Tonight: At the Museum of American Art Caring for your Photography Collection

Collectors, photographers, printmakers and lovers of legacies: Tonight at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, photographic conservator and author Sylvie Penichon will present a lecture of for collectors of contemporary photographs (hereafter referred to as “My People”). Technical information and tips for what to look for when acquiring artworks and preserving your collection will be discussed.  Come find out how to preserve your pictures for generations to come.

More info available here; My People I will see you at 6.

@AmericanArt

A Visit to the Library of Congress Pt. Two

© Catherine Wagner

It’s always a real treat to see original prints of great work and look at what the LOC is collecting.  A new discovery for me were the gorgeous 20×24″ silver gelatin prints of American classrooms taken in the 80’s by West Coast photographer Catherine Wagner called “American Classroom”.  The large format photographs capture the intense detail of the classrooms. In one a message scrawled on a perhaps first generation apple screen is a poignant memoir of a teens’ difficulties:

When I entered the dance studio I was surprised to find an atmosphere that was serious, yet joyful. That I did not know at that time was how this bare simple place would re-build my somewhat shattered life.

When I was nine my mom and dad broke up. They fought over everything they did. One night I was up in my room doing my homework and my mom came in and told me that she was moving away that night. She said she was going to California on a nine oclock . . …

© Catherine Wagner

© Catherine Wagner

Also out for my viewing pleasure were Phyllis Galembo‘s luscious color-saturated portraits of African’s in traditional and modern costumes.  All photographic outputs have their strengths and purposes, but for real viewing pleasure nothing beats a great print. Galembo serves this up in spades.  Palettes, pose, and ensembles are phenomenal!

© Phyllis Galembo

© Phyllis Galembo

© Phyllis Galembo

I was pleased to note that Jen Davis is represented. Her prints are bold and beautiful:

© Jen Davis

Scattered throughout the place willy-nilly are delightful unknown (at least to me) images (vintage prints!) by photographers we all know and love. Here, you have the American Gothic lady, Ella Watson, US Govt Charwoman in an alternate view by Mr. Gordon Parks.

A gorgeous Ben Shahn depression era photo of cotton pickers, “At the End of the Day.”

Dorothea Lange’s Salvation Army photograph of a girl’s sunday school class at an open-air meeting.

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.

Holiday Shopping Local and Away

Looking for some art that supports a good cause? Two opportunities await you! Locals, attend the Washington Project for the Arts Icebox event, which I participated in last year and will triumphantly return to this year with small prints from my A Sense of Place series framed in vintage 4×5 film holders and accompanied by the catalogue of the same name.  It is quite an adorable and tactile gift, if I do say so myself, and only available at Icebox.  Thirty-five percent of the proceeds go to support the WPA and they kick off the event with a holiday shopping party with victuals and what-not. I purchased quite a few gifts there myself last year, and intend a repeat performance.  Here are the details:

December 3 – December 23
First Friday Opening Reception: Friday, December 3, 6-8pm
Special Shopping Event: Monday, December 20, 6:30-8:30pm

Washington Project for the Arts is pleased to announce the opening of our second annual holiday gift shop, IceBox.  The shop will feature a wide variety of artworks and other handmade goods by WPA member artists. Participating artists include Double A Projects (Athena Robles and Anna Stein), Denee Barr, Sandy Gold, James Halloran, Linda Hesh, Ellen Hill, Rebecca Kallem, Alice Kress, Laurel Lukaszewski, Susana Raab, Amy Carmichael Smith, John Totaro, Katharine Watson and Claudia Vess. Featuring jewelry, small works of art, household goods, totebags and greeting cards, IceBox offers a great selection of creative, unique holiday gifts!

IceBox, which will take over the WPA office at 2023 Massachusetts Avenue NW, runs from December 3 through December 23. There will be an opening reception on Friday, December 3 from 6-8pm, in conjunction with Dupont Circle First Fridays, and a special shopping event on Monday, December 20 from 6:30-8:30pm. The shop will also be open Monday-Friday, from 12pm-5pm and by appointment.

A small selection of the Collect.Give crew.

Do you all know about Collect.Give? Brain-child of Milwaukee photo legend Kevin Miyazaki, it is a collective of photographers selling prints to support charitable causes of their choosing.  100 % of the proceeds go the charity, so what are you waiting for.  I’ve got a few prints left of Old Havana Street, Cuba, and will throw in a bonus prize for anyone who orders this month.

