Pamela Reed Sanchez's Posts

Pamela Sanchez is a member of the Senior Staff of George Eastman House. She's a blogging neophyte just venturing into the 21st century.

Fashion in Photography: a Royal Family Album

Posted by on Aug 11 2011 | Behind The Scenes, Exploring the Archive, Photography

During their recent visit to the area for a family wedding, fashion photographer David Burton and his wife Sarah stopped by our Gannett Foundation Photographic Study Center. Archivist Joe Struble prepared a selection of ‘fashion in photography’ images on the print rail and brought a few albums out for viewing— which gave us a chance to take a closer look at one album that made a particular (and timely!) impression with the Burtons : the British royal family.

Archivist Joe Struble (left) with Sarah and David Burton.

 

A view of images on the print rail.

 

Sarah Burton examines the royal family album.

 

The following details are from the album Famile Royal D’Angleterre, ca. 1863 (seen above). The images are printed by the van dyke brown process on silk (look closely and you can see the stiching and fabric folds).

 

 Queen Victoria

 

 Princess Louise

 

Princess Alexandra 

 

Prince Albert Victor 

 

 Princess Beatrice

 

Prince Leopold

View more of our The Photography Collection or browse selected sets on Flickr.

 

 

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You Never Know Who You’ll Meet at an Eastman House Gathering

Posted by on Jun 10 2011 | Other

Trustee Victoria Cherry refers to this as the Eastman House “portal”, and it was in full effect this past Tuesday evening in New York City.

Actor Julian Sands and trustee Victoria Cherry.

Victoria and her husband Bill hosted a gathering in their New York City home, where British actor Julian Sands gave a poetry reading of the works of the late Harold Pinter. Julian worked closely with Pinter before his death on tone and inflection, and it is with both Pinter and his widow Antonia Fraser’s blessing that Julian uses his gift to keep the voice of Pinter alive.  If  you’re not familiar with Pinter….do an imdb search and ogle at the list of 29 screenplays he wrote. I venture you’ve seen many of them. As for Julian, you know him from Merchant Ivory’s A Room With a View, Boxing Helena, and many more, including the upcoming David Fincher version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (check out the trailer on YouTube!) 
And now i feel like i’m writing page 6: 

Artist Edward Mapplethorpe, Trustee Elaine Goldman, and actor Julian Sands.

In attendance was artist Edward Mapplethorpe, whom had last seen Julian 22 years ago in Los Angeles when he photographed Julian.  Julian maintains that the portrait Edward took of him has become the iconic photograph of him, with fans often sending downloaded copies of it to him for autographs.  Without much urging, Julian coaxed Edward into a new edition of the photograph, which was auctioned off Tuesday night with proceeds benefiting Eastman House.  Incoming trustee Elaine Goldman was the winning bidder. 

 

 

Barbara Steele, Julian Sands, and Lisa Marie.

Also attending were actors Barbara Steele and Lisa Marie and I have to admit my head turned a bit. It’s not every day you meet someone who worked with Fellini, and it’s not every day you meet someone who was in several of your favorite films (I’m a sucker for Ed Wood and Sleepy Hollow).  I hope to see them both at Eastman House one day soon.  Eastman House trustees Susan Robfogel, Nathan Benn, and David Neill were also on hand, as were photographers Jessica Burstein and Renate Aller.

 

Julian Sands with his brother -in-law Rob Citkowitz.

Julian’s brother-in-law, Rob Citkowitz, lives in New York, and he and his wife joined us for the event as well.  As it turns out, Rob’s father Israel Citkowitz had has portrait taken by Stieglitz a number of times….and there may just be a photograph of his father in the Eastman House collection. 
okay, enough namedropping….it was an amazing evening….and we hope to repeat it soon.  let us know if you’d like to organize an event like this in your neighborhood!

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Eastman House experiencing and “working at” AIPAD in NYC

Posted by on Mar 18 2011 | Behind The Scenes, Other, Photography

Go ahead, be jealous. I DO have the best job in the world.  How many other people can spend three days looking at 82 booths bursting with photographs and call it “work”?

It's the first day of AIPAD 2011 ...

 I’m in New York City for the annual AIPAD photography show at the Armory on Park Avenue. AIPAD is the Association of International Photography Art Dealers, and the fair brings dealers from around the world to New York City to sell everything from the finest vintage photographs to head-turning contemporary work.  Dealers bring what they think will sell, and each year their selection differs.

