of the stars. From the early gem-like tiny photograms with newsprint lineage to larger vintage pieces, heavy in patterned shadows, to more recent photograms of leaves and light (one already reserved for an institution), Larry, who has been Metzker's long-time dealer, continues to plumb Metzker's creative vein of work. He also had a great print by Burk Uzzle of highways. But the Uzzle image that Daiter asked to have Larry pull out was one of Uzzle's many prints from Woodstock that Daiter and his wife both felt looked like a young version of himself. I noted the hash pipe in the subject's mouth and the nude, nubile woman next to him. Ah, the '60s!
I wound up buying both one of the large Metzker photograms of leaves that hadn't made it to the wall, plus a huge print of Barbara Morgan's "Kick" here. Daiter was weighing the purchase of one or two of the smaller Metzker's. With such interesting pieces and a few more purchases, Larry might not have to make the trip to France, so go visit soon.
The gallery is located on West 57th Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues. The phone is 1-212-397-3930.
And, ok, despite unforgivably not seeing them yet, I will also mention the shows at my two friends at 764 Madison Avenue (between 65th and 66th Streets): Higher Pictures (Kim Bourus) and L. Parker Stephenson, both fellow AIPAD dealers and two of the brightest young women in the market. Since they are both in the same building, it's easy to go and view the two shows.
Kim Bourus's Higher Pictures is showing "Jill Freedman: Street Cops, 1978-1981" until October 29th. The photos are vintage prints from a wild period in New York City history where junkies, drunks, prostitutes and lunatics openly walked the streets. This remarkable body of work is the result of Freedman on foot patrol and riding in the police cruisers of the Ninth and Midtown South Precincts, which included Alphabet City and the raunchy blocks around Times Square. Street Cops shows an intelligent empathy towards the police and their attitudes of like-mindedness. Kim's next show, "Jessica Eaton: Cubes for Albers and LeWitt" will open on Thursday, November 3rd (6 - 8 pm) and run through December 17th. Phone: 1-212-249-6100; open, Tuesday-Saturday from 11am-6pm.
L. Parker Stephenson's "Modernism and Advertising 1920- 1930s," is a group exhibition of vintage photographs, which will be up until December 17th. Margaret Bourke-White's "Mechanical Nuts" for Russell Birdsall & Ward, Ilse Bing's surreal portrait of a woman surrounded by lilies for Schiaparelli, Ralph Steiner's humorous picture of eggs, Anton Bruehl's ad for silk which won the Annual Advertising Art award, a large print of a perfume bottle by Jaromir Funke, and an image by Claude Tolmer from "Mise en Page" (the ultimate reference book for layout design) are among the works featured in this exhibition. Phone: 1-212-517-8700.
BOSTON PHOTO SHOW SCHEDULED FOR
NOV. 12TH AT HYNES CENTER IN COPLEY SQ.
The Boston Photo, which is put on by U.S. Photo Shows, will be held at the Hynes Convention Center at 900 Boylston St. in Copley Square, Boston, on November 12th from 8 am - 4 pm. The show will be in rooms 302 and 304.
The show, which is in its second iteration, will have images from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries for sale. The photographs will include a broad range of material, including classic American and international photography, vernacular work, Civil War images, black memorabilia and Asian art.
The early list of dealers currently signed up for the show include:
Casey A. Waters
Un-Gyve Limited Group
and Lesley Gift
The show schedule is:
8 am - 10 am, Early Admission for $20.
10 am - 4 pm, Regular Admission for $10, or $9 with discount coupon.
And noon - 4 pm, Teacher and Student Reduced Admission for only $5.
A few tables are still available in the main hall and there is room for expansion to a second room if more dealers are interested in joining the diverse group of dealers for this show. Send an email firstname.lastname@example.org
or call Steven Yager at 1-703-845-5555.
There is a special room rate of $149 at the nearby Hyatt Regency Boston for this show.
