Jessica Johnston's Posts

Jessica Johnston is an Assistant Curator in the Department of Photographs at George Eastman House. She manages numerous exhibitions and projects at the museum including our recent participation on the Flickr Commons.

Where We Live: Rochester Autochromes

Posted by on Aug 24 2009 | Exhibitions, Other

Here is another sneak peek of some gems from the collection that will be on view during the Where We Live exhibition this Fall. This selection shows 3 of the 54 Autochromes by  Charles C. Zoller (American  1854-1934) that will be reproduced and displayed for the exhibition.  Autochromes are extremely sensitive to light so we are not able to exhibit the original object for any length of time. To work around this limitation we are making reproductions on transparency material and will display it on a large wall mounted lightbox. Nothing can recreate the experience of looking at the original object, but the display will be fabulous; seeing Rochester in color in the early 1900 hundreds is pretty cool! The collections at George Eastman House holds approximatly 4000 Autochromes by amateur photographer and Rochesterian, Charles Zoller.  


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I Heart Postcards

Posted by on Aug 13 2009 | Photography

Right now we are all working on the Fall show, Where We Live, that celebrates Rochester’s 175th Birthday. The exhibition is full of great photographs of our fair city, with a fun mix of objects from the collection, as well as contemporary work by local artists, submissions from ordinary Rochesterians, and of course, postcards.  We have a lot of postcards in the collection and they are fascinating. I love looking at the idealized visions of place and reading the snippets of news or anecdote scrawled on the back.  Postcards are fun, collectable and can teach us a little bit about travel, tourism and social history. As part of Where We Live Eastman House is going to display close to 100 postcards of Rochester from the early 1900′s to the present and I’ve selected a few to preview on the blog.  


I love how turquoise Eastman House used to be!


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The Moon Imagined

Posted by on Jul 21 2009 | Exploring the Archive

James Hall Nasmyth (1808-1890), a Scottish inventor and engineer, is best known for his development of the steam hammer. After his success in engineering and industry, Nasmyth retired and spent his later life pursuing the hobby of amateur astronomy. He moved to Kent and built a 20 inch reflecting telescope, made detailed observations of the Moon, and eventually in 1874, he published a book titled  The Moon: Considered as a Planet, a World, and a Satellite. This wonderful volume is illustrated with photographs (woodburytypes) and a copy is housed in the rare book collection in The Richard and Ronay Menschel Library at George Eastman House. The book was published to demonstrate the origin of certain mountain ranges on the Moon  through erosion and age. Nasmyth and co-author  James Carpenter  believed that Lunar mountains were the result of volcanic activity, a theory that was later disproved.Plate21 Continue Reading »

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One year on the Flickr Commons!

Posted by on Jul 17 2009 | Other

Today marks the 1 year anniversary of the day we posted our first set of photographs on the Flickr Commons.  It is has been a great experience; sharing photographs and engaging Flickr users is so much fun it doesn’t even seem like work.  Here are a few stats that Ryan (Manager of Info Systems) pulled out of Flickr for this post:  12 sets, 655 notes, 813 photographs, 3,961 comments, 9,885 tags, 26,008 favorites and 1,971,520 views!  We are almost at 2 million views, which is a heady number for a medium sized museum in Rochester, NY!  We would love to reach 5 million by this time next year and we are excited to see what will come of all these people looking at and thinking about the photographs we care for at Eastman House.   So thanks to all the Flickr users who make the Commons a real community.  I’ve posted some screen shots to show off our photostream, but if you haven’t seen the Commons you take a look.

Eastman House's 12 sets on the Flickr Commons 


Eastman House's 12 sets on the Flickr Commons

Our tag could!

Our tag cloud!

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Nature as Artifice: Cary Markerink & Theo Baart

Posted by on Jul 07 2009 | Photography

Several of the artists featured in Nature as Artifice travelled to Rochester to help us install the  exhibition.  We had a great time hosting our Dutch guests and hope to work with them again. We have some ideas for future projects but in the meantime we asked Cary Markerink & Theo Baart to write something about their project for the blog. They sent a great description of the project and images of their Snelweg series installed in different venues. Enjoy!

Snelweg: Highways in the Netherlands                                 by Cary Markerink & Theo Baart

The Netherlands is a small country with a population of 16 million people. It would easily fit four times into New York State. Space is scarce. Since the 1970s the country has been transformed into a big suburbia, interconnected by a grid of highways and railroad-tracks.  We were looking for a metaphor for this transformation of the Dutch landscape (and in a broader perspective Dutch culture) and we decided the highway could showcase the changed country in it’s frantic rush towards economic progress.

Kunsthal, Rotterdam 1996

Kunsthal, Rotterdam 1996

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