Roxana Aparicio Wolfe's Posts

Roxana Aparicio Wolfe is the Curator of Education and Online Communities at George Eastman House.

Let’s Hear it for New York…

Posted by on Oct 06 2011 | Other

Like many of you, I was closely watching our Live Benefit Auction at the Metropolitan Pavillion in NYC Monday night…seeing months and months of work by my colleagues unfold into an incredible event. Also like many of you, I wasn’t there ‘live’…and am still on the hunt for amazing photography.  Luckily our Online Auction is still on!

Not too surprisingly, yes, I am in a New York State of Mind… and as much as I could not put the Auction Catalog down, I now find myself regularly browsing igavel. I’ve been spending alot of time in particular with works that hold the monuments, mood and memory of my former city. The hardest problem will be deciding which one:

 Cori Pepelnjak, JoJo, Untitled (Off Duty Cab), 2009

Except for the blond hair and all the pink this could be me!…(ok, maybe a few years ago)



Helen K. Garber, Flat Iron Building, 1997
Pigment print mounted onto a wood panel and coated with beeswax(!) Yes, I own the New York ‘Then and Now’ book from that series, and love how Garber’s image transforms 1997 into ‘Old New York’ again. Which of course gets me all nostalgic when I stumble upon J.S. Johnston’s, ‘Four New York City Views’, 1893-1897 (two scenes below)  

and IRT Subway Construction, Union Square, 1902 by an unknown photographer.


I go from the Bronx…


Charles Johnstone, St. Mary\’s Playground East, Bronx, NY, 2008

…to ‘Yonkeros’ in Queens:

Jaime Permuth, Untitled, 2010


Four views of two icons. First from Suzanne Vlamis…

View From Liberty’s Crown, 1984

Twin Towers Aerial #1, 1979

…forever linked with that still-unimaginable day:

Pictometry, Statue of Liberty, Sept 11, 2001

Pictometry, We will never forget, 2001



Neal Slavin, Times Square Boogie Woogie, 2009

Have tripped on these steps (and they weren’t even wet)…  thought I had seen just about every kind of interesting view of Times Square before stumbling upon this wonderful photograph.


Ahron Foster, Out of the Gates, East Drive at 61st 2/26/05, 4:00 pm, 2005

A few days before they took them down, I was in town for a meeting at the Museum of Modern Art. Right around 4:00 pm, facing rush-hour and already late for a flight out of JFK, I still remember RUNNING over to Central Park just to walk under the gates one more time.








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Spotlight on Portraits

Posted by on Sep 29 2011 | Other

Once again I’ve spent way too much time browsing through the the Benefit Auction catalogue. It innocently sits on the corner of my desk… and has quickly become my go-to piece of visual interest.  Last year it was landscapes, this year the portraits in our Live and Online auctions are standing out.



 Cindy Sherman, Untitled (Doctor and Nurse), 1980

Cindy Sherman photographs herself in different identities and situations, and I can’t recall ever seeing her work as a diptych.  This piece was created just following her Untitled Film Stills, 1977–1980 series , which brought her international recognition. And, of course, this past May a 1981 Sherman portrait, Untitled #96,  became the record holder for a photograph sold at auction. I wonder if she’ll ever pose as a Suffragette? (see last portrait below)


 William Coupon, Jerry Garcia, 1988

Coupon’s medium-shot and single-light portraits reference Dutch painting masters and are less about fashion than about personality. I have to confess it is entertaining just to see Garcia posed à la Rembrandt. Among Coupon’s notable sitters is another famed musician featured in the auction, Miles Davis. He appears with his trademark deep, penetrating gaze on his face….and a baby in his arms.



Various Artists, Five Stars: A Limited Edition Collection of Classic Portraits 

Classic portraits from Vanity Fair including works by photographers such as Cecil Beaton, Anton Bruehl, and Edward Steichen. Portraits of Louis Armstrong, Louise Brooks, George Gershwin, Katharine Hepburn, and Leslie Howard are featured in this portfolio.  It was fun for me to just imagine these stars in conversation based on their expression, gesture and (especially in Leslie Howard’s case) wardrobe.


 Nickolas Muray, Frida (Blue Dress), 1938

Known for his commercial images and celebrity portraits, Muray photographed some of the twentieth century’s best-known icons,  such as this portrait of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. Their relationship is legendary… and as a former latina art student myself, Kahlo as a subject in portraits (both in her own painting as well as photographs taken of her)- and the public interest in them- has been continually fascinating.


Gertrude Kasebier, Untitled (studio portrait of a woman),  ca. 1905

Inscription in unknown hand in pencil reads ‘Carrie Chapman Catt’. A close colleague of Susan B. Anthony, Catt served as president of the National American Woman Sufferage Association (Anthony selected Catt to succeed her) and was the founder of the League of Women Voters and the International Alliance of Women. One of the things I have always loved about moving to Rochester is the Susan B. Anthony House and how it serves, like this photograph does, as a reminder of both the leaders and the many ‘Untitled’ people who have been involved in a struggle to bring about change.



