Issue #110  9/14/2006
Special Exhibits Go Up On I Photo Central

Five more new Special Exhibits have recently gone up on I Photo Central.

Vintage Works, Ltd. has put up "Arthur Tress: Vintage Prints, Dream Images", which details the early 1970s work by this important photographer.

His work is in the collection of numerous museums and institutions, including the New York Museum of Modern Art, the New York Metropolitan Museum, the George Eastman House, the Bibliotheque Nationale, the Centre Georges Pompidou, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Art, the Houston Museum of Fine Art, the Whitney Museum of Art, the Stedelijk Museum, the High Museum of Art, the Chicago Center for Contemporary Art, the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Milwaukee Art Museum.

In 2001, the Corcoran Gallery of Art featured a retrospective of his work entitled "Arthur Tress: Fantastic Voyage: Photographs 1956-2000" which took an intimate look at his long and varied career.

Vintage Works' second new Special Exhibit is entitled "Dorothy Norman: Simplicity, Elegance and a Modernist Eye for Photography". Norman worked with and was Alfred Stieglitz's lover. Stieglitz taught Norman photography, and she managed operations at his An American Place, his last gallery.

The New York Museum of Modern Art included several of her pieces in the 1944 exhibition, "New Workers". It was another pioneering gallery director, Helen Gee, who showed her work next at Limelight Gallery in 1955. That show combined the two lovers' portraits and was titled "Alfred Stieglitz/Dorothy Norman, Portraits of Each Other". Norman's images were also included in the influential George Eastman House exhibit, "Photography at Mid-Century: 10th Anniversary Exhibition", which was curated by Walter Chappell. And her friend Minor White showed her work in "Light 7" at the Hayden Gallery at M.I.T in 1968.

Norman did not consider herself a professional photographer. As the website for the David Winton Bell Gallery of Brown University puts it, "She photographed the places she cherished--trees in Woods Holes, churches in Falmouth, the New York harbor and Rockefeller Center--and the interior of An American Place, Stieglitz's last gallery. She created an extended portrait study of Stieglitz, as he did of her. Norman's work is characterized by a clarity of vision, beautiful use of light and shadow (especially in the interior studies), and masterful printing techniques learned under the tutelage of Stieglitz and Edward Steichen. Her small, simple prints--private, quiet, intimate--have drawn comparison to the poems of Emily Dickinson."

In 1968, Norman donated an extensive collection of photographs by herself and Stieglitz to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. A selection of these was exhibited there that year. A larger number of Norman's photographs were shown at the International Center of Photography in New York City in 1993 accompanied by a book, "Intimate Visions: The Photographs of Dorothy Norman". Her vintage photographs are rare, so this exhibition offers an important retrospective of her non-portrait work.

Finally the third new online exhibition offered by Vintage Works is "Fritz Henle: Observer and Photographer of People and Places".

Fritz Henle is one of the most under appreciated photographers, despite his importance and extensive exhibitions. Henle was a member of the New York Photo League and worked for the Farm Security Administration as a photographer.

Later in life he lived in Christiansted, Virgin Islands, but traveled extensively, including the U.S., Europe, Israel, India, Mexico, Japan and other locales.

Henle's work was shown in some of the most influential photography exhibitions, including the New York Museum of Modern Art's "Photography: 1839-1937", curated by Beaumont Newhall; the 1938 First International Photographic Exposition of the Guild of Photographic Dealers; New York Museum of Modern Art's "Mexico: 8 Photographers"; the 1948 exhibition, "This Is the Photo League"; the Baltimore Museum of Art's 1949 one-man show, "Hawaii - Photographs by Fritz Henle" the George Eastman House's 1952 one-man show, "Fritz Henle"; the 1954 " Subjektive Fotografie" in Germany, curated by Otto Steinert,; the George Eastman House's "Photography At Mid-Century: 10th Anniversary Exhibition" in 1959; and Stern Magazine's 2nd World Exhibition of Photography: "Woman".

If Henle's work interests you, you might also want to view his images that he made for U.S. Steel that Charles Schwartz has up separately on the website.

Charles Schwartz Ltd. has also put up two additional Special Exhibits on I Photo Central. The first exhibit is "Autochromes". This is the second of two Special Exhibits up on the site that deal with the autochrome process.

The Autochrome was an early photographic process that served as a cornerstone for the color photography of today. Developed by the Lumière Brothers, a pair of French film-making pioneers, the Autochrome made a giant leap from the gray scale of the 19th century to a more vividly rendered modern world. Unlike previous color photographs, where pigments were hand-applied to existing black and white prints, the additive Autochrome process used grains of starch to filter the colors of light on film. Improving upon a system introduced by Joly in Ireland, it became the first chromatic process to achieve commercial success. Although hampered by long exposure times and muted uneven tones, the Autochrome brought the photographic image to new and astonishing levels of realism, early examples of which are coveted by contemporary collectors for their rare, painterly quality.

The second exhibit just added by Charles Schwartz is entitled "David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson". This collection of calotypes is from an important album of Hill and Adamson's work, which was purchased at Sotheby's London in 1997. Many of these images are on their original mounts.

The partnership of David Octavius Hill (1802-1870) and Robert Adamson (1821-1848) is one of the most significant and intriguing in the history of photography. The art of photography was announced to the public in 1839. Just four years later, in 1843, Robert Adamson established his studio in Rock House, on Calton Hill in Edinburgh. It was to be the site of some of the most sophisticated photography ever created.

The partnership was born in extraordinary circumstances. Almost simultaneously with Adamson opening his pioneering studio, the Church of Scotland was meeting in Edinburgh. In May of 1843, four hundred ministers--a third of the entire church--signed a Deed of Demission, resigning their livings and establishing the Free Church of Scotland. It was a true act of courage, rooted in deeply held convictions, for these men were not only surrendering their career, but also condemning their families to ostracism from the communities in which they lived.

Hill and Adamson produced calotype negatives. These were made on sheets of writing paper treated with light sensitive chemicals. Exposure times could run into several minutes in sunlight. The cameras were necessarily bulky as enlarging was not possible. The negative, which had to be the size of the final print, was printed by contact in full sunlight on a hand coated salt paper. Each negative and print had its own character. The prints were typically purple to reddish brown in tone, emphasizing broad masses of detail. They were frequently compared by contemporaries to the work of Rembrandt.

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 60 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.