ISENBURG 19TH-CENTURY PHOTO COLLECTION, RICH IN RARE CAMERAS AND DAGS, SOLD TO ARCHIVE OF MODERN CONFLICT FOR $15 MILLION; "ARTISTS FOR OBAMA" EXHIBITION SALE AND AUCTION FUNDRAISER HELD TOMORROW; MOMA APPOINTS QUENTIN BAJAC CHIEF CURATOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY; RANSOM CENTER APPOINTS NEW CHIEF CURATOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY; MIGUEL GANDERT: "SAINTS AND SINNERS" OPENS AT ANDREW SMITH GALLERY; PHOTO BOOKS/MEDIA: MANOS'S COLORFUL SEQUEL, GUTCH'S PICTURESQUE, THE ART
OF CARING, PLUS CHARLES NÉGRE ON CD; PHOTO CONSERVATOR LILIANA BUSTOS PASSES AWAY
ISENBURG 19TH-CENTURY PHOTO COLLECTION,
RICH IN RARE CAMERAS AND DAGS, SOLD TO
ARCHIVE OF MODERN CONFLICT FOR $15 MILLION
By Alex Novak
The Matthew Isenburg photography collection, which was made up of what is considered to be the most important collection of American daguerreotypes in private hands, rare early cameras, an important library and ephemera collection, and other photographs and photographica, has been purchased for a reported $15 million in what is probably the highest priced single private sale of 19th-century photography and related material. Despite that staggering dollar figure, the collection could easily be valued at a considerably higher amount considering its contents. The parties asked me to hold the story, which we had detected about two months ago.
The purchaser was the Archive of Modern Conflict (AMC). Daguerreian dealer Greg French, a long-time daguerreotype dealer and supplier of some of the material in the collection, broker the deal.
The packing and shipping of the collection took a crew of anywhere from five to nine people--five full weeks to complete, and a cherry picker had to be rented in order to remove the over eight-foot-wide carved American eagle and other objects from the third floor museum.
The task of unpacking, cataloging and photographing every item has begun in Toronto, and is being carried out by AMC's newly-appointed curators of the collection, Jill Offenbeck and Amanda Shear, both of Toronto. The AMC’s chief photography buyer in North America, Neil MacDonald, also from Toronto, was instrumental in convincing AMC that the Isenburg Collection was essential to their vision. Toronto native and Daguerreian Society President Mike Robinson has been recently appointed as AMC's Director of Education and Research Programs and will oversee the organization and cataloging of the collection.
With offices in both London, England and Toronto, AMC's collection of well over three million images contains primarily vernacular photographs that tell mankind's forgotten stories through the personal albums and images created and preserved by the common man; an un-bandaged reality, rarely seen, and too often discarded by ensuing generations.
Images of 20th century conflict, war, political unrest, social revolution, cultural traditions, etc. were AMC's primary focus when they began collecting in the 1990s, but that soon expanded to include 19th-century images as well as manuscripts and objects. The addition of the Isenburg Collection, adds a formidable dimension to AMC's holdings, much as the Gernsheim Collection added early photo-history to the Harry Ransom Center.
One of the primary focuses of the Isenburg collection is its daguerreotypes. There is even a book on the Isenburg collection, "American Daguerreotypes from the Matthew R. Isenburg Collection" by Richard S. Field and Robin Jaffee Frank. The book was published by the Yale University Art Gallery in 1989. Some of the daguerreotype rarities include:
--A full-plate dag by John Plumbe of the U.S. Capitol Building under construction.
--Numerous gold-mining daguerreotypes.
--Probably the most important collection of Southworth & Hawes daguerreotypes in private hands, including many full plates.
--Numerous occupational daguerreotypes.
And much more.
The collection also contains very rare early cameras, camera outfits, daguerreotype cases of all types, and photographic supplies and equipment. There are over two dozen daguerreotype cameras (the most ever assembled by any collector or institution), over three dozen wet plate cameras and a large volume of equipment. Other cameras range from tiny spy cameras to stereo cameras. Manuscripts, magazines, broadsides and books of the period add to the collection. And early photographic ephemera is the final category that fleshes out the non-photograph holdings.
