Tag Archives: Library Of Congress

Matthew Swarts, Beth

Matthew Swarts, Beth

Matthew Swarts

Beth,
Long Beach Island, New Jersey, 2012
From the OPEN WATER series
Website – MatthewSwarts.com

Matthew Swarts’ work has been featured in The New York Times Magazine, Doubletake Magazine, Contact Sheet, Afterimage, Fotophile, In the Loupe, and other publications. He attended Princeton University and the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and has taught photography at Amherst College, Bowdoin College, Ramapo College, The University of Connecticut, The University of Massachusetts, Boston, Middlesex College, and The Massachusetts College of Art and Design. He is the recipient of a J.William Fulbright Scholar Grant and the Ruttenberg Arts Foundation Award for the best new work nationally in photographic portraiture. His work is in the permanent collections of The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, The Library of Congress, The deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Princeton University, and Light Work, among others. He lives and works in Somerville, Massachusetts.
 

History in Color: Rare Photographs of Czarist Russia

A bright orange orb hangs just above the horizon under an expanse of blue and yellow sky. It’s hard to take an interesting picture of a sunset, and at first glance, there is nothing remarkable about this one. What is remarkable, however, is that this vivid image was taken a century ago—a time usually seen only in black and white.

The sunset is just one of thousands of color photographs that Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii made between 1905 and 1915. With funding from Czar Nicholas II, he set out to document the diverse people and landscapes of the vast Russian Empire. Prokudin-Gorskii planned to produce images that would be used in classrooms, but the widespread exposure he envisioned for his pictures was not to be.

Without an affordable method for mass reproduction and with the upheaval of the Bolshevik Revolution, the photographs languished until the entire collection, including nearly 2,000 glass negatives, was purchased by the Library of Congress in 1948. But they too were unable to find a suitable way to present Prokudin-Gorskii’s work until nearly 100 years after they were taken—when digital equipment allowed the library to scan all 1,902 negatives and restore Prokudin-Gorskii’s pictures to their original color.

“His cutting-edge technology met our internet and digitizing cutting-edge technology in just an almost perfect cycle,” said Helena Zinkham, chief of the Prints and Photographs Division of the LOC.

Made public through the LOC’s website beginning in 2001, Prokudin-Gorskii’s digitally restored photographs were shared over the web and featured in a number of small exhibitions around the world. People were drawn, Zinkham believes, as much by the format of the pictures as the content.

“It is as rare as hen’s teeth to have color photography from that era,” said Zinkham. “So it just knocks peoples’ socks off, even if you have no direct connection to Russia.”

Among those who discovered Prokudin-Gorskii’s pictures online was Robert Klanten, the publisher of German publishing company Gestalten. “I saw a couple of these photographs and I was immediately in love with them,” said Klanten. This October, Gestalten will release Nostalgia: The Russian Empire of Czar Nicholas II Captured in Color Photographs, which will feature 283 of Prokudin-Gorskii’s works.

Combing through the entire Prokudin-Gorskii collection, Gestalten’s editorial team was particularly drawn to the portraits and scenes from daily life—many of which were shot in a ‘snapshot’ style despite the three-second exposures necessary to create them.

The pictures themselves cover a remarkable range—both geographically and in subject matter. Portraits were taken against backdrops that range from lush Siberian forests to neatly planted fields to a dank and crumbling prison yard in Turkestan. Even simple scenes—a train track cutting through a rock-strewn landscape or mine workers filling horse-drawn carts—are striking when you realize they portray a land on the verge of revolution, both industrial and political. It is even more appropriate, then, that Prokudin-Gorskii captured these scenes with a groundbreaking photographic method.

“Most people think of the past as something that happened in black and white,” said Klanten. The use of color, combined with Prokudin-Gorskii’s less-formal style was revolutionary in photography, according to Klanten. “The way he approached the whole thing is kind of a precursor to modern photography…it is almost a democratic approach to photography.”

