My Favorite Piece in the Collection (for today at least)

Posted by on Oct 29 2012 | Photography

I started working at Eastman House in 1992 straight out of the MFA photography program at RIT. As a part of that education I had acquired the knowledge of the history of photography as defined by Rosenblum and Newhall and was thrilled to be working in our Museum’s exhibitions department, handling and protecting what, to me, were the most precious images ever made.

My artistic tastes lean to modern and often to constructivist works. But, hands down, what took my breath away was the Museum’s tiny little print of Lewis Hines über-iconic Power House Mechanic. That print epitomized all that I had learned and worked toward. It took my breath away.

Lewis Wickes Hine, Power House Mechanic, (78:0999:0013), 1920

I’ve been captivated by many collection objects as I’ve served in various positions over the last 20 years. My favorites change based on the same things that yours might — I’ve just have the privilege of seeing and being influenced by lots of them. A (very) few of my favorites have been:

Frederick Evans’, Kelmscott Manor, Attics, (81:1198:0005), ca. 1897


Irving S. Underhill’s, Wrenches, (79:1994:0313MP), ca. 1915

Lázló Moholy-Nagy’s, Massenpsychose (Mass Psychosis), (81:2163:0049), ca. 1927

Those images and others by Frantisek Drtikol, Margaret Bourke White, E. J. Bellocq, and more…

I am also constantly inspired by the variety of detail and am soothed by the harmony of pattern in the Museum’s largest collection object — Mr. Eastman’s mansion.

But for the last few years one seldom-seen image has been my favorite. I “discovered” it while doing research for a report a few years ago. It has never been far from my thoughts since.

Edward Steichen. Silk Design (spectacles), 1926. Gelatin silver print. Bequest of Edward Steichen by direction of Joanna T. Steichen. Photograph collection. (1979:2421:0007)

There’s all sort of buzz surrounding the recent appointment of Bruce Barnes as the Museum’s director and he’s been talking a lot in the media and to staff about his goals for Eastman House. One of those goals has resonated with me the most: making a larger portion of the Museum’s collections available for viewing online.  I’m looking forward to working with fellow staff members to achieve that goal. It will allow everyone to enjoy the collections in new ways and to discover more of your “favorites”.  That will be a really wonderful thing to be part of.

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Halloween at the Dryden Theatre

Posted by on Oct 12 2012 | Other

(Brian De Palma, US 1976, 98 min.) / Photofest

Halloween is once again upon us, and as is our custom here at Eastman House and the Dryden, we’ve rounded up another batch of classic horror films that are guaranteed to thrill and delight.
From the height of the Cold War come Them! and Invasion of the Body Snatchers, in which the twin plagues of atomic testing and mass conformity manifest themselves in the form of giant ants and pod people, respectively. Familial dysfunction has a negative impact (to say the least!) on the protagonists of Carrie and Psycho, while Vincent Price thirsts for vengeance in Theatre of Blood, and Audrey the Plant hungers for humans in the original Roger Corman version of Little Shop of Horrors. The golden age of made-for-TV movies brings us Bad Ronald and Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, two classic, compact thrillers that are rarely (if ever) shown theatrically, screening in a doubly terrifying double feature. Finally, we’ll go back to the studio that started it all, Universal, for a special Halloween screening of the original Wolf Man. Join us, if you dare!


Sunday, Oct. 14, 2 p.m.
(Gordon Douglas, US 1954, 94 min.)

Thursday, Oct. 18, 8 p.m.
The Little Shop of Horrors
(Roger Corman, US 1960, 72 min.)

Saturday, Oct. 20, 8 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 21, 2 p.m.
(Alfred Hitchcock, US 1960, 109 min.)

Thursday, Oct. 25, 8 p.m.
Double Feature: Bad Ronald and Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark
Bad Ronald (Buzz Kulik, US 1974, 74 min.) Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (John Newland, US 1973, 74 min.)

Saturday, Oct. 27, 8 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 28, 5 p.m.
(Brian De Palma, US 1976, 98 min.)

Wednesday, Oct. 31, 8 p.m.
The Wolf Man
(George Waggner, US 1941, 70 min.)



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Mary Ellen Mark and 60 from the 60s

Posted by on Oct 03 2012 | Other

Next week we’ll be opening our new exhibit 60 from the 60s“. Our assistant curator of photographs, Jamie Allen was able to spend some time talking with documentary photographer Mary Ellen Mark about her career and work. Mark’s work is included in our new exhibit – along with work from Harry Callahan, Benedict J. Fernandez, Hollis Frampton, Betty Hahn, Robert Heinecken, Roger Mertin, Arnold Newman, Aaron Siskind, and Garry Winogrand.

60 from the 60s opens this weekend.




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Photo Finish 5K 2012 – Make A Difference

Posted by on Oct 01 2012 | Other

By Adriane Smith, Race Founder’s Circle and Eastman Young Professionals Steering Board

When I visit George Eastman House, I love to look at Mr. Eastman’s oak box full of index cards recording all of his charitable contributions. George Eastman was a great philanthropist and wanted to make Rochester, N.Y. the best place to live and work.

During his life he supported organizations concerned with health and wellness, culture, education, and more. Today, the charitable investments he made are still at the foundation of many organizations in Rochester and beyond.

It is George Eastman’s generous spirit of philanthropy that inspires the George Eastman House PhotoFinish 5K. In the PhotoFinish 5K, everybody can be a philanthropist. Everybody can invest themselves in the cause they feel most passionate about. And everybody can make a meaningful difference. The PhotoFinish 5K is a community wide event with participants donating and raising money for over 40 nonprofits—with concerns from education to health to culture to animals to music and anything in between.

You can join an existing team or start a new one for your own favorite nonprofit; fundraising is open through October. So many people coming together to support so many amazing causes truly exemplifies the vision George Eastman had for our community. This Saturday, runners and walkers will gather to celebrate George Eastman’s legacy of philanthropy. Come celebrate with us and together let’s make Rochester the best place to live and work.

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Welcome Bruce Barnes!

Posted by on Sep 28 2012 | Other

As I sit here today looking out on the terrace garden at Eastman House, I am completely full with anticipation and excitement for the next chapter. Just yesterday we announced our new director, Dr. Bruce Barnes.

An overarching message of change was the focus of the press conference and Bruce Barnes’ conversation with his new team. We are all looking forward to fresh ideas and energy for the museum, and to continuing the global education of preservation, history, and the future of photography and motion pictures.

Dr. Bruce Barnes, the new Ron and Donna Fielding Director

September 27, 2012






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