Isenburg has often said, "I paid premium prices for best of breed, best in class." The 85-year-old Isenburg has owned numerous Ford auto dealerships in the past, whose success afforded him the opportunity to collect. He isn't just a collector though; he's a photo historian who's always been more interested in piecing together the story behind an object or image, than he is about just owning something. He's a photographic compendium who's spent the last 50 years seeking out history through photography.
In the third floor museum (now empty) in his home, a priceless daguerreotype would be displayed next to a tattered receipt and a handwritten letter or diary because they relate to one another and tell a compelling story. He owned the posing chair from America's premier daguerreotypists, Southworth and Hawes of Boston, in addition to the largest collection of Southworth and Hawes full-plate daguerreotypes (over 40) in private hands. Along with the chair, many other Southworth and Hawes items--from family photos and letters, to paintings, bills of sale, a partnership agreement, advertisements and ephemera--help to reveal the story of what it was like to be a photographer in the 1850s.
Below is a more complete synopsis of Isenburg's collection, in his own words.
"The Isenburg Collection covers the first four decades of photo-history in a unique way. As much ephemera and three-dimensional objects are shown concerning the culture of that period - as on its photo-history. Though mostly American, there are some Canadian highlights as well as English, French and German. The collection is very strong in images that show the history of photography. Only three half-plate daguerreotypes of the U. S. Capitol are known: one at the Library of Congress and the other at the Getty Museum with the third now at AMC, as well as the only known daguerreotype of the south face of the White House. Hundreds of letters written in California during the Gold Rush and diaries written by those who travelled by wagon--accompany the largest collection of Gold Rush daguerreotypes, ambrotypes and paper prints formerly in private hands including an 1851 panoramic daguerreotype of San Francisco showing the deserted ships in the harbor as well as a stereo daguerreotype of Portsmouth Square by Robert Vance. The ephemera collection of that time and place is large beyond imagination. The runs of 19th century trade magazines and assorted newspapers are fabulous. Clipper ship cards, gold rush jewelry, stereoviews, diaries, letter sheets, rare lithographs and even rarer paintings depicting life in California abound. Even late-19th-century California cabinet cards make their presence felt.
The Southworth and Hawes collection has rare letters that give us a true glimpse beyond the common perception surrounding the two partners as well as their partnership agreement. Even the posing chair so prominent in many Southworth & Hawes daguerreotypes as well as Nancy Southworth Hawes oil painting in its original frame, and her daguerreotype taken next to the painting still exist. The only four full-plate stereo pairs (in private hands) as viewed in The Grand Parlor Stereoscope are part of this section of the collection which ends with a daguerreotype of J. J. Hawes as a very old man pulling the string on a drop shutter to take his own final self portrait.
"The library of early photography books and periodicals is one of the best in the country. Beside trade catalogues, "how to" books, weekly or twice monthly trade magazines, It includes illustrated weeklies with woodcuts galore from daguerreotypes. And let's not forget the Eagle. Almost an eight and a half foot wingspan polychrome Eagle clutching a whole plate daguerreotype of the Warren Light Guard of Worcester, Massachusetts which lost four soldiers trying to quell the Baltimore riots in the first official engagement of the American Civil War. Also now in Toronto are the two documented earliest daguerreotypes taken in New York City, one of City Hall and the other showing the 1849 paving of Broadway, and they are in 3D!
"The CDV (carte-de-visite) collection is one of the finest ever assembled, much of it emphasizing the history of photography. Tintypes on photo history abound, as well as an amazing collection of stereoviews concerning photo history. The largest display of broadsides from 1841 to the 1860s is another major specialty. Early photos of famous photographers and famous photographers’ business cards are also part of the History of Photography collection. The rarest thermoplastic and MOP (mother of pearl) cases accompany an over three-hundred-piece case collection including both versions of the Henry Clay case and the obverse steel mold used to make one of them.