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Eastman House Travel Photography Series and Exhibition Photographers at 2011 Benefit Auction

Posted by on Sep 29 2011 | Other

As was the case last year, we are sure you will notice some very familiar faces to the Museum in the 2011 Benefit Auction. Our Wish You Were Here Travel Photography Series continues to be one of our most popular lecture offerings, and we’ve been thrilled to revisit the work of some of our recent exhibitors who have garnered high praise and engaged our audiences.


 Wish You Were Here  series speakers

John Isaac, Studying Together, Karachi, Pakistan, 1981

Featured in our Online AuctionSeries Speaker, 2010. VIEW


Burt Glinn, Untitled [Elizabeth Taylor in Segaro, Spain on set of Suddenly Last Summer], 1959

Featured in our Online Auction. Series Speaker, 2005.


 Doug Menuez, Friends, Rakai Home, Uganda, 2006

Featured in our Online Auction. Series Speaker, 2009.


Todd Hido, #2552, 1999Series Speaker, 2011 VIEW

Larry Towell, Isaac’s First Swim, Lambton County, ON, Canada, 1996Series Speaker, 2006

Denis Defibaugh, Birds of paradise, Veracruz, Mexico, 2011 Series Speaker, 2006

Ed Kashi, City of the Dead, Cario, 1993Series Speaker, 2008 LISTEN IN

Douglas Kirkland, Coco Chanel, 1962Series Speaker, 2010.

Phyllis Galembo, Mami Wata Masqueade, Alok village, Nigeria, 2004 . Series Speaker, 2008. Exhibition: West African Masquerade: Photographs by Phyllis Galembo


Exhibition Photographers

Steve McCurry, Rabari Man with Henna Beard, Rajasthan, India, 2010

Featured in our Live Auction. Series Speaker, 2002 & 2005. Exhibition:  The Last Roll of Kodachrome, 2011. BLOG  VIEW 


Eastman Kodak Company: Sam Campanaro and Marty Czamanske, Fifteen Babies (Colorama #510), June 25, 1984

Featured in our LIVE AUCTION. Read this Colorama BLOG.


Roger Ballen, Boy Under Lamp, 2001.

Featured in our Online Auction. Exhibition: Roger Ballen: PHOTOGRAPHS 1982-2009, 2010.  VIEW


 Larry Merrill, Tree, Central Park, 2008

Featured in our Online Auction. Exhibition:  Larry Merrill: Looking at Trees, 2011.



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The Empire State Building Celebrates 80 years

Posted by on May 02 2011 | History, Photography

Here’s a look back at the construction of this New York landmark through the iconic images of Lewis Hine.

Lewis W. Hine, NEIL DOHERTY, ca. 1931





View more Lewis Hine images of the Empire State Building and from this era documenting Ellis Island, Child Labor, and the Industrial Age.


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The Beast is born

Posted by on Jan 03 2011 | Motion Pictures, Other

We rang in the New Year at the Dryden Theatre with Jon Moses and Albert Birney’s The Beast Pageant. Here the filmmakers take us through their journey to create the ‘strangest — and most tuneful —folk avant-garde dispatch of recent years’:

In 2005 we visited the Dryden Theater to see the great filmmaker Walter Murch discuss sound and film editing. We were so inspired we decided to move here. We got jobs at the theater selling tickets and popcorn. One day while squeezing coconut butter into the popcorn machine The Beast Pageant quest was born.

We had no idea what we were doing. The story emerged from sharing dreams and playing Nintendo. We wrote the script on back porches over many early mornings. We found our 16mm Bolex camera in a dumpster behind a Hospital in Baltimore. We filled an entire basement full of broken televisions, abandoned computers, creepy mannequins, and tons of rusty scrap metal. When it was time to begin shooting we rented a small, one room studio in an old brick building a few blocks from where we live. Our studio was surrounded by cabinet and chair builders so we shot at night when it was quiet.

Rochester was the perfect place to make The Beast Pageant. There are trees, you can see the sky, and there are plenty of sad decaying factories crying to be captured on film. Since Kodak is based here we were able to buy, develop and transfer the film locally. We had a budget of zero dollars. We would save up money for a few weeks, buy film, and then save up for the next batch. We found most of the props and costumes in the garbage. A friend was renovating a house so we got old floor boards, sinks and doors. We built the sets with paper-mâché, cardboard and discarded wood. Our crew was a beautiful bunch of friends that we met around town. Actors were plucked from the Dryden lobby. Making the film was like solving a giant hairy puzzle. We constantly edited and welcomed the happy accidents along the way. The Beast Pageant felt like a living thing, an organic master telling us what it wanted, making unusual demands like gathering pounds of dead fish and being covered in cottage cheese. It constantly changed and evolved until the end product was clear and the monster was alive!

Jon Moses, Albert Birney… and where it all began.


 See The Beast Pageant – Trailer from Jubadaba on Vimeo.

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