Friday, June 18, 2010

Why me? (Is anybody out there?)

In my initial post on this blog, I answered "Why not me?"  That's still the best reason I can advance.  I tend to write stuff down a lot so a great deal of what I post here comes more-or-less directly out of my journal.  However, it would be entertaining to know if anybody other than me ever looks at it.  If you do (and you're not me) please leave a "Yup, I read it." comment or something.

Photography show at "the hutch"

If you need a reminder of how beautiful a black and white silver print can be, may I recommend a visit to the Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.  A benefactor recently donated a collection of photographs to the center’s art collection.  43 (count ‘em) from the collection are now on display in the main lobby of the Arnold Building on their main campus near Lake Union.  The display is a who’s who of the arguably golden age of silver photography. 
  • 7 Ansel Adams prints, including the best print of “half dome” I’ve ever seen and a beautiful “aspens vertical”.
  • 4 Brett Weston prints
  • 5 W. Eugene Smith prints, including the iconic “walk” and “row houses” and one that I had not seen “waiting for survivors, Andrea Doria” that is my new Gene Smith favorite.
  • 7 Edward Weston vintage prints including “Shell, 1926” that is absolutely breathtaking
  • 1 Max Yavno
  • 3 Andre Kertez but none of the icons
  • 1 Robert Doisneau – a print I had never seen from one of my favorite photographers
  • 1 Clarence John Laughlin
  • 1 Josef Karsh – the portrait of Pablo Casals playing his cello
  • 1 Henri Cartier-Bresson but not one of the icons
  • 2 Ilse Bing but not particularly distinguished ones
  • 1 Robert Mapplethorpe – a still life
  • 1 Aaron Siskind
  • 1 Jerry Uelesman
  • 1 Josef Koudelka – the icon of the skyrocket launch
  • 1 Jean Claude Gautrand – and here I thought he was solely an editor and curator.
  • 1 Stella Simon
  • 1 Tina Freeman – “the window, London, 1979”.  I had never heard of her.  I believe that I tracked her down on the web but there is no evidence there of her having done black and white.  This print goes into my pantheon of “If money was no object …” acquisitions.
  • 2 Michael Smith
  • 1 Stephanie Dinkins
Good grief, there are a lot of museums with less to show than that!  All but a small handful of these prints are ones that I knew from books and only the last four names are ones with which I was not familiar.  What a feast.