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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

GIFT OF THE ARTIST: PHOTOGRAPHERS AS DONORS

This blog is a virtual exhibition, based on the small exhibition of original photographs currently on view in the cases adjacent to the Archives Center entrance on the first floor, west wing, of the National Museum of American History.  It is a "recent acquisitions" display which contains a small percentage of the contemporary documentary photographs which I have collected in the last few years.  I sought to honor and thank the photographers who graciously donated their work, but the exhibition also suggests the variety of themes and subjects which interest me as a curator.  The exhibition opened in November and will continue until February 29, 2012.

Many photographers are self-employed, whether they operate commercial photography businesses, travel the world as photojournalists, or function as artists—creating self-assigned projects for sale to collectors and museums.  They may also teach photography, or supplement their incomes with print sales. 

The photographs displayed here were created by such free-lance photographers and suggest the wide variety of subjects, approaches, and techniques which the documentary spirit embraces—from images of American politics to depictions of musicians and their instruments; from preserving family history to recording accidents and the horrors of natural disasters.   The images also illustrate a broad range of contemporary photographic media and techniques, including panoramas and stereographs, digital prints, and traditional silver gelatin prints.

All the images are recent Archives Center acquisitions, kindly donated by public-spirited creators who believe in the mission of museums and archives to document history, to educate, and to inspire.  The Archives Center gratefully acknowledges the generosity of these talented photographers.

JOSEPH VITONE

Vitone, a professor of photography at St. Edward’s University, Austin, Texas, contributed annotated studies of members of his extended family, photographed with an 8” x 10” view camera.  These photographs are from his portfolio, “Family Records,” created between 1998 and 2004.


JOSEPH VITONE
Mike Musgrave ready to butcher a snapping turtle, Ohio, 2003
Silver gelatin print.

JOSEPH VITONE
Sisters Angie Hummel and Missy Rudd by blackberry bushes, Norton, Ohio, 2000
Silver gelatin print


DYLAN VITONE

Dylan Vitone, the son of Joseph Vitone, whose work is shown above, is a professor of photography at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh.  He often creates horizontal panoramas through multiple exposures, and an occasional vertical “panorama,” such as the one shown at the left.


DYLAN VITONE
Miami, 2009
Digital inkjet print













ANNABEL DUNSTONE

Annabel Dunstone is a student of Joseph Vitone at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas.  In early 2011 she participated in a class documentary project to photograph the small town of Lockhart near Austin.  Twelve students, including Dunstone, were asked to donate their Lockhart photographs to the Archives Center because they represent a model for a focused, yet varied group documentary project. Shown below is an image from her untitled portfolio.


 

ANNABEL DUNSTONE
Lockhart Car Crash, February 8, 2011
Digital print

AARON REISSIG

Reissig is another of Joseph Vitone’s students.  This image is from his Lockhart portfolio, “Lilly and Kirk.”



AARON REISSIG
Big Dog Neon Bar, Lockhart, Texas
Digital print: Epson K-3 ink on Ilford Gold Fibre Sile alpha-cellulose paper

NANCY SIRKIS

In recent years Nancy Sirkis has concentrated on two large continuing projects: “Five Boroughs,” a study of New York City, and “Small Towns,” for which she has traveled widely across America.  Many of her images are panoramas, created by taking multiple incremental exposures rather than a single panoramic view.

Decker, Montana, 2007
Digital print (image to be added)


DAVID J. MARCOU

David Marcou is a free-lance photographer and writer who frequently photographs politicians and other celebrities.
 


DAVID J. MARCOU
Mike Huckabee’s wife takes his photograph with fans, La Crosse (Wisconsin) Center, February 14, 2008 
Digital print

DAVID J. MARCOU
Obama’s Army with their Commander-in-Chief, 2nd and Pearl Streets, La Crosse, Wisconsin, October 1, 2008.
Digital inkjet print

EMILE WAAGENAAR

Waagenaar, who lives in Breda in the Netherlands, has been an enthusiastic fan of the Cajun music of Louisiana and nearby regions.  He has been visiting the United States to interview and photograph Cajun musicians of all ages and circumstances for over twenty years.