"There is no other early American camera collection that has the depth that the hardware collection exhibits, from the earliest complete American outfit (featured in an article in Antiques Magazine, September 1932, and displayed at the 1933 and 1939 World’s Fairs), accompanied by more than two dozen daguerreotype cameras and more than thirty wet-plate cameras. Over a dozen of these early cameras are complete outfits including the developing equipment - plus all the equipment, chemicals and labeled bottles and original boxes in which many of these items shipped from the supplier, and last but not least, dozens of invoices describing and itemizing their cost at that time.
"The collection of items directly related to Daguerre include: a 19th century bronze bust of Daguerre by Kaan, the four 19th century first generation copy-portraits of Daguerre including the crystalotype by Whipple, the CDV by Meade, the woodburytype in the 1881 Yearbook of Photography and the heliograph by Dujardin. There are many original 1839 Daguerre manuals in both French and English, and Daguerre’s image on everything from a cigar band to postage stamps, cigarette cards and dozens of advertisements that used his image and story as a hook to get attention, and finally letters written and signed by Daguerre himself."
"ARTISTS FOR OBAMA" EXHIBITION SALE AND AUCTION FUNDRAISER HELD TOMORROW
Benefit Co-Chairs, Dawoud Bey and Dr. Anita Blanchard have announced an exhibition sale and auction at the Stephen Daiter Gallery, Chicago, for a fundraiser in support of the re-election of the President. It is an exhibition, a sale, an auction and for one night–a party!
In addition to photographs by many top photographers, such as Helen Levitt, Margaret Bourke-White, Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Victor Skrebneski, Garry Winogrand, Jerry Spagnoli and Aaron Siskind (just to name a few), there will also be artworks in other media, including etchings by Tony Fitzpatrick, an aquatint by Audrey Niffenegger, a painting by Robert Guinan and a bronze sculpture by Richard Hunt. See the auction website for the complete list.
In all, nearly 100 works will be offered. All monies realized will go directly to the Obama Victory Fund. The Opening Preview and Auction will take place at the Stephen Daiter Gallery, 230 W. Superior, Fourth Floor Chicago, IL 60654 tomorrow, Thursday, July 12, from 5 pm to 9 pm. A donation at the door of $50 cash or check is requested.
Please check the auction website for details and recent additions: go to http://www.stephendaitergallery.com
and click on the picture of President Obama. Contact the Stephen Daiter Gallery at 1-312-787-3350 or firstname.lastname@example.org
with questions or bids.
MOMA APPOINTS QUENTIN BAJAC
CHIEF CURATOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
The Museum of Modern Art, New York, has selected Quentin Bajac as its next Chief Curator of Photography. Bajac, who has been the Chief Curator of Photography at the Centre Pompidou, Musée Nationale d’art moderne in Paris since 2007, will assume his new position at MoMA in January 2013. He will replace Peter Galassi, who retired last year.
The lengthy search had caused considerable comment in the photo world, but Bajac's appointment fills the role with a proven top international curator.
RANSOM CENTER APPOINTS NEW
CHIEF CURATOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
The Harry Ransom Center has appointed Jessica S. McDonald, a curator of photography at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, as its new chief curator of photography.
As the Nancy Inman and Marlene Nathan Meyerson Curator of Photography, McDonald will oversee a collection that spans from the world's earliest-known photograph to prints from some of the great masters of the 21st century. The Center's photography holdings include the Helmut and Alison Gernsheim collection, a seminal collection of the history of photography and one of the world's premier sources for the study and appreciation of photography.
In addition to the history of photography, the Ransom Center's photography collection focuses on photojournalism and documentary photography, with holdings of more than five million prints and negatives, supplemented by books, manuscripts, journals and memorabilia of photographers.
McDonald's professional experience includes affiliations with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Visual Studies Workshop and George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film. In 2011, McDonald received an Ansel Adams Research Fellowship from the Center for Creative Photography.
McDonald recently curated the exhibition "Photography in Mexico: Selected Works from the Collections of SFMOMA and Daniel Greenberg and Susan Steinhauser" and edited the anthology "Nathan Lyons: Selected Essays, Lectures, and Interviews," which University of Texas Press published in June.
