A Visit with Verna Curtis at the Library of Congress

Verna Curtis preparing to show me some highlights from the collection at the Library of Congress Division of Prints & Photographs.

An enviable wall of corkboard, with pristinely designed book jackets featuring the collection.

A view froma cubicle,Verna’s. In front of you ladies and gentlemen, is what I think is one of the most beautiful interiors in Washington, DC: the old Library of Congress building.  Verna’s office is in the newer Arthur Cotton Moore designed building. I once spent a day with Arthur Cotton Moore and his wife in their Gehry-esque (Cotton Moore designed de veras) metal sculpture on the Eastern shore where I first acquired my taste for the gin gimlet, up, and the affection of calling your beloved, Lovie, with no irony.  But I digress.

Verna has just completed a fabulous book, about the alubm through photographic history and it is an inspiraton.  I cannot wait to purchase it meself. Aperture worked with her and the book is as delightfully designed and useful to those interested in making their own albums.  Do look for it to win all sorts of awards.  I said it here first. It is cleverly executed and magnificently designed. I’m not going to give it all away here, lets just say the combination of material, and information is super -bueno!

I learned of this body of work by Max Waldman, about an area then called Colored Town in Miami Beach, Fla.

Coming later: some new additions to the collection.

Openings at Home and Abroad, Cheeseheads take Note! Cleveland Rocks.

April 15 – June 3 2011
Opening reception April 15th @ 6pm
The Gallery at Vivid Solutions, 2208 MLK Jr. Ave., SE, Washington, DC 20020

Local favorite Michelle Frankfurter is bringing down the gallery at Vivid Solutions on Martin Luther King Ave SE with her project wherein she rode the rails and search of redemption with a Hasselblad and Tri-X to keep her company. For those of who you who always wanted the DC street credit of having dipped one’s toes East of the River  here is your perfect opportunity!  The gallery is nicely situated just East of the River on MLK Ave SE, and there is a new sit-down bar, Uniontown, across the street. This is the first sit down restaurant in SE in years and is a really nice restoration of the historic storefront.

The site of the current Uniontown Bar & Grill MLK Ave SE

Destino © Michelle Frankfurter

Kevin Miyazaki takes a very different approach to his colorful portraits of protesters outside the Wisconsin state capitol in Madison.  From somewhere in middle-America he writes:

My portraits of protesters in Madison, Wisconsin will be exhibited at two venues this month. This Friday, April 15th, the Portrait Society Gallery will exhibit an installation of (100) 8×10″ prints. The opening Friday night runs from 5-9 p.m. The photographs will be for sale at each venue, and I will donate my proceeds to Progressives United, an organization founded by former U.S. Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin.

* View a video of a selection of the protester portraits.

Check out his work in person and support Progressives United:

This Is What Democracy Looks Like

Portrait Society Gallery

207 E. Buffalo Street (Marshall Building), 5th floor, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

April 15 to May 1, 2011

Gallery hours: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 1-5 p.m.

Clampdown: Labor, Management, and the Recession

Zaller Gallery

16006 Waterloo Road, Cleveland, Ohio

April 30 to May 20, 2011

Opening reception on April 30, from 6-10 p.m.

Highlights from the Collection: the Sullivan Family Papers

One of the fun things about my part-time gig at the Anacostia Community Museum is being the first to be alerted about new items added to the online collection by archivist Jennifer Morris.  These photographs are from the collection of a Boston, Massachusetts family from World War One – the 1970s.  Not all of the collection has been processed yet but I am looking forward to seeing the rest.  You can see the rest of the collection for yourself online here.
All photographs: The Sullivan Family papers, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution, gift of Savina Martin, Dominga Martin and Donna Akiba Sullivan Harper.
Theodore M Sullivan in Army uniform
Young Lillian Mendez on porch holding a doll, Sullivan Family Papers

American Legion Group Photo c. 1940s

Francis and Theodore Sullivan with a family friend.

Closed Due to Maintenance: The Washington Monument as Federal Budget?

Going through the archive I found this old gem from a defunct series on Washington monuments. It struck me how it is a perfect metaphor for what is going on with the federal budget.  Of course what they don’t tell you is how expensive it is for agencies to maintain themselves in a continuing state of continuing resolutions. Well, guess we won’t have to worry about that anymore. Hope you don’t need a passport or drivers license anyone.  We’ll see how the babes in the sandbox on Capitol Hill play this week.



Flannery’s Silver Martini Set

Flanery O'Connor's Martini Set, Andalusia Farm, Milledgeville, Georgia © Susana Raab

I’ve been going through the archives, preparing for shows, organizing the archive, preparing for a website update.  Flannery’s martini set makes me hungry for a lazy summer afternoon on the porch with the cicadas buzzing, a good novel in your hand, not a fluffy beach read, but something that makes you laugh and cry, twisted and profound, and a nice gimlet sweating close by.  To dream, perchance to be!

Have a feeling this will turn into a photoblog as I start working out the visuals. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this bit of advice from one of my favorite, flawed, and fervent Catholics:

“When in Rome, do as you done in Milledgeville.”