I have been to AIPAD shows in which I saw the same photograph in ten different booths; that’s not the case this year.  Yes, if you are looking for Ansel Adams’ “Moonrise Over Hernandez” or one of Aaron Siskind’s images from his Levitation series, you will have several places to compare prices. But by and large, there’s not a great deal of replication this year, and that makes for an interesting exhibition. 

Vintage photography "rules" at AIPAD.

Yes, vintage rules at AIPAD, but there are contemporary highlights to be sure. One of the first booths you’ll see is that of the Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, pictured here. Bryce’s gallery, located in Chelsea, represents artists from the Helsinki School, many of whom are incorporating new technologies into their photographic work, with great success.

Contemporary work showcased at AIPAD

 

Thousands are gathering today at the AIPAD fair.

Fun, too, to see the work of friends of George Eastman House on display. The Weinstein Gallery is featuring the work of Alec Soth, the Monroe Gallery is presenting the work  Steven Wilkes, Steve McCurry is well-represented by the Fetterman Gallery, and there are four galleries showing Alex Webb’s work – all these photographers have lectured at Eastman House in recent years. And the Julia Saul Gallery is exhibiting the work of Debbie Grossman, a native of Rochester whose photographic career is really taking off. 

For those interested in photographs as historical documents, there are few better places to be this weekend than AIPAD, where you can find photographs from the Civil War through the present day. A couple galleries, including Gallery 339 and Galerie Priska Pasquer, are sharing the work of contemporary Japanese photographers.  In fact, at Galerie Priska Pasquer, proceeds from sales of the work of Lieko Shiga are being donated to Japanese relief efforts.  Shiga’s home and studio were destroyed last week in the earthquake and subsequent tsunami. Sort of puts it all in perspective…. 

 Back to the show … if you’re here, hope you’ll say hello!

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One week later… and still smiling about Ken Burns and Geoff Ward

Posted by on Aug 20 2010 | Motion Pictures, Other, Photography

It’s hard to believe a week has gone by since Ken Burns and Geoff Ward were here at Eastman House to receive George Eastman Medals of Honor.  I’m not sure I’ve stopped smiling since then — listening to brilliant minds discuss their 28-year partnership was truly a privilege.  These two guys – who on the surface could not be more different – have forged a symbiotic relationship that has resulted in making American history come alive for millions of us. 

Ken Burns sitting for an interview in the Eastman House Terrace Garden

Geoff Ward with the George Eastman House Medal of Honor

George Eastman House Director Anthony Bannon introducing Burns and Ward 

I think many people know Ken Burns’ name: as director, his have been the key name and face identified with so many award-winning documentaries.  In person, he’s sprite-like, even jumping up on a chair when he gets intensely involved in working out details of a project.  He enjoys a crowd and is an eloquent extemporaneous speaker, stringing together words in magical sentences in ways most authors only dream of.

 

Fewer people know Geoff Ward’s name, which is part of the reason Eastman House wanted to jointly honor this dynamic duo.  Geoff has an unmatched ability to create the narrative arc of the stories the two work to relay…stories they admitted to not always having a shared passion for.  The Jazz series, Geoff told us, was a dream of his since he was nine years old, while Ken knew little about the subject.  The opposite was true of Baseball.   

Part of the charm of this event, I think, was the interplay between Ken and Geoff, who told me afterward they had never before had an opportunity to discuss their process in front of a group – to “bat things about onstage”, as Geoff described it.  And so the audience felt in the midst of a conversation among good friends.

Burns and Ward speaking to a sold-out audience in the Dryden Theatre 

 

There was something incredibly satisfying in learning that Ken and Geoff still do all their own original research.  They don’t send research assistants and interns out looking for photographs and moving images or subjects to interview.  They want to see that source material themselves; they fear that were someone to bring them 500 images from a cache of 1000 photographs, there might be one photograph that, had they seen it with their own eyes, would have given them a key story fragment.

Their process is convoluted, exhaustive and likely exasperating for those not intimately involved, for they don’t start with a script.  They start with a subject, and then seek to find anything and anyone that can shed light on the subject.  They don’t always know where they’re going, and they check their egos at the door, willing to also leave on the cutting room floor what one may have thought would be critical to the story early on.  The result is historical storytelling that catches us by surprise, even when we know history’s outcomes.  As Burns said, “We know Lewis and Clark got back.  We know the Union won the Civil War.  But if we tell the story well, the viewer can get caught up in the moment and forget that he knows where the story goes.  That’s when we know we’ve got it right.” 