There are a multitude of photographers with causes to support: Jane Fulton Alt, Jonathan Blaustein, Mark Brautigam, Barbara Ciurej, Amy Eckert, Matt Eich, Jon Feinstein, Sarina Finkelstein, Elizabeth Fleming, Max Gerber, Ben Huff, Dave Jordano, Stella Kalaw, Melissa Kaseman, David Leventi, Lindsay Lochman, John Loomis, Kerry Mansfield, Mark Menjivar, Annie Marie Musselman, Moi, Ellen Rennard, Dalton Rooney, Kelly Shimoda, Emily Shur, Allison V. Smith, Aline Smithson, Brea Souders, Lacey Terrell, Sonja Thomsen and David Wright.

Kevin‘s also upping the ante with some more party favors:

To celebrate our one-year anniversary, we have exciting plans for the first week of December:

• From now through December 8, anyone who purchases a print will be eligible for the following gifts:

(4) $100 gift certificates to the photo-eye bookstore

(5) Food Journal booklets, created by collect.give contributor Mark Menjivar and Kate Bingaman-Burt

• One lucky buyer on Thursday, December 2nd (our official anniversary) will win a FREE PRINT:  Buy one, and have your name in the running for a second print of your choice (any still available), regardless of price.

To be eligible for any of the giveaways, you must email us with the date and print purchased: kevin@collectdotgive.org
If you’ve gotten this far, thanks for reading this.  I appreciate your support and hope to see you at Icebox tonight. I’ll be scrambling to get there on the later side. Do introduce!


Halloween! An embarrasment of treats.

Wow – Amy Stein has a great Halloween inspired print sale over at JBP’s 20×200.  Looks like they are selling like hotcakes so snap em up while you can here.  I have soft spot for Incredible Hunk due to baby brother’s Incredible Hulk underoos as a tot.  Anyone?

Conceptual ÜberChild: Eli Archibald

Eli Archibald is the only one of my friends and acquaintances’ children that I am facebook friends with.  I am sorry, and you know who you are, but it is bad enough to constantly feel inferior to Ruben‘s pectoral endowment vis a vis his photo updates on facebook (never go changin’ Ruben you are motivating me to 100 pushups!), without also being subjected to updates regarding Sally Jo’s first tooth.  But with Eli, there is the possibility of so much more, something Roger Ballen with a dash of Sally Mann, and hey maybe a bit of My Kid Could Paint That too (in the sense that he could be a savant, not that he could be a potential fraud! nevair!!!!).

Sure enough, the dynamic duo known as TA and Eli have put together a treasure of a collaboration, violating no sweatshop regulations in the process.

Echolilia: By Timothy and Eli Archibald

ECHOLILIA / Sometimes I Wonder

Published June 2010 by Echo Press, San Francisco, CA
Hardcover / 11 x 13 inches/ 70 pages / 43 photographs with an interview by Andy Levin of 100 Eyes Magazine.
First Printing: 20 copies signed by the artists
$120.00 plus shipping and handling via Paypal

You can read more about the project, look at and purchase the book here.

The Man, the Legend: ELI (with book)

Brilliant. Wm Greiner Print & Monograph on Ebay to benefit Haitian Earthquake Relief

© Wm Greiner

Silly me, I stupidly just donated directly to an organization working in Haiti.  If I just waited (and to be honest I just wanted to clear my conscience early, like when you are listening to public radio during a pledge drive and you just go and pledge that money so Ira Glass won’t be talking directly to you. I know, I am a woman of questionable good intentions.  Motivated sometimes by something not altogether empathy but a desire to just not feel guilt. At least I’m honest about it. Of course not the case with Haiti, which made that much more difficult to reconcile with how much blight that country has already suffered.)

Silly me, I could have bid my limited resources instead by this fantastic print and monograph by one Wm. Greiner, which he is auctioning off on ebay in a brilliant maneuver to raise funds for the people of Haiti, who certainly need funds (and water, HURRY!), and aid in great quantities, so I hope that not one of us is not moved to donate something, however seemingly insignificant.  Anyway, I already bid it up past my maximum.  Perhaps you will fare better. Best o’luck.