If you would like to do a presentation on photography during the show, contact Yager immediately. If you are a related 501(c)3 organization and would like to do some fundraising at this event, contact the management for a free and/or reduced table area. If you have exceptional collection that you would like to display and not sell, contact show management about a free table.
for more information on this show and future shows in New York City and Miami. Or contact Steven Yager, U.S. Photo Shows, P.O. Box 1700, Falls Church, VA 22041; 1-703-845-5555; email: email@example.com
RUSSELL LORD APPOINTED CURATOR
AT NEW ORLEANS MUSEUM OF ART
Russell Lord has been appointed as the Freeman Family Curator of Photographs at the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA). Lord, a historian, curator, and educator who recently completed a Jane and Morgan Whitney fellowship in the Department of Photographs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, will assume his new position on October 17, 2011.
NOMA's extensive collection of over 8,500 works represents a sampling of some of the rarest examples and greatest achievements in photography from the 1840s to the present. Among the many artists represented are Berenice Abbott, Ansel Adams, Diane Arbus, Ilse Bing, William Eggleston and Edward Steichen.
Lord began his career as Curatorial Assistant in the Prints, Drawings, and Photographs Department at the Yale University Art Gallery. During his course work at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, Lord also served as gallery director at New York's Hans P. Kraus, Jr. Fine Photographs.
While completing his two-year fellowship, from 2009 through 2011, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lord continued work on his doctoral dissertation, "Hybridity and Reproduction in Early Photography." His dissertation establishes a broader history of photography that considers the role of viewing experience, public reception and photography's relationship to other pictorial forms.
PHOTO BOOK REVIEW: A SMITHSONIAN
SURVEY OF PORTRAITURE'S CHANGING FACE
By Matt Damsker
THE CHANGING FACE OF PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY:
FROM DAGUERREOTYPE TO DIGITAL.
By Shannon Thomas Perich. Smithsonian Books, Washington, D.C. Hardcover, $35; 176 pages, 150 black-and-white and color illustrations; ISBN No. 978-1-58834-274-4. Information: http://www.smithsonianbooks.com
From the slight pun of its title to its rear dust-jacket image, by Nickolas Muray, of Frida Kahlo in all her mono-browed glory, this study of American portrait photography is an appropriately edgy, energized work of scholarship that doesn't expound excessively or force its points. Author Shannon Thomas Perich, an associate curator of the Smithsonian's Photographic History Collection, is well-credentialed to make the choices she has made: ten photographers that represent the parameters of photo-portraiture, beginning with the daguerreotypes of Boston's George K. Warren, innovator of the photographic yearbook, whose images of 19th-century America include classic shots of P.T. Barnum, Edward Everett Hale, young and old sitters, and whose eye was at once painterly and unsentimental, instinctively presaging the naturalism and modernism of the next century.
From there, Perich guides us through the work of some obvious and not-so-obvious selections--the ethereally expressive exposures of Julia Margaret Cameron (including one of Charles Darwin), the wonderfully populist images of Houston's Barr & Wright Studio, and such 20th-century giants as Gertrude Kasebier, Dorothea Lange, Muray and Richard Avedon, along with the final three contemporaries: Henry Horenstein, Lauren Greenfield, and Robert Weingarten. In each case, Perich provides concise biographical and technical information, but avoids any grandiloquence. The visual evidence tends to speak for itself.
Of course, one can quibble as to why no Diane Arbus, no Southworth & Hawes, no Irving Penn, or any number of others, but Perich addresses the impossible issue of total inclusion. For one thing, all the images are drawn from the collection she curates within the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, so these are photos she knows as well as anyone, other than the photographers themselves. More to the point, she writes of her ten choices: "Their work offers multiple original approaches to portraiture that remain informed by conventions and innovations. This photography provides a context for thinking about changes in the medium and the ways in which photographers present their subjects as shaped by their aesthetic intentions, intellectual explorations, and commercial desires."