Nostalgia: The Russian Empire of Czar Nicholas II Captured in Color Photographs will be released in the U.S. by Gestalten in October. 

You can explore the entire Prokudin-Gorskii collection at the Library of Congress

Matthew Swarts, Mary and Michael

Matthew Swarts, Mary and Michael

Matthew Swarts

Mary and Michael,
Somerville, Massachusetts, 2007
From the AMSTERDAM series
Website – MatthewSwarts.com

Matthew Swarts’ work has been featured in The New York Times Magazine, Doubletake Magazine, Contact Sheet, Afterimage, Fotophile, In the Loupe, and other publications. He attended Princeton University and the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and has taught photography at Amherst College, Bowdoin College, Ramapo College, The University of Connecticut, The University of Massachusetts, Boston, Middlesex College, and The Massachusetts College of Art and Design. He is the recipient of a J.William Fulbright Scholar Grant and the Ruttenberg Arts Foundation Award for the best new work nationally in photographic portraiture. His work is in the permanent collections of The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, The Library of Congress, The deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Princeton University, and Light Work, among others. He lives and works in Somerville, Massachusetts.
 

Susan Barnett

A number of years ago, I met Susan Barnett when she sat down at my table at Center’s Review L.A.  I was reviewing portfolios and knew that I was looking at a body of work that “had legs”.  Well, those legs have grown arms, a torso, and a head full of possibilities.  I am so thrilled to share the news that Not In Your Face has reached gallery walls with Susan’s first solo exhibition at the DeSantos Gallery in Houston.  The show opens on Saturday, June 16th, with an opening that begins at 5:30pm.  Susan also recently announced that the Library of Congress has purchased three prints from this project. And there is a lot more good news on the horizon.
This is a project that I often show in my classes because it is complex in it’s simplicity.  She shows us what we are communicating at this point in history, via the great leveler, the T-Shirt. Susan finds themes of self expression, explores the idea of personal advertisement, and ultimately, makes us look at our humanity with a sense of humor and a sense of reality.
This might be Susan’s first solo gallery exhibition but by no means has she been laying low.  Her work has been exhibited and published all over the world, and in 2013, she will have another solo exhibition at the Center for Fine Art Photography in Ft. Collins, Colorado. She lives in New York City and comes to photography after a career as a gallery director.

 In the series “Not In Your Face” the
t-shirt is starkly evident but these photographs are not about 
the t-shirt per se. They are about
identity, validation and perception. I look for individuals 
who stand out in a crowd by
their choice of the message on their back and  for those people willing to pose for me. The messages are combinations
of pictures and words that are appropriated from contemporary culture but have
the unique effect of mixing up meanings and creating new meanings.


On the streets these personalities create
their own iconography that explore the cultural, political and social issues
that have an impact on our everyday lives. The t-shirt “performs a function of
identifying an indvidual’s social location instantly”.  In the early months of 2012, the LA
Times ran a front page article describing the emergence of the t-shirt and
hoodie as a staple of the protest movement worn in support of Trayvon Martin, a
young man gunned down in Florida that became a cause célèbre throughout the
nation.

The Trayvon Martin protest T-shirt has become a
staple at rallies across the country, and it’s 
difficult to think of another item of clothing more
representative of the nation’s twitchy 
zeitgeist in April 2012. Sometimes it seems as
though the old-fashioned medium of the cotton t-shirt has done as much as the
Internet to spread the memes associated with the tragedy through the 
country — and the world.

In these photographs we witness a chronicle
of American subcultures and vernaculars which illustrate the current American identity.
These photographs demonstrate how these individuals wear a kind of “badge of
honor or trophy” that says “I belong to this group not the other”. T-shirts
speak to like-minded people; a particular t-shirt may be meaningful to those
with different views and affiliations.

