Archive for the 'Photography' Category

Hair, film, and photography

Posted by on Aug 12 2013 | Photography, Student Work

Victoria Gao is an intern in our photography department.

Check our Tumblr, Dodge & Burn all week for more *interesting* hair in film and photography.

Hair often transcends categorizations of gender by transforming people into fashion icons or recognizable characters. Celebrities are often noted for starting hairstyle trends or for embodying them so well that their hair becomes as much of their celebrity as they themselves are.

Louise Brooks

Edward Steichen (American, b. Luxembourg 1879 – 1973), Louise Brooks, 1928, Gelatin silver contact print, Bequest of Edward Steichen under the direction of Joanna T. Steichen, ©Estate of Edward Steichen

For example, Louise Brooks, the American silent film star and the first woman to dance the Charleston in London, epitomized the Roaring Twenties with her sharp bob haircut. She popularized the style through her appearances in movies and advertisement photographs. Similarly, Charlie Chaplin, with his small bowler hat, baggy pants, and comical waddling walk, completed his “Tramp” look with the toothbrush moustache that was fashionable decades earlier but would come to define him throughout his career.


Charles C. Zoller (American, 1854 – 1934), Charlie Chaplin, ca 1917-1918, Color plate, screen (Autochrome) process, Gift of Mr. & Mrs. Lucius A. Dickerson

Hair can also be used as a tool for masquerade.

Andreas Feininger (American, 1906 - 1999), Wig shop exhibits in store window, New  York, 1968, Gelatin silver print, Gift of the photographer

Andreas Feininger (American, 1906 – 1999), Wig shop exhibits in store window, New
York, 1968, Gelatin silver print, Gift of the photographer, ©Estate of Andreas Feininger

People use wigs to disguise signs of balding, aging, or illness, or to transform themselves into costumed characters for entertainment. The modern history of wigs is closely intertwined with the history of photography. Nineteenth century photographs of men and women dressed in elaborate, white-powdered wigs and other eighteenth century clothing were lighthearted sources of satire and comedy. Wigs remained largely out of fashion until the 1960s and 70s, when women’s bouffants revived the industry, but Andreas Feininger’s 1968 image of a wig shop draws close parallels with the famed street photographs of store window mannequin heads taken by Eugène Atget in the early decades of the mass consumer culture industry.

Richard Avedon (American, 1923 - 2004), Brigitte Bardot, 1959, Gelatin silver print, George Eastman House

Richard Avedon (American, 1923 – 2004), Brigitte Bardot, 1959, Gelatin silver print, George Eastman House, ©Richard Avedon Foundation

Above all else hair is a source of aesthetic pleasure, and film and photography have played significant roles in representing that. From the politically charged musical-turned movie Hair (1979) to photographs focusing on hair as an abstracted, formalist element throughout twentieth century art movements, hair has bewitched, provoked, inspired, repelled, and entertained us all.

-Victoria Gao


1 comment for now

75 years – The Super Kodak Six-20

Posted by on Jul 17 2013 | Photography


Super Kodak Six-20, 1938, Eastman Kodak Company, Rochester, New York. Gift of Eastman Kodak Company

July 2013 marks the 75th anniversary of the Super Kodak Six-20, the first production camera to feature automatic exposure (AE) control. Aimed at removing the exposure guesswork for photographers, the camera’s shutter-preferred AE control meant that the photographer chose the shutter speed and the camera would then “choose” the correct lens opening. Kodak’s engineers accomplished this feat by mechanically coupling a selenium photo cell light meter, located just above the top half of the camera’s folding clamshell.

This advancement, though groundbreaking, was not picked up by most camera manufacturers for some twenty years after the debut of the Super Six-20. These days, automatic exposure is a standard feature on almost all cameras. And it is not much of a stretch to call the Super Kodak Six-20 the first “smart camera.”

But auto exposure was not the only cutting-edge feature of the Super Six-20. It was also the first Kodak camera to use a common window for both the rangefinder and viewfinder. The film advances with a single-stroke lever, which also cocks the shutter at the end of the stroke, thus preventing double exposures. And like auto exposure, these features would not become common on cameras for many years.


Features aside, the Super Kodak Six-20 is one of the most attractive cameras ever marketed. Its lovely clamshell exterior design was styled by legendary industrial designer Walter Dorwin Teague.

All this innovation came at a rather high price and not without some issues. The Super Kodak Six-20 retailed for $225 in 1938 (that would be over $2,000 today) and it had a reputation for being somewhat unreliable—the built-in self-timer was known to lock up the shutter. Since few models were manufactured, some 719, it is highly sought after by camera collectors.





Comments Off for now

Who’s Talking Gender?

Posted by on Jul 17 2013 | Other, Photography, Technology

Nickolas Muray (American, b. Hungary, 1892-1965) Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. & Joan Crawford ca. 1930 Gelatin silver print Gift of Mrs. Nickolas Muray

Nickolas Muray (American, b. Hungary, 1892-1965) Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. & Joan Crawford ca. 1930 Gelatin silver print Gift of Mrs. Nickolas Muray

The Gender Show is open now (through October) – an exhibition that urges dialogue, discourse, and contemplation. While we’re letting the photographs in the exhibit do most of the talking, we also want to see who else is exploring and challenging gender. We’ll be keeping track of some headlines and interesting topics here so keep checking back! Please leave a comment for any suggestions.

[7.17]Meet the world’s third gender

[7.11]If you were born a woman, how would you be different? Teary eyed Dustin Hoffman’s response and regret
[6.28]Paychex adding written policy against gender-identity bias after prodding by state comptroller
[6.24]White womens bodies as selfie objectified tools of dissent via Hyperallergic
[6.17] Elite Units in U.S. Military to Admit Women via NY Times
[6.17] Deciphering the genetic code of the cancer via BBC
[6.17] A “dismal week” for Australian feminists: Many men find gender debates too threatening to handle
[6.16] How 8 Gay Families Are Celebrating Father’s Day This Year via Huff Post
6.12] Why Dad’s Don’t Take Paternity Leave  via WSJ
[6.12] Manly Manicures  via NY Times
[6.11] Why Siri’s Voice Is Now A Man (And A Woman) via Huff Post


More images from the show available here.

Comments Off for now

How photographs have presented gender over time

Posted by on Jul 10 2013 | Exhibitions, Photography

Comments Off for now

Lou Jones – Giving a voice to those that have none

Posted by on Jun 21 2013 | Photography


During our visiting artist lecture series Wish You Were Here, Lou Jones shared with us his experiences around the world…

1 comment for now

« Prev - Next »