Dresden Engle's Posts

Dresden Engle is the Public Relations Manager for George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film.

Tony Bannon’s 16 years: Part 5

Posted by on Apr 28 2012 | History

At George Eastman House we are planning a tribute gala for Dr. Anthony Bannon, the Ron and Donna Fielding Director, for May 12 titled “An Evening in Technicolor.” He leaves Eastman House after 16 years at the helm. Over the last week we have shared highlights of the Museum’s amazing successes during his tenure. This is the fifth and final installment, including numbers 13 through 16 (16 stories for 16 years). Thank you, Tony, for a fabulous 16 years!


13) Honors for Eastman House and the Photo and Film World

Dresden Engle, public relations manager:

During Tony’s tenure Eastman House received top honors for motion picture preservation from the International Documentary Association and Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, plus the Briggs & Stratton “Top Ten Lawns” for the estate’s landscaping. The Museum has also earned the Gold Award for podcasts from the American Association of Museums as well as numerous awards for publications and public relations from the American Marketing Association and Public Relations Society of America. Bannon himself also has been honored for his work. He was named CEO of the Year by the Public Relations Society of America, Rochester Chapter, in 2008, and in 2007 Tony earned the Golden Career Award from the FOTOfusion Festival of Photography & Digital Imaging. In 2010, Tony and an exhibition he curated that year – Roger Ballen: Photographs 1982-2009— were ranked among the top five finalists for Curator/Exhibition of the Year by the Lucie International Photography Awards. A total 26 prestigious awards were given by Eastman House to filmmakers and actors and celebrated citizens over the last 16 years, including the George Eastman Award, title of Eastman Honorary Scholar, Eastman Medal of Honor, and Eastman House Honors. Recipients include Meryl Streep, Dennis Hopper, Ken Burns, Kim Novak, Richard Gere, Tony Curtis, Jessica Lange, John Landis, Graham Nash, and Jeff Bridges.

Tony Bannon, left, with musician/photographer Graham Nash, when Nash received the title of George Eastman Honorary Scholar. At right is Trustee Lisa Brubaker.


14) National Accomplishments:

Pamela Reed Sanchez, director of strategic planning and resource development:

While Tony would be too modest to share this himself, he has accomplished much nationally during his tenure. He enlarged and diversified the Board of Trustees, which has more of a national focus with most members from outside the Rochester area, and helped enlarge our bases of support in cities such as New York City, Los Angeles, Toronto, and Chicago. Museum efforts under his direction garnered lead stories in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Variety, Popular Photography, and Forbes, to name only a few. He has increased Eastman House’s face globally through his world travels, serving as a guest judge for major awards and festivals, and collaborations, such as teaming with Kodak and leading artists to present Photo Week at Chautauqua in summer 2010. Tony has lead fundraising campaigns resulting in tens of millions of dollars for the Museum’s endowment and urgent capital needs.


15) Alliances

Roger Bruce, Director of Interpretation (retired): George Eastman House announced and forged a formal alliance with International Center for Photography in New York City in 2000, making collections and programs more accessible to the public. Our most aggressive joint project to date was the critically acclaimed exhibition and book titled Young America: The Daguerreotypes of Southworth & Hawes, featuring the Southworth & Hawes archive at Eastman House as well as 37 additional institutions. In December 2010, Eastman House announced a formal alliance with the University of Rochester, across all disciplines, which the American Association of the Museums called it the most extensive museum and university alliance in existence.


16) On a personal note …

Tony Bannon, the Ron and Donna Fielding Director, George Eastman House

I have been totally invested in George Eastman House and its wonderful extended family, but I feel it is time to move on. We have set into place a new and vigorous strategic direction, and it is time for new energy and vision to take that forward. I have been saying for years that our forebearers here at George Eastman House wrote the book about the photograph and film as objects worthy of preservation, of care, and of significance. Now it comes to us to share how these work in history and culture and to use them as vehicles that can carry us to any destination we might choose. As I look back on the last 16 years of magnificent experiences — the important acquisitions and exhibitions, the graduate schools that teach the world’s next leaders about preservation of collections, the movie stars who now are good friends of Eastman House – amidst the glitz and the glamor, I have one memory that is most treasured of all. That is the day I married my wife, Elizabeth Stewart, in the Rock Garden at Eastman House. Clearly, this Museum forever will be in my heart.


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Tony Bannon’s 16 years: Part 4

Posted by on Apr 27 2012 | Photography

We are celebrating Tony Bannon’s final weeks as director with a look at 16 successes over his 16 years. Today we share three more …


10) Outreach and Community Engagement

Eliza Kozlowski, Director of Communications and Visitor Engagement:

Tony has encouraged a heightened visitor experience and established the Museum’s first visitor services program. And he has spearheaded community collaboration to present socially conscious exhibitions and programs, such as the Picturing What Mattersexhibition one year after the Sept. 11 attacks, which hosted more than thousands of public photo submissions and 3,000 people on the Eastman House lawn for a candlelight vigil. Tony has served the community on the boards of Arts & Cultural Council, Rochester School for the Deaf, and High Falls Film Festival. And he championed the creation of the Eastman Young Professionals organization, which today is 2,000-members strong.