Each one of these people reveal a part of
themselves that advertises their hopes, ideals, likes, dislikes, political views, and personal
mantras. “The t-shirt speaks to issues related to ideology, differences, and myth: politics, race,
gender and leisure”.



I believe the power of each portraitʼs
meaning becomes apparent from the juxtaposition of many images. It is a universe of individuals
but when seen in groups they 
create a picture of our time without the imposition of judgment. Is this
democracy at work? We may feel we know more about these individuals than we
really do. What is their story? Here their individual mystery is preserved and the power of
photography can celebrate our urge to unravel it.

Dedicated to my late Mother, Mary, whose faith in me made all this possible.”Dedicated to my late Mother, Mary, whose faith in me made all this possible.”

Jonathan Blaustein, My deer head

Jonathan Blaustein, My deer head

Jonathan Blaustein

My deer head,
Taos, New Mexico, 2011-12
From the MINE series
Website – JonathanBlaustein.com

Jonathan Blaustein is an artist and writer based in the mountains of Northern New Mexico. He studied Economics and History at Duke University, before receiving an MFA in Photography from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn in 2004. He has exhibited his work widely in the United States, and his photographs reside in many important permanent collections, including the Library of Congress, the State of New Mexico, the Brooklyn Museum, MOPA, the UNM Art Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.His work focuses on the intersection of economic theory, globalization, commodification, and culture in the 21st Century. His last project, The Value of a Dollar, was published by the New York Times in 2010, and subsequently went viral on the Internet. Ultimately, the conceptual photographic project was seen by millions of people around the world, creating dialogue about the manner in which food represents deeper issues of wealth, class, power and health. His current project, MINE, debuted in Santa Fe in May of 2012, and was published online by the New York Times. Jonathan also writes about photography and culture for A Photo Editor, a blog for the global photography industry.

Behind the Cover: The Unseen Photos of Lenore and Mitt Romney

When Douglas Gilbert photographed Lenore Romney’s U.S. Senate campaign for Look Magazine in August of 1970, little did he know that one of his unused images would end up on the cover of TIME 42 years later. “At the time I was hoping for LOOK magazine,” he says. “Certainly not TIME! It is a nice surprise.”

Gilbert spent some three days trailing Lenore and Mitt through Michigan’s Upper Peninsula the summer Lenore tried to unseat incumbent Democratic Sen. Phil Hart, for whom the Hart Senate Office building is now named. Many people know that Mitt’s father, three-term Michigan governor George Romney, ran for President and lost in 1968, but few know the story of his mother’s own campaign for high office and how it shaped her son’s presidential run in 2012. Fewer still have ever seen Gilbert’s photos of mother and son—those collected here did not run, except for one (slide #4), in LOOK’s story, and the negatives ended up buried in the Library of Congress archives until TIME discovered them in May. In an ironic turn of history, Gilbert’s portrait of newlywed 23-year-old Mitt and his mother strategizing in her campaign hotel room exactly captures a central theme of Mitt’s current cautious campaign style, the subject of TIME’s cover story this week, “Dreams of His Mother.”

Lenore’s losing run deeply shaped her son, perhaps even more than her husband’s failed presidential bid. Lenore initially called her campaign “a love affair between me and the people of Michigan.” But a month after Gilbert shot these images, her tune had turned. “It’s the most humiliating thing I know of to run for office,” she said. And Mitt, who was at her elbow at every turn that summer, felt the effects.

Nevertheless, Gilbert saw the charismatic Lenore that Mitt championed. “I found her to be very personable and friendly. I never really felt any pushback from her at all,” he remembers. “She attracted people.” On the mama’s boy, Gilbert’s memories are more vague. “I remember mostly Lenore. Mitt was, as far as I knew, the college-aged son who was helping out,” he recalls. “I knew it was a funny name, Mitt, but I didn’t know him beyond that.”

