Archive for the 'Photography' Category

The Gender Show Opens

Posted by on Jun 12 2013 | Exhibitions, Photography

HILLER

LEJAREN À HILLER (1950) Naval officer and young man on hillside with binoculars, overlooking battleship in bay below Color print, assembly (Carbro) process © Visual Studies Workshop / Image courtesy of George Eastman House International Museum of Photography & Film

Director’s Note – Since before Marcel Duchamp photographed Rrose Sélavy, his female alter ego, artists have used photography to explore issues of identity, sex, and gender. In recent decades, gender has been an increasingly prominent theme within contemporary art and, specifically, within photography. The Gender Show (on view through October 13) offers an extraordinary opportunity to see fifty contemporary artworks in the context of over 150 photographs from our worldclass collection.

The exhibition includes, on loan from artists and private collectors, a formidable set of photographs by prominent contemporary artists Janine Antoni (born 1964), Rineke Dijkstra (1959), Marilyn Minter (1948), Catherine Opie (1961), and Gillian Wearing (1963). Works by each of these artists have been exhibited extensively at leading museums, but this is the first time that any of their works has been shown at Eastman House.

Debbie Grossman (American, b. 1977) Jessie Evans-Whinery, homesteader, with her wife Edith Evans-Whinery and their baby 2010 From the series My Pie Town Archival pigment print ©Debbie Grossman, Courtesy Julie Saul Gallery, New York

The exhibition also includes ten photographs on loan from our trustee Elaine Goldman; gender issues are one of the themes in her wonderful collection. Also featured are videos by artists Jen DeNike (1971), Kalup Linzy (1977), and Martha Rosler (1943). In our Annex Gallery, we present sixteen photographs, on loan from artist Debbie Grossman (1977), from her recent My Pie Town series, in which she used Photoshop to manipulate a set of images of Pie Town, New Mexico, originally taken by Russell Lee for the Farm Security Administration in 1940.

The Gender Show, part of our ongoing program of major exhibitions from our permanent collection, is a survey of how photographs since the mid-nineteenth century have presented gender, with a special emphasis on the performances that the act of photographing or being photographed can encourage or capture. On view from our collection are photographs by many of the biggest names in the history of the medium—including Julia Margaret Cameron, August Sander, Edward Steichen, Nickolas Muray, Brassaï, Robert Frank, Andy Warhol, Barbara Norfleet, Mary Ellen Mark, and Cindy Sherman—as well as rarely seen cabinet cards depicting early vaudeville and music-hall stars.

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In 1979, art scholar and critic Douglas Crimp (now the Fanny Knapp Allen Professor of Art History at the University of Rochester) included photographer Cindy Sherman among the emerging artists covered in his article “Pictures” in the influential art journal October. This article was a landmark in the contemporary art world’s embrace of photography as an artistic medium. In the ensuing years, young artists increasingly adopted photography as part of their artistic practice. Unfortunately, there has been an abiding separation between “contemporary photographers” and “contemporary artists” whose artistic practice is primarily or in part in the medium of photography. This artificial segregation has had a long-term adverse impact on exhibition programs and collection building at every one of the American museums with a leading photography collection, including George Eastman House. Our exhibition places works by contemporary artists in a broader context, illuminating art historical, aesthetic, and social issues and celebrating the diversity of inquiries into gender.

The first exhibition organized under my direction, The Gender Show represents a commitment by George Eastman House to exhibit and collect photographs by those in the contemporary art world. Photography is one of the most important media in contemporary art. Our world-class collection of photographs must include great examples of work by contemporary artists. The core exhibition of works from our permanent collection is curated by Senior Curator Alison Nordström and Assistant Curator Jessica Johnston. Additionally, Jessica chose the photographs kindly lent by Elaine Goldman. I had the pleasure of selecting the other contemporary artworks from outside of our collection. We hope that you enjoy the results of our collaboration.

More works from The Gender Show can be viewed on Artsy.

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Happy Birthday, Gertrude Käsebier!

Posted by on May 20 2013 | Photography

complete article on our photography blog, DODGE & BURN. 