 

One of my favorite moments of the evening was Geoff telling the audience about his time spent earlier in the day with Joe Struble, Archivist for our Photograph Collection.  Geoff is a Roosevelt scholar, and admits to being fairly obsessed with Theodore, Franklin, and Eleanor (and is working now with Burns on creating a new documentary on the Roosevelts). He thought he had seen every photograph ever made of all three Roosevelts.  But in the space of 45-minutes, Joe brought out six photographs Geoff had never before seen, including photographs of Eleanor Roosevelt by Edward Steichen.  I, for one, will be looking for those Steichen photographs of Eleanor when the Roosevelt documentary airs several years from now.  And I’m guessing I’ll be on the edge of my seat, wondering whether FDR can actually get that New Deal through Congress. 

 Here’s to you, Ken and Geoff!  Thanks for giving all our guests an intimate look at your work, and thanks for helping promote civic values and civic action through your work.  George Eastman  himself would applaud your efforts. 

 Greeting fans at the post-presentation booksigning event

 

Editors Note: Visit our Ken Burns and Geoff Ward Facebook Photo Album  for more images of their visit.

 

 

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Chautauqua Week on Photography – Day Five

Posted by on Jul 30 2010 | Other, Photography

Yesterday afternoon, author, photography futurist, and professor Fred Ritchin challenged me (and others) to recall any iconic images since 9/11 that weren’t celebrity-related.  I couldn’t do it.  Millions of images are generated around the globe every hour – Jimmy Colton at Sports Illustrated told us he reviews 10,000 images each day – but try to bring to mind ONE image representing the war in Afghanistan.  Or Iraq.  Or Iran.  Say “Vietnam” and the images immediately appear in your head.  “Civil Rights movement.”  I bet we’ve got the same pictures in mind. 

So why is it in an era of instant communication via images, we don’t have that shared visual history? Has not enough time passed to declare the icons?  Are we not keeping news magazines on our coffee tables for a week or more, causing the picture to get seared into our gray matter?  Are we scanning online too quickly, or do the images move too fast on the television screen?  I’m told by the experts here that there are just as many photojournalists out there taking photos as there were in past years – yet the images we MAY recall are cell phone images and videos, like that of Iranian teenager Neda.  

Fred contends that journalists are not providing us with reference points –that there are fewer and fewer images that explain to us how the world works.

Fred Ritchin speaking at the Hall of Philosophy.

 

 His students, he points out, tell him that CNN and the New York Times aren’t needed in a world where we can all upload our own images to flickr. But try to learn about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina by typing “New Orleans” into the search field on flickr, and you’ll find scores of images of young people partying in the French Quarter.  Ritchin contends that we’ve moved from “a consideration of life to a consideration of ‘me’” – that there are so many images we can no longer see outside of ourselves. 

Hyperbolic?  Alarmist?  I’m not so sure.  I’ve spent the last 12 hours or so thinking about this, and also about something David Friend said yesterday.  David is Editor of Creative Development at Vanity Fair , and author of the book Watching the World Change:  The Stories Behind the Images of 9/11.” Yesterday he asked the question, “What would be different if 9/11 happened today?” Can you imagine the proliferation of twitter feeds, youtube videos, and photos on flickr that would have emanated from inside the towers?

That’s what I went to sleep thinking about last night. 

 David Friend listening to a 9/11 story

So this morning’s talk by Billy Collins, former poet laureate of the United States, about the relationship between photographs and poetry, provided much needed lighter moments. 

Why, you ask, end a week on photography with a lecture by a poet?  Well, Billy Collins connected the dots for us all.    

Poems slow time down.  Photographs manage to stop time.  Poetry asks us to come back to a metronomic slowness, but images are lifted out of a stream of time. 

Photography is silent.  Poetry wants to talk.  The power of the photograph is its silence – the strange quieting of the noise and commotion of life, whether it be the powerful silence of a western landscape, or the personal silence of Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother. 

According to Billy, you can choose not to read a poem, or to stop reading a poem, but you can’t stop the green-eyed Afghan girl from coming into your head. 

 Eastman House Director Tony Bannon and Billy Collins on stage in the amphitheatre at Chautauqua Institution.

 

Billy Collins started his talk by stating that he’s a bad photographer, as he found himself taking a picture of overturned colorful kayaks, which he realized was actually a picture he’d seen before.  Hmm.  Took this one this morning before hearing him…guess i am a photo plagiarist, too!

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