Mitt however was making a name for himself on the campaign trail even then. He traveled to each of Michigan’s 83 counties on his mom’s behalf, and talked openly with reporters about her platform every step of the way. Mitt Romney finds himself in a similar position, more than 40 years later: traveling the country, and this time, convincing voters of his own credentials to become President of the United States. That outcome hinges on voters this November; Lenore’s influence on that journey, though, is indisputable.

Read more in this week’s issue of TIME: How Mitt’s Mom Shaped Him

More photos: The rich history of Mitt Romney

Elizabeth Dias is a reporter in TIME’s Washington bureau. Follow her on Twitter @elizabethjdias.

David Wright, Denis

David Wright, Denis

David Wright

Denis,
Alebtong, Uganda, 2009
From the Uganda: A River Blue series
Website – DavidWrightPhoto.com

David Wright (b. 1983) is a fine art documentary photographer based in Maine. He has always learned about the world and himself through photography. In 2009 David was selected for the Conscientious Portfolio Competition Prize and in 2011 the Hearst 8×10 Photography Biennial. His work is collected by the Library of Congress and Museum of Modern Art, and he has had solo exhibitions at Anastasia Photo Gallery and Asymmetrick Arts.

Marc Yankus

On November 3rd, New York Photographer, Marc Yankus will opening his third solo show at Clampart in New York City. The exhibition, Call it Sleep, will run through December 17th and feature work from several projects.

Marc was originally a painter and a collage artist, and began to incorporate his own photographs into his art making over a decade ago. He has a talent for moving between the old and the new, where his work is at once contemporary, and timeless. Because Marc creates work not only for exhibition, but for book covers, magazines, and posters, his work has the remarkable quality that allows our imaginations to continue the narrative once we have experienced the work.

Marc’s photographs have been exhibited in galleries and museums across the United States and in international art shows. His work has been included in exhibitions at The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY, Exit Art, New York City, The Library of Congress, Washington DC and at ClampArt, New York City.

Marc’s artwork has graced the covers of books by Salmon Rushdie, Philip Roth, and Alan Hollinghurst, among many others. His images have also been used for theatrical posters for such acclaimed Broadway shows as Jane Eyre; August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom; and John Patrick Shanley’s Pulitzer Prize winning play, Doubt. Additionally, Yankus’ photographs have appeared both on the covers and inside the pages of numerous publications ranging from The Atlantic Monthly to Photo District News. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and Department of Prints and Photographs of The Library of Congress have acquired his work for their permanent collections, as well as many private collections.

CALL IT SLEEP: In New York, where I grew up and where I live and work, the passage of time and the changes left in its wake are keenly communicated to me in its buildings and streets. This palpable history has instilled a poignant sense of perspective in my work. I am drawn to the romance of New York’s old architecture; its majestic and now rare materials never seem to lose their power to enthrall imagination. In the city’s moments of tranquility, especially at dusk and when night falls, the looming shapes, diffused light and spectral shadows invest the recurrent transition with a hushed feeling of magic and anticipation that I seek to capture in my photographs.

A pervasive tone of contemplation and reverie informs the content in all my work. My portraits purposefully evoke the subjects’ quiescence or lucid stillness, as T.S. Eliot so perfectly put it. My aim in this respect is to transcend an anecdotal level of interest in favor of underscoring and communicating a sense of humanity in the subject with which the viewer can identify.

The use of photomontage in some of my work draws on my prior experience in painting and collage. The process of superimposing the old on the new is more than metaphorically aligned with the historical aspects that are so compelling to me in my cityscapes, as well as the transient perspective inherent in my portraiture. In the photomontages my evocation of the
experience of memory, imagination and dreaming is played out in an invented, visionary place composed of two worlds; the real and the imagined. In some of these works, I have employed imagery that summons a glimpse of childhood to heighten the inverse perspective of memory. At first glance, the pictures may appear to tell a story, but ultimately no narrative is revealed; their content may be understood to reside in the realm of sensation.

Photomontages