These intentions, explorations and desires are evident enough to us in the classic output of, say, Warren and Cameron, but by the time Perich brings us to the eloquent, early 20th-century output of Kasebier, we see the stirrings of real photographic modernism in all its complexity. Kasebier's 1900 chiaroscuro portrait of a cigarette-smoking Rose O'Neill, for example, implies a certain proto-feminist rebelliousness; clearly, this is a woman with her own ideas about life.
Moving on to Dorothea Lange and the Depression-era iconography she created as a Farm Security Administration photographer, Perich draws the curtain on the great emergence of photo-journalism as art. The justly famed 1936 "Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California" is the portrait that denotes Lange's greatness--a Michelangelo-esque unity of form and meaning that never fails to cut us to the bone, as the not-so-young mother looks beyond us, bravely yet gravely, with her children sculpturally enfolded about her. In a stroke, it seems, Lange expresses the highest ideals and potential of photo-portraiture, forever affirming photography's capacity for social realism and aesthetic depth.
From the likes of Muray and Avedon, by contrast, we see the blossoming of photography as the great accomplice of pop culture. Muray's 1921 images of flappers and semi-nude dancers may have captured that roaring era, but by the '40s and '50s his commercial color work--mainly of movie stars, from Edward G. Robinson and Marlene Dietrich to fan-magazine cover shots of Frank Sinatra--defined the slick salesmanship of Hollywood. From Avedon, we get unflattered faces that press at us, tightly cropped, whether that of a black man born into slavery (William Casby, 1963) or of the famous: Marianne Moore and Ezra Pound with their eyes pressed shut in rapture or pain, Bertrand Russell in pugnacious profile, Joe Louis's meaty fist, a theatrically creepy Alfred Hitchcock. Modern portraiture is pushing at its limits.
Among her final three selections, there's Henry Horenstein, perhaps a surprise inclusion. The quintessential Baby Boomer (born in 1947), Horenstein has absorbed the obvious influences and, as Perich explains, his agenda is to record "the people that history may forget to include…by documenting their existence and environment." Whether capturing the domestic geometry of his mother and family dogs in their Massachusetts kitchen in 1971, or his aged Aunt Loney walking through a graveyard in 1997, or Waylon Jennings in a squalid backstage corner, a burlesque dancer cheaply on display in New York, or a man sitting on a gymnasium bench in South Boston, Horenstein connects character to context with a naturalism steeped in non-judgmental, democratic spirit.
Then there's Lauren Greenfield, another photo-journalist and filmmaker who ushers in the 21st century with color-steeped Cibachrome prints of girls and young women, many of them struggling through eating disorders and self-image challenges that force us to confront the values of a media-maddened society. These images of womanhood at war with itself--undergoing plastic surgery to "correct" a large nose, or before-and-after shots of anorectic teens--seem to subvert the lush, candied hues in which the tales are told.
Finally, there are Robert Weingarten's digital mash-ups, in which the "portraits" of famous Americans--Dennis Hopper, Buzz Aldrin, Colin Powell, Sandra Day O'Connor, Joyce Carol Oates, and others--are comprised not of their faces but from symbolic images derived from their answers to Weingarten's question: "What makes you who you are?" Thus, a motorcycle, rear-view mirror, gas station, and a barely discernible Warhol portrait of Mao define Hopper in one montage, while the Brooklyn streets of Colin Powell's boyhood blend seamlessly with the names on the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial, a Purple Heart, and the silhouette of Thomas Jefferson's statue. If this is the psycho-historical portraiture of our fragmented, involuted digital age, Weingarten makes it pulsate with Renaissance richness and light. It's a fitting conclusion to Perich's compelling journey.
Matt Damsker is an author and critic, who has written about photography and the arts for the Los Angeles Times, Hartford Courant, Philadelphia Bulletin, Rolling Stone magazine and other publications. His book, "Rock Voices", was published in 1981 by St. Martin's Press. His essay in the book, "Marcus Doyle: Night Vision" was published in the fall of 2005.