Upcoming photography exhibitions at the Ransom Center include a spring 2013 exhibition on photographer Arnold Newman and a fall 2014 exhibition on the Magnum Photos collection. Both collections reside at the Ransom Center.
McDonald begins her position at the Ransom Center, a humanities research library and museum at The University of Texas at Austin, in September.
MIGUEL GANDERT: "SAINTS AND SINNERS"
OPENS AT ANDREW SMITH GALLERY
The Andrew Smith Gallery's 2012 summer season kicks off with the exhibit, "Saints and Sinners: Rituals of Penance and Redemption," by award-winning New Mexican photographer Miguel Gandert, which opened May 25 and runs through July 30, 2012 at the gallery's 122 Grant Avenue, Santa Fe, NM address.
Gandert has signed copies of the new book "In the Country of Empty Crosses: The Story of a Hispano Protestant Family in Catholic New Mexico" by Arturo Madrid with 80 photographs by Miguel Gandert. In addition to the trade copy published by Trinity University Press, San Antonio, there is a special limited edition of 100 books encased in a handsome slipcover that include an original print by Gandert.
Miguel Gandert was born in Española, New Mexico in 1956, a descendant of Spanish settlers of Mora, New Mexico and Antonito, Colorado. Raised in Santa Fe, he began photographing in 1968, focusing on the lifestyles and traditions of rural and urban Hispanics living along the Rio Grande valley from Mexico to southern Colorado, especially the "barrio" culture in Albuquerque as well as northern New Mexico villages. Gandert's common ancestry with his subjects has produced an insider's view of contemporary Hispanic culture which despite change, maintains deep roots in the past.
Over the last four decades Gandert has compiled a monumental document of Hispanic religious life, Hispanic artists, dwellers on the Mexican/American border, and confluences of Spanish Colonial and Mesoamerican indigenous traditions. In "Saints and Sinners: Rituals of Penance and Redemption," he has enlarged his photographic document of the sacred and secular rituals of Mestizo people of the Rio Grande corridor that first appeared in his book Nuevo México Profundo: Rituals of an Indo-Hispano Homeland.
For 300 years the 1500 mile Camino Real was the trail of colonization by Spain, and the route traveled by thousands of settlers from Mexico and Spain, as well as by priests and friars who converted native peoples and built Spanish missions that are still in use today.
In Mexican cities and villages along the Camino Real Gandert photographed contemporary rituals and festivals that over time have blended aspects of Spanish Colonial with Mesoamerican traditions in reenactments of the Passion of Jesus, medieval conflicts between the Christians and the Moors, and Colonial New World battles between the Spanish and Native Indians. Participants in these dramas assume the role of historical and allegorical characters, acting out the struggle between perceived good and evil in rituals that often end with the transformation of evil into good. Gandert's photographs convey the wonder and mystery of the ancient rituals, often transcending ethnographic documents to become timeless works of art.
The exhibit at Andrew Smith Gallery contrasts Gandert's photographs taken of rituals in Mexico with similar events in New Mexico.
Gandert's exhibitions include a one-man show at the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian in 1990; the 1993 Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art; and the opening exhibit in 2000 of the National Hispanic Cultural Center of New Mexico. He and his wife live in Albuquerque, NM, where he is the Distinguished Professor of Communication and Journalism at the University of New Mexico, as well as the director of UNM's Interdisciplinary Film and Digital Media Program.
Andrew Smith Gallery, Inc. is located at 122 Grant Avenue, Santa Fe, NM 87501. Hours are Monday-Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm. The phone number for the gallery is 1-505-984-1234.
PHOTO BOOKS/MEDIA: MANOS'S COLORFUL
SEQUEL, GUTCH'S PICTURESQUE, THE ART
OF CARING, PLUS CHARLES NÉGRE ON CD
By Matt Damsker
AMERICAN COLOR 2. PHOTOGRAPHY BY CONSTANTINE MANOS.