Eastman House coordinated a community vigil during the exhibition "Darfur, Darfur."


11) Camera Technology Collection

Todd Gustavson, Curator of Technology:

We adopted an aggressive collecting policy during Tony Bannon’s tenure, during which time he appointed me curator of the Technology Collection. He’s like the Energizer Bunny; he just keeps going and going. The technology vault has doubled in size and the collection is now the world’s largest collection of cameras and related equipment. Tony also has encouraged the publishing of books to showcase the collection, including the best-selling 2009 book Camera, out in paperback this September, and the 2011 book 500 Cameras, now available as an e-book, plus an upcoming book on snapshots.

Todd Gustavson, left, signs copies of the 2009 book "Camera."


12) Entrepreneurship

Peter Briggs, Manager of Commercial Development:

Tony realizes the importance of a staff position focused on commercial development. With this as a focus, Eastman House has entered into agreements to showcase the collection and raise funds through sale of prints, image-licensing, and publishing of books, including Getty Images, New York Times Store, Sterling Publishing, and Orange Logic. We have partnered with the company Levenger to sell reproductions of George Eastman’s reading desk and with Marshall Field’s to sell framed prints of the “First Photograph of Lighting” from our collection. We are continually looking for opportunities to showcase our collections while realizing the benefit of monetization for our non-profit museum and the millions of photo and film artifacts we preserve.


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Tony Bannon’s 16 years: Part 3

Posted by on Apr 26 2012 | Photography

We are celebrating Tony Bannon’s final weeks as director with a look at 16 successes over his 16 years. Today we share three more …

7) The Eastman Legacy

Kathy Connor, Curator of the George Eastman Legacy Collection, and

Amy Kinsey, the Nancy R. Turner Landscape Curator

Public access to the personal and business archives of George Eastman was opened in 1999 with the creation of the George Eastman Archive & Study Center, which is open to the public on site and can be accessed worldwide on the Internet. That same year the first endowment for the historic house and surrounding grounds was established, following the successful House & Garden Campaign. Key restoration projects include the bedroom of Eastman’s mother and the front lawn and backyard fence was rehabilitated using original plans. Eastman’s contributions to Rochester and the world were highlighted in 2004 with the exhibition The Remarkable George Eastman, much of it on view today on the mansion’s second floor. And the Eastman Archive has been made richer with the acquisition of the Kodak advertising collection as well as original artifacts from his niece’s family, with whom Tony and the Museum have fostered close ties.”

Eastman House acquired the Kodak advertising collection, totaling more than 100,000 print ads, during Tony Bannon's tenure.


8 ) Photography Acquisitions

Dr. Alison Nordström, Senior Curator of Photographs, Director of Exhibitions, and USA Director of the George Eastman House/Ryerson University MA in Photographic Preservation and Collections Management:

Major acquisitions in the last 16 years for which Tony played a key role include Kodak’s Colorama collection, the Roger Merton collection, the last roll of Kodachrome from Steve McCurry, and the Edward Steichen estate — including two rare Steichen autochromes personally acquired for the collection by Tony . Also, during Tony’s time the Museum has experienced its highest-attended exhibitions in its 64-year history.

A 1908 autochrome by Edward Steichen, acquired for the collection by Tony Bannon.

9) Online Global Reach/Education

Roxana Aparicio Wolfe, curator of education and online communities

In these 16 years, we have reinforced our dedication to arts-in-education partnerships and services. In Rochester, this has been through our long-standing involvement in the V.I.T.A.L. (Visual Integration of Technology Arts and Language) program and a focus on teacher training, as well as our summer photography camps. We’ve seen the impact of technology as a means to shape and increase how our audiences access our resources far beyond our doors, even earning top honors from the American Association of Museums for our podcasts. Tony has enthusiastically supported our web and social-media efforts, recognizing the role the Museum has to interpret, serve, and engage.


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Tony Bannon’s 16 years: Part 2

Posted by on Apr 25 2012 | Photography

We are celebrating Tony Bannon’s final weeks as director with a look at 16 successes over his 16 years. Today we share three more …

4) Library Collection

Rachel Stuhlman, Librarian and Curator of Rare Books for The Richard and Ronay Menschel Library:

There’s never been a dull moment since Tony arrived. He is so full of vitality and ideas. Combine the concepts “pragmatic” with “Utopian” and there you have Tony. Under Tony’s leadership the library collection has grown by several thousand volumes. All healthy growing libraries eventually outgrow their space, and our biggest challenge has been realizing a major vault expansion, now under construction. In 2007, the Eastman House and Steidl co-published a critically acclaimed book about the library collection from the pre-history of photography to the advent of Modernism, entitled Imagining Paradise,which is now a standard reference book on the photographic literature of the 19th century.