(Book publishers, authors and photography galleries/dealers may send review copies to us at: I Photo Central, 258 Inverness Circle, Chalfont, PA 18914. We do not guarantee that we will review all books or catalogues that we receive. Books must be aimed at photography collecting, not how-to books for photographers.)
RUSCHA ARCHIVE AND PHOTOS GOES TO GETTY
The J. Paul Getty Museum and the Getty Research Institute recently jointly acquired over 70 photographs by artist Ed Ruscha as well as his "Streets of Los Angeles" archive, including thousands of negatives, hundreds of photographic contact sheets, and related documents and ephemera. A portion of the material will come to the Getty as a promised gift from the artist.
An influential American artist, Ruscha moved to Los Angeles in 1956 and has continued to live and work there, incorporating the city's architecture, streets, and even its attitude into paintings, prints, drawings, and photographs that are known for their graphic directness.
This combined acquisition by the Getty Museum and the Getty Research Institute now makes the Getty Center one of the most important resources for understanding the role of photography in Ruschas practice and will make this aspect of the artists work more widely accessible, locally and internationally. "I am humbled and elated to have my work go to the top of the hill," said Ruscha.
The majority of the 74 photographs and two contact sheets acquired by the J. Paul Getty Museum were created in conjunction with the seminal series of self-published books that Ruscha began producing in 1962 including "Twentysix Gasoline Stations" (1963), "Some Los Angeles Apartments" (1965), "Thirtyfour Parking Lots in Los Angeles" (1967), and "Real Estate Opportunities" (1970).
The Streets of Los Angeles archive acquired by the Getty Research Institute (GRI) begins with the photographic and production material for Ruschas landmark 1966 book, "Every Building on the Sunset Strip", and includes the original camera-ready three-panel maquette used for the publication. This ongoing project subsequently evolved into a vast photographic archive that spans over four decades and documents many major Los Angeles thoroughfares, including Santa Monica Boulevard, Melrose Avenue, and Pacific Coast Highway, shot in 1974 and 1975, and more than 25 other Los Angeles streets that Ruscha photographed since 2007. In total, the archive comprises thousands of negatives, hundreds of photographic contact sheets, and related documents and ephemera. Also included is an artists proof of the "Then and Now" portfolio (2005), based on photographs of Hollywood Boulevard taken 30 years apart.
The acquisition joins works by Ruscha already in the collection of the GRI, including unpublished photographs related to Ruscha's rare "Dutch Details" book (1973) and the only known complete run of "Orb", a journal edited and produced by Ruscha while still a student at Chouinard Art Institute.
A selection of works will be included in two related Getty Museum exhibitions scheduled for Spring 2013: Los Angeles Architecture: 1940-1990, organized by the Getty Research Institute and the Getty Museum, and In Focus: Ed Ruscha, organized by the Getty Museum.
PERSIAN ALBUM BY PESCE SELLS FOR £39,000
A rare presentation album containing 42 sepia toned salt and albumen prints of Persia in 1860 by pioneering photographer Luigi Pesce fetched an impressive £44,850 including premium, or over $70,000, more than double the estimate, at a Norfolk auction house. It drew international interest, including bidders from France and the United States, before the hammer came down to a London dealer.
The images showed buildings such as mosques and palaces along with desert scenes, in a book inscribed to Sir Henry Rawlinson who was in Persia training the Shah's troops. According to the Keys Aylsham sale room, only two similar books have ever come up for sale in the past: one given to William I of Prussia and the other to an Italian Count. Bidding was intense with seven phone bidders and two in the room for this rare early Middle Eastern album.
PENELOPE DIXON & ASSOC. MOVES BACK TO NYC
The firm of Penelope Dixon & Associates, headed by Penelope and her partner, Edward Yee, has returned on a full time basis to New York City after a hiatus of 20 years in Miami.
