Issue #109  9/6/2006
Special Exhibits Go Up On I Photo Central

New Special Exhibits have gone up on I Photo Central.

The first one is entitled "California Girl: A Nude Series by Josh Swafford" and is sponsored by Carl Mautz Vintage Photography. Josh Swafford (1948 - 1991) was a California-based fashion photographer who died all too young. He was born in Kansas and attended the New York Art Institute. He worked extensively in photography and film, and his work has been displayed in magazines such as Harper's Bazaar, Vogue and Look.

Carl Mautz has also put up the Special Exhibit, "Dale Smith, Photographer among the Beats of San Francisco". Dale Smith is a professional photographer who now owns an ad agency in Nevada City, CA. He took photographs of Bob Dylan and friends in 1965 when he was 19 years old. The poet, Michael McClure, was one of Dale's teachers at the California College of Arts and Crafts; and on weekends, Michael would often invite Dale to his Downy Street flat in San Francisco. From there they would visit McClure's friends, including beat poets and artists such as Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Phillip Whalen and Allen Ginsberg.

In December 1965, Dylan was in the Bay area for a concert and visited Ginsberg at his Fell Street flat. When Dylan saw a photo Dale had taken of Ginsberg and McClure on the mantle above Ginsberg's fireplace, he asked that Dale photograph them together. Ginsberg arranged a private session that took place in the alley behind City Lights Bookstore, since renamed Jack Kerouac Way. Dylan was Dale's first paying client. Dylan wrote Dale a check for $20, which Dale cashed, an act he reports regretting to this day.

Dale went on to photograph other personalities in San Francisco during the 1960s, a few of which are offered here, including Janis Joplin, Robbie Robertson and Jim Morrison.

Vintage Works, Ltd. has also produced several new Special Exhibits. The first new exhibit is entitled "Early Western Landscapes: From Mammoth Plate to Stereo." By the early 1850s and 1860s photographers were beginning to photograph places in the Western United States which few people--and virtually no non-Native Americans--had ever seen. First by daguerreotype and then through the innovation of the huge mammoth wet collodion glass plates that seemed so suited to these vast spaces. A lengthy essay on many of the West's top 19th-century photographers accompanies the 28 images, which include several important mammoth plate albumen prints.

"In Praise of Pictorialism" is another new Special Exhibit" posted by Vintage Works. Early Pictorialism is often denigrated as sloppy photography trying too hard to be art. At its worst it can indeed lack discipline and seem muddy, but in the hands of master artists, such as we see in this online exhibition, the pictorialist photograph can be stunningly emotive and singularly beautiful in its own right. After all, Photo Impressionism, which currently is so admired, is simply a form of Pictorialism.

While many of the photographers are some of the best known in the photographic pantheon, others might be lesser known lights, but their images certainly put them in the first ranks.

The last Special Exhibit recently added by Vintage Works is "Contemporary Daguerreotypes: Mirrors to the Future and the Past". Today's daguerreians find that in order to be successful they need to research 19th-century techniques and add 20th-century technology to avoid some of the dangerous side effects of a process that often utilizes very deadly chemicals. They also find that they have to work out their own modern visions within the breath and limitations of this difficult process. Most of these daguerreians also have strong connections to the Art World. This essay and group of images detail the work of some of the world's most important contemporary daguerreotypists.

Charles Schwartz Ltd. has added the Special Exhibit "NASA Photography of the Moon". These views of the moon were taken in 1966 and 1967 by NASA's Lunar Orbiter II and III. This series includes images of mountains rising from the flat floor of craters that are 1,000 feet high with slopes of up to 30 degrees, images of Aristarchus, which is the brightest spot on the front face of the moon, and many others.

We have also continued to change images and add to our essays for all our Special Exhibits, so they are worth another peek, especially if you have not looked lately. And, if you see one you like, let a friend know too!

You can see these fine new exhibits and others (now a total of 53 Special Exhibits in all!) at: http://www.iphotocentral.com/showcase/showcase.php . Don't forget to check out the archived exhibits at the bottom of the page as well.