Quantuck Lane Press, distributed by W.W. Norton & Co., New York. 144 pages; 131 color prints. ISBN No. 978-1-59372-038-4. Hardcover; $70 US; $87.50 CAN. Essay by Alison Nordstrom, curator of photographs, George Eastman House. Information: http://www.quantucklanepress.com
This superb collection is as much a sequel, in its way, to Robert Frank's "The Americans," as it is to Constantine Manos's original 1995 "American Color." Indeed, Manos's justly celebrated previous book brought his saturated colors and dense, chiaroscuro compositional style to bear on America at the height of its self-assured, post-Berlin Wall dominance. Fifteen years later, though, Manos's camera locates a culture that may be just as colorful but seems far more atomized, cut off from its previous certainties and easy optimism--an echo of Frank's classic downbeat journey to the heart of the American seam.
Or, as Alison Nordstrom's introductory essay describes it: "Many of the earlier images [in American Color] are wryly amusing. They document some of the more camp and vulgar aspects of pop culture with a vision that verges on caricature. This latest, most mature work, however, is more intense, uncluttered and austere, and its mood strikingly different. Despite their often festive settings, these are photographs that express loneliness and solitude in a formal artistic language that transcends the particulars of time and place."
Manos, who lives in Provincetown, Mass., is a member of Magnum Photos, and his distinguished career has progressed from masterly black-and-white portfolios (of Greece, for example) to a style of color street photography that often mixes flat, monochromatic primary color fields with dramatic shafts of shadow and architecture. These build up and complicate the image to a point of near abstraction, yet Manos is just as rigorous in maintaining the strong figurative emphasis which makes his quotidian characters so vividly expressive. Thus, for example, a woman in a bright yellow top may be bisected by a black shadow, isolating her form amidst the shadows of other passersby, all against a cerulean blue wall. It's a layered, post-modern vision that speaks of photographic artfulness and documentary realism in the same breath.
While some of these images are, inevitably, more electrifying than others--boardwalk carnivals and beach antics are charged with vulgar, vicarious intensity--they aren't fraught with social criticism. The many shots of pedestrians passing each other like proverbial trains in the night reflect a simple urban reality, and if they seem marked by alienation and disconnection, these are only matters of fact. Manos's subjects may have limited horizons, but they are getting by, and the glamorous advertisements that mock them from the walls as they pass are part of the scenery, not weights on their souls.
If, as Nordstrom asserts, "the subject of this book of photographs is its photographs," then Manos might be less interested in the people who activate his tableaux than in capturing these powerful minglings of gorgeous color and wan existence, but that's not how the photographs read. Despite the deep, impersonal fields of sky, water, wall, and the various backdrops that enfold everything, what distinguishes these images is the recognizably human forms that enact their everyday dramas in front of us. More so than the fabulous contexts in which he finds them, they are the American color that Manos immortalizes.
IN SEARCH OF THE PICTURESQUE: THE ENGLISH PHOTOGRAPHS
OF JWG GUTCH 1856/59.
By Ian Charles Sumner. Westcliffe Books, and imprint of Redcliffe Press, Bristol, UK. ISBN No. 978-1-906593-27-8. 192 pages; approximately 135 black-and-whites plates. Softcover; £14.95. Information: http://www.redcliffepress.co.uk
Johns Wheeley Gough Gutch (1808-1862), we learn from this first publication of some 100 Gutch images, was born in Bristol, in England's southwest, and trained as a surgeon there. After quitting medicine in 1840 to follow a wider range of scientific interests, he began experimenting with photography only two years after William Henry Fox Talbot's early pioneering of the medium.
The result, as Ian Sumner details in this carefully drawn chronicle of Gutch's life and work, with many fine reproductions of his output, was an excellent portfolio of views taken around England, Wales and Scotland. Gutch was partially paralyzed, but that didn't stop him from navigating muddy rural roads by horse and carriage, lugging his bulk wet-plate camera that doubled as his darkroom. Indeed, he used a special camera that allowed him to manipulate and develop the negative while still in the camera, explains Richard Meara in the book's introductory essay.