Eastman House’s critically acclaimed 2007 book “Imagining Paradise” showcases the library’s treasures.

5) Motion Picture Acquisitions and Preservation

Ed Stratmann, associate curator of motion pictures

Significant collections have been acquired into the motion picture collection in the last 16 years, including the Technicolor corporate archive, the archive of Merchant Ivory Productions, and continued deposits by filmmakers such Martin Scorsese, Ken Burns, Spike Lee, and Kathryn Bigelow. Key restoration projects during Tony’s tenure include the films Lost World, Big Parade, Ten Commandments, Sherlock Holmes, Pandora and the Flying Dutchman, and Huckleberry Finn. Eastman House continues to be a world-leader in preservation and a respected leader and partner in the field.

A three-strip Technicolor camera, which is on view in the Eastman House camera gallery.


6) Digitization of Collections
Roger Bruce, Director of Interpretation (retired)

Together Tony and I introduced a digital awareness among trustees and staff, to share our collection with the world. To date Eastman House has digitized close to half of its collection of photographs and was at the forefront of this effort among museums. Today Eastman House partners with Orange Logic to license collection images, has a strong presence on Flickr’s “The Commons” and is building a solid platform for the management of the Museum’s digital assets. In the early days these initiatives were often foundational, requiring a vision for the long-game and a constancy for which I will always be grateful.


Yesterday we kicked off our week-long block with a look at our graduate programs, all started under Tony’s leadership:


Learn more about Tony’s farewell gala: http://shop.eastmanhouse.org/technicolor-philanthrophist.html


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To celebrate Tony Bannon’s tenure, we share 16 museum successes from his 16 years

Posted by on Apr 23 2012 | Student Work

Here at George Eastman House we are planning a farewell gala for Dr. Anthony Bannon, the Ron and Donna Fielding Director, for May 12 titled “An Evening in Technicolor.” He leaves Eastman House after 16 years at the helm. Over the next five days we will share highlights of the Museum’s amazing successes during his tenure.

At the top of the list are advancements in higher education, with one-year certificate programs and master’s degrees in film and photographic preservation, plus a decade-long fellowship program in photograph conservation.


1) The L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation

Dr. Paolo Cherchi Usai, Senior Curator of Motion Pictures:

I recall Tony hammering out details with me, Jeffrey Selznick, and Trustee Ted Curtis in 1996 about starting the school, which was to be the first of its kind in the world. We soon will celebrate the graduation of the 16th class. The program offers a master’s degree in conjunction with the University of Rochester, and archives around the world are staffed by Selznick School graduates, allowing for a connected network that benefits film preservation globally.

“Gone With the Wind” screen tests, restored via a Selznick School project.


2) Photographic Preservation and Collections Management

Dr. Alison Nordström, Senior Curator of Photographs, Director of Exhibitions, and USA Director of the George Eastman House/Ryerson University MA in Photographic Preservation and Collections Management:

Eastman House has been training the next generation in the photographic field since 1947 and now more than ever there is a need for formal, high-level educational programs. To educate future leaders in the field, we established in 2003 a Master of Arts degree in Photographic Preservation and Collections Management with Toronto’s Ryerson University. This program, now also available as a one-year certificate program, is a comprehensive combination of practical and classroom experience, offering students access to renowned collections and faculty, as well as our library of photographica and conservation lab. Graduates of this program are working in archives and museums across the globe.

Conservator Taina Meller, left, with students of the Photographic Preservation and Collections Management master’s degree program.


3) Photograph Conservation

Taina Meller, Head of the Kay R. Whitmore Conservation Center:

George Eastman House has been a major influence in photograph conservation education and research under Dr. Bannon’s leadership. From 1999 to 2009, the Advanced Residency Program, generously funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and offered in conjunction with RIT’s Image Permanence Institute, provided an extraordinary educational opportunity for almost 40 conservators from all over the world. Today, many of the historic processes previously taught as part of this fellowship program are taught in workshops throughout the year at Eastman House and at the Fox Talbot Museum in Lacock , England. In recent years George Eastman House conservators have been called upon to conduct most challenging conservation treatments on iconic photographs. These include 1848 Daguerreotype Panorama of Cincinnati Waterfront, a significant collection of the first ever photographs of Manila, Philippines, and a glass interpositive of Abraham Lincoln’s famous Hesler portrait of 1860, Lincoln’s favorite – which arrived at the museum as shards of glass. An unprecedented series of grant awards supporting conservation have been hallmark achievements during Dr. Bannon’s tenure. These range from the NEA’s Save America’s Treasures grant to the inaugural award by the National Science Foundation, which we received collaboratively with the University of Rochester.

Tomorrow: We look at motion picture acquisitions, our library, and digitization of the collections

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