Gertrude Käsebier (American, 1852-1934) , Dancing School, ca. 1905, gum bichromate print, gifts of Hermime Turner

Gertrude Käsebier (American, 1852-1934) , Dancing School, ca. 1905, gum bichromate print, gifts of Hermime Turner


 

Gertrude Käsebier was born in 1852 in Des Moines, Iowa, daughter of John and Muncy Stanton. When she was still very young, Käsebier moved to Colorado where her father eventually became owner of a gold mine in Leadville. The trip across the plains by covered wagon and the frontier life near Indians sparked the imagination and adventuresome personality of Käsebier…[MORE]

 

 

 

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Erie Canal Excursion

Posted by on May 16 2013 | Photography

via guest contributor, Chris Holmquist
Photographic Process Research Apprentice

Exchange Club w Boat IIHR copy

The Philadelphia Photographic Exchange Club 19th century canal excursion, lantern slide from the Scully & Osterman archives

In a few weeks, George Eastman House Process Historian, Mark Osterman and team will lead a photography workshop unlike any other; a tintype excursion along the historic Erie Canal.

For three days we will float down the waterway in an authentic canal boat; navigating the step locks, staying overnight in a bed & breakfast and most importantly, stopping along the way to make authentic large-format tintypes on location, using a portable darkroom.

This excursion is modeled after similar trips that took place in the 1860’s by members of the Philadelphia Photograph Exchange Club. Groups like this consisted mostly of  ‘gentleman scholars’; men with the benefit of free time, the resources needed to pursue such an involved hobby and an aptitude to make legitimate contributions to an ever evolving science. Outings like a canal trip were an excellent opportunity for amateur photographers to share their techniques, enjoy the surroundings and generally celebrate the wonderful process of making images in a camera.

Exchange Club w Cameras HR copy

The Philadelphia Photographic Exchange Club

In that period it was “mule teams”on shore that pulled the canal boats along, and although we will be taking advantage of the internal combustion engine, it’s in the same spirit that we set out to explore the Erie Canal in the first week of June. It’s a rare treat to learn the wet collodion technique from one of the world’s leading authorities, while also getting a chance to forget the modern world for a few days and relive a piece of photography’s past.

UPDATE: The workshop sold out over the weekend, but if interested, please take a look at the rest of our workshops through 2013.

If this sounds like a fantastic opportunity, you’ll be pleased to hear that there’s one open spot remaining in our roster! 

 

 

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Turning the gallery into a darkroom

Posted by on Apr 26 2013 | Photography

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As part of Silver and Water, currently on view in the museum’s South and Brackett Clark galleries, an 8-foot by 12-foot negative of Kodak’s chemical factory was soaked in a shallow bath of water, the silver image slowly decaying.

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8×12 negative

Silver and Water artists Lauren Bon and the Optics Division of the Metabolic Studio are returning to Eastman House to create a public darkroom performance with the negative. The South Gallery is in process of being converted into a darkened space, and, with audience participation, a giant contact print of the decayed image will be created.

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working on the transition this week

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Wednesday, May 8 at 6:00 p.m.
The event is included with museum admission, if you’re in town we hope to see you there!

 

 

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April 15, 1840 – One of the first cameras sold in the U.S.

Posted by on Apr 15 2013 | Photography, Technology

BemisReceipt

Receipt of one of the first cameras to be sold in the U.S.

Samuel A. Bemis (1793–1881), a Boston dentist and amateur daguerreotypist, bought one of the first cameras ever sold in the United States on April 15, 1840. Fortunately, he and his heirs saved not only the camera but also its receipt. While it is likely too late to return the camera, the receipt is useful as evidence of what is probably the earliest documented sale of an American daguerrean outfit.

Thanks to the dentist’s pack rat ways, we know that on April 15, 1840, he paid $76 to François Gouraud, Giroux’s agent in the U.S., for a “daguerreotype apparatus,” twelve whole plates at $2 each, and a freight charge of $1.

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Full-plate daguerreotype camera (owned by S. A. Bemis)

The apparatus, which Gouraud advertised as consisting of sixty-two items, included the camera, lens, plate holder, iodine box for sensitizing plates, mercury box for developing plates, holding box for unused plates, and a large wooden trunk to house the entire system. Quite large, the camera weighs about thirteen pounds and can produce full-plate images, 6½ x 8½ inches in size.

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Full-plate daguerreotype camera outfit

Bemis made his first daguerreotype on April 19, 1840, from the window of his Boston office, and during the next several years went on to expose more than three hundred images, most of them in his beloved White Mountains of New Hampshire. The George Eastman House collection also contains a second Bemis camera and nineteen of his images.

First Bemis Daguerreotype

First  S.A. Bemis Daguerreotype

bemis 1936 inventory 1
Bemis’ Inventory in 1936 discussing the camera purchase in 1840.

 

 

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