Meara notes that Gutch's contribution to photography lay largely in his pushing beyond the Victorian conventions of the picturesque--with its emphasis on castle ruins and the mythic past--in an effort to "make the dry bones live," as Gutch himself stated in an 1864 publication. Bringing the bones to life meant providing more of a social context in many of the shots; there are street urchins and townsfolk, workers and dwellers on display, affording human scale and palpable life to some wonderful images of limestone quarries, warehouses, rocky streams, the great churches of the West Country, the harbors, piers and misty hills of Lynmouth and the Lake District, and so on.
Of course, there was no avoiding the Gothic splendor of the picturesque at its most typical, and so Gutch's cumbersome camera puts us in proper Wordsworthian awe of the ruins of such locales as Furness Abbey (as well as of Wordsworth's own gravesite). But Gutch was equally drawn to the humanity he encountered in his travels, and so there are dour portraits of local merchants and their families that exude the flavor of their days, along with the grimy, grumpy faces of miners (children, so many of them) and the proud visages of fishermen with their nets. Sumner's study of Gutch's days and ways is a valuable discovery of an important contributor to photography's evolution. Gutch's fine sense of contrast and his ample, inclusive compositions yielded images that spring crisply from these pages, all vintage works of a high order.
THE ART OF CARING: A LOOK AT LIFE THROUGH
Essay by Cynthia Goodman. Catalogue accompanying the exhibition of the same name organized by the New Orleans Museum of Art, further scheduled for the Cincinnati Museum Center (July 9 – Sept.19, 2010); Art Museum/Ft. Lauderdale (May 1 – Sept.1, 2011); and the Art Museum of South Texas, Corpus Christi (Oct. 22, 2011 – Jan. 1, 2012). Ruder Finn Press, New York, in association with the New Orleans Museum of Art; 286 pages, 211 black-and-white and color plates; hardbound, US$46; ISBN 13 No. 978-1-932646-50-4. Information: http://www.noma.org/specialty.html
Despite its sprawl--gathering more than 200 photographs to illustrate a brace of big humanist themes-- this ambitious exhibition is more than a hodge-podge. Well-focused and moving, it avoids mawkishness in its effort to stare squarely at life, love, disaster, and death by confronting us with a wealth of familiar, unfamiliar and iconic images. Thus, it comfortably connects the classic--W. Eugene Smith's country doctor series, for example--with the more immediate photo-journalism of, say, Gideon Mendel's 1993 shots of a mission hospital in Zimbabwe, where hunger and disease are fought just as timelessly.
Organized for the New Orleans Museum of art by guest curator Cynthia Goodman, the display is broken into seven thematic components: Children & Family, Love, Wellness, Caregiving & Healing, Aging, Disaster, and Remembering. As Goodman notes in her detailed catalogue essay, "Each stage of life is depicted by simple everyday situations experienced in moments of joy and gratification as well as by poignant events of passage." Indeed, this emphasis on the everyday is the exhibition's triumph, since we are never far from personal, microcosmic representations, an approach which wisely excludes abstraction or over-the-top exercises in art photography.
Instead, a ten-photo introductory portfolio by Annie Leibovitz sets the tone, moving from such celebrity portraiture as the widely published shot of Bruce Willis and a pregnant Demi Moore to an aging William Burroughs and, ultimately, an uncharacteristically journalistic, harrowing Leibovitz image of a Rwandan bathroom wall streaked with the bloody handprints of massacred Tutsi schoolchildren and villagers. Finally, there is the simple biographical photo of the living room of Leibovitz's parents' home in Silver Springs, Md., with her father seated mournfully beside a hospital bed.