 

EMILE WAAGENAAR
D’Jalma Garnier, Carencro [Louisiana], 2008
Digital inkjet print

EMILE WAAGENAAR
Don Montoucet, Scott [Louisiana], 2001
Digital inkjet print



FERNANDO SANDOVAL.  Washington, D.C. native Fernando Sandoval has documented the streets, entertainers, and events of his home town for decades.

FERNANDO SANDOVAL
Mr. Lee’s Guitar, Downtown [Washington] D.C, early 1980s
Silver gelatin print

FERNANDO SANDOVAL
Underground Night Club, 11th St., N.W. [Washington, D.C.], mid-1990s
Silver gelatin print
MELODY GOLDING

Melody Golding spent a year photographing the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Katrina and recovery efforts in her home state of Mississippi.



MELODY GOLDING
See Through House, Gulf Coast, Mississippi, 2005
Silver gelatin print


MELODY GOLDING
Smashed House, Gulf Coast, Mississippi, 2005
Silver gelatin print
ROBERT COVINGTON
Covington makes stereoscopic (three-dimensional) images during his travels.  Shown here is his untitled portfolio of these images, complete with viewing glasses, and two prints from the group.

ROBERT COVINGTON
Looking  South from North Tower, WTC [World Trade Center, New York City], 1999
Silver gelatin print

ROBERT COVINGTON
Brooklyn Bridge Walkway, 1990
Digital inkjet print
PAT AND CHUCK BRESS
The husband-wife team of Pat and Chuck Bress photographed renowned jazz musicians performing at two important Washington, D.C., night clubs in the late 1980s--Charlie’s Place, which closed years ago, and Blues Alley, still a significant venue for jazz.
PAT AND CHUCK BRESS
Dizzy Gillespie, 1980s
Silver gelatin print
PAT AND CHUCK BRESS
Ernestine Anderson, 1980s
Silver gelatin print (image to be added)

JONATHAN SINGER
Singer is a podiatrist who pursued a second career as a photographic artist, receiving notoriety in national magazines for his images of orchids.   He has since turned his attention to guitars.
JONATHAN SINGER
Gibson ES-5, 1951, SN AS7321, 3 P-90 pickups; Gibson Es-5 Switchmaster, 1959, SN A27764, 3 PAF pickups
Digital inkjet print, 2011
JAKE JACOBSON
Jacobson photographed musical instrument makers across the United States for his project, “Heart and Hands: Musical Instrument Makers of America,” resulting in a book and a Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service exhibition by the same title.
Lloyd “Butch” Heidt, Henegar [Alabama], ca. 1996-1998
Inkjet digital print from 35mm film transparency (image to be added)


5 comments:

  1. This looks great on line -- almost like seeing it in person. Great Photos!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi,

    Thank you for your nice article on Si siris blog spot.
    I like for your good writing.

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for this overview of photographers as donors, David. I didn't know that Jonathan Singer has also been photographing guitars until I saw your blog entry. Dr. Singer is the photographer and donor of SI Libraries' double-elephant-folio 5 v. copy of Botanica Magnifica (2008), a really amazing work housed in the Cullman Library of Natural History f TR724 .S56 2008 v. 1-5 SCNHRB --Diane Shaw, SI Libraries

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you David for all the work you did for this exhibit and for placing this great blog!
    Hope to see all the photo's life in the Archives Center in February and see you there too.
    Emile Waagenaar, Breda, the Netherlands.

    ReplyDelete
  5. David Joseph MarcouFebruary 4, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    Mr. Haberstich,
    Thank you very much for including two of my Campaign 2008 photos in this Exhibition and Blog. I'd guess all the contributing photographers feel as I do -- very honored to be included in these displays. Thank you again, and I hope we can work together, in future, too.
    Best Regards,
    From David Joseph Marcou, Photographer-SI Donor.

    ReplyDelete