They have taken new offices at The Westminster, located at 180 W. 20th Street in Chelsea (phone: 1-212-254-3104), and have added a new associate appraiser, Alison Kennedy, a recent Masters graduate in the History of Photography from the Sotheby's Institute of Art, London. As before, they continue to work throughout the U.S. and Canada, with Ed doing much of the traveling. In addition, the firm continues to work with various consultants who provide a variety of supplemental appraisal services to the company. They are also excited to announce the expansion of new appraisal services which include films and architectural archives.
SEARCHING FOR OLDEST DATED WEDDING PHOTO
Internationally renowned wedding planner Sarah Heywood is searching for the oldest wedding photograph in the United States, Britain and Australia. The British picture she has located in the U.K. dates from 1848, so ideally any photographs from no later than this date would be suitable. The image would have to be of a bride and groom on their wedding day with evidence of what year it was taken, although the couple do not need to be wearing what we would recognize today as bridal clothes.
Sarah Heywood was CNN's expert on the day of the Royal Wedding in April and appeared on every continent and television network in the preceding days, including the BBC, NBC, ABC, CBS, Channel 9 Australia and NHK Japan. She is now launching her Ultimate Wedding App, and for the occasion wants to issue this study into how wedding images have changed.
If you think you might have the image the group is after, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
with a jpeg attachment of your image and any details you might have about the bride and groom. Kiki King, who is conducting this research on Sarah's behalf will get in touch very promptly as she is on a tight deadline for this project. No image will be used in any way until its owner has been contacted and the correct permissions granted.
INTERNET SITE SPOTLIGHT: BRITISH PHOTO HISTORY
The British photographic history blog which was launched by Dr. Michael Pritchard at the start of 2009 now has over 1,000 members, in addition to many other regular readers. They range from museum and gallery curators, photographic academics, students, collectors, dealers and representatives from the photographic press from around the world.
The blogs on the site provide a forum for news of events and happenings within the British photographic history community. This can include lectures or meetings, exhibition news, jobs and general news affecting collections of photographic material or individuals within the field. BPH will also include relevant book and website reviews from time to time.
While the focus is on Britain it may, on occasion, include material that is of wider interest from Europe, the United States and Asia. Each member can develop their own pages much like on other social networking sites.
You can find the site at: http://britishphotohistory.ning.com/
. And please "friend" me there.
V&A MUSEUM OPENS NEW LARGE PHOTO GALLERY
London's Victoria & Albert Museum will open a new expanded photography gallery in October, according to a report by Michael Pritchard, (see: http://britishphotohistory.ning.com/profiles/blogs/exclusive-vampa-to-open-new
). The opening is scheduled for October 25th. The new gallery actually returns much of the space lost in a reorganization of the museum and loss of sponsorship of a larger previous gallery a few years ago.
The permanent new gallery considerably expands the space dedicated to photographs at the museum. According to Pritchard, the gallery's opening exhibit will be a selection of photographs by key figures of photographic history including Victorian portraits by Julia Margaret Cameron and significant works by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Man Ray, Alfred Stieglitz, Diane Arbus and Irving Penn. The gallery will chronicle the history of photography from its invention in 1839 up to the 1960s. The display will be re-curated every 18 months.
Temporary displays, primarily showcasing contemporary photography, will be shown in the V&A's existing photographs gallery. A broad range of works will be displayed in the new gallery, including the oldest photograph in the V&A collection, a daguerreotype from 1839 of Parliament Street from Trafalgar Square in London.
Other highlights will be an early cyanotype by Anna Atkins, a dramatic seascape by Gustave Le Gray, and a commanding portrait by Robert Howlett of Isambard Kingdom Brunel standing in front of the chains of the Great Eastern. Later works on display will include Curtis Moffat's camera-less photograph of a dragonfly (about 1925) influenced by Man Ray's pioneering style and the Milk Drop by Harold Edgerton.
There will also be two 'In Focus' sections, each featuring a photographer represented in depth in the V&A collection. The first will be dedicated to British photographer Julia Margaret Cameron and the second will present Henri Cartier-Bresson.