Likewise, David Hockney's 1982 photo-collage of his elderly mother seated in the churchyard of Bolton Abbey, Yorkshire, or Arthur Tress's "Last Portrait of My Father," in which a seemingly unconscious old man is seated in a snowy New York City park, remind us that star photographers can do superb work outside of their pop-cultural element whenever they focus on the universal within the personal. If anything, the iconic images here--for example, the kissing couple of Eisenstadt's "V-J Day," or Diane Arbus's young Brooklyn family--are the expected punctuations we gloss over in an eagerness to be surprised by what we haven't seen before: Peter Granser's lively Sun City series of serene retirees; Jessica Todd Harper's anxious "Self Portrait" with her fiancé and future in-laws; or Sheng Qi's strangely evocative "Memories (Me)," a red-drenched close-up of a left hand missing its little finger and cradling an old black-and-white photo of a young boy.
One has to wonder, though, how necessary it was for curator Goodman to force this diversity of photography into a thematic septet, since the impression we're left with is that there's really only one big theme here besides Life, and that's Time. The glory of youth and beauty, the profound realities of aging, the ravages of disease and disaster, the serenity of acceptance, and the boundlessness of memory are all of a piece with one another, and indivisible. To some, the structure of this exhibition may seem a helpful way of bringing a larger coherence to so many complementing images, but it also segments them and may blunt the impact of such a potent sensory overload, something best experienced as a total immersion. That said, Goodman has curated a must-see panoply of important works of art.
BRIEFLY NOTED: The advent of CD-ROM and DVD has been a boon for photography, allowing digital reproduction and close, convenient, computer-based study of images in high resolution. One excellent example of this has come to our attention in the form of a CD, "Charles Négre: Photographe 1820-1880," a compilation of 70 images by the pioneering French artist and photographer. Produced by Francoise Paviot and Joseph Négre, a descendent of the artist, the disc includes a concise biography of Négre, and reminds us that Beaumont Newhall's landmark1937 New York photography exhibition put Négre on the map as a great "primitive" of French photography.
Since then, Négre's stunning photos and heliogravures--of Chartres and Notre Dame, the statuary of Paris, the south of France and its countryside--have become familiar touchstones of the medium's early days, prized by collectors and valued more and more for their sensitive, straightforward depiction of light and form. This disc divides Négre's output into appropriate categories--studies and portraits, genre scenes, Chartres/Vincennes, etc.--and allows the viewer to zoom in for a detailed look. It's a space-saving addition to the bookshelf of anyone interested in photography's history and France's unique contribution to it. For information on obtaining the disc, contact Galerie Francoise Paviot, 57 rue Sainte-Anne, 75002, Paris. Phone: +33 (0) 1 42 60 10 01; email: email@example.com
Matt Damsker is an author and critic, who has written about photography and the arts for the Los Angeles Times, Hartford Courant, Philadelphia Bulletin, Rolling Stone magazine and other publications. His book, "Rock Voices", was published in 1981 by St. Martin's Press. His essay in the book, "Marcus Doyle: Night Vision" was published in the fall of 2005.
(Book publishers, authors and photography galleries/dealers may send review copies to us at: I Photo Central, 258 Inverness Circle, Chalfont, PA 18914. We do not guarantee that we will review all books or catalogues that we receive. Books must be aimed at photography collecting, not how-to books for photographers.)
PHOTO CONSERVATOR LILIANA
BUSTOS PASSES AWAY
Liliana Bustos succumbed recently to cancer, according to Ángel Fuentes De Cía, a colleague. Liliana Bustos was a photographic conservator in private practice. She had a business called Lilphoto where she worked for 19 years.
Lilphoto was involved with the organization and conservation of photographic archives, including photograph mounting, portfolios, and advice to artists and institutions, as well as seminars and workshops on the subject.
Bustos combined this work with her activity in the conservation area of the Museo del Bicentenario where, for 21 years, she was responsible for the photographic archives. Since 2003 she taught such conservation topics as conservation in museums and graphic document and paper conservation at IUNA - (Instituto Universitario Nacional de Arte).
According to Fuentes De Cía, "for the past few months she fought a fierce battle against cancer that she could not win. This did not break her strength of mind, her infectious optimism or her exuberant personality. I had the privilege of contributing to her professional training from the beginning of her career. Her loss was a tough blow to her colleagues and friends, who will always miss her."