Tuesday, March 31, 2009

$62,500 Daguerreotype of New York

From the New York Times, Tuesday, March 31st, 2009:

A photo believed to be one of the oldest ever taken in New York City was sold on Monday at Sotheby’s for $62,500, the auction house said. The pre-auction sales estimate was $50,000 to $70,000.

This daguerreotype, of a house on what is now the Upper West Side, is believed to be one of the oldest taken in New York City.
The winners were Billy and Jennifer Frist of Nashville. “It’s a very unique, historically significant daguerreotype,” said Mr. Frist, who has been collecting photos since 1993 and is a nephew of Bill Frist, the Tennessee Republican and former Senate majority leader.

The picture, believed to date from October 1848 or earlier, shows a white house on a hill with a white picket fence, next to what is believed to be the old Bloomingdale Road, the continuation of Broadway, in what is now the Upper West Side.

The photo was discovered at a small New England auction, and the date and location of the image were taken from a note that was in the daguerreotype’s case. The note — misspelling the word “magnifying,” among other irregularities — is written in a neat, cursive hand, in dark ink on pale blue paper:

This view, was taken at too great a distance, & from ground 60 or 70 feet lower than the building; rendering the lower Story of the House, & the front Portico entirely invisible. (the handsomest part of the House.) The main road, passes between the two Post & rail fences. (called, a continuation of Broadway 60 feet wide.) It requires a maganifying glass, to clearly distinguish the Evergreens, within the circular enclosure, taken the last of October, when nearly half of the leaves were off the trees.

May 1849. L. B.

“It took a tremendous amount of research to establish where it was,” said Denise Bethel, director of the photography department at Sotheby’s New York

Bloomingdale Road, often referred to as “continuation of Broadway” in the city directories of the day, was one of two main roads that ran up and down Manhattan in the 1700s. Bloomingdale Road was named for the Bloemendael area, now the Upper West Side, and cut from Union Place to Manhattanville.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Installation shot of Picasso's portrait of Stein at the Met:
Passport photos:

Saturday, March 14, 2009

George R Lawrence

George R Lawrence (February 24, 1868 – December 15, 1938) was an Illinois photographer best known for panoramic and aerial shots.                  
        George's huge camera:


San Francisco photographed with an aerial camera:

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Anthropologist Franz Boas posing for diorama


Link to Jstor article

Artists Making Photographs

This looks like a must-see exhibit at the Whitney. Text from the website is copied below.

Artists Making Photographs: Chamberlain, Rauschenberg, Ruscha, Samaras, Warhol
On view at the Whitney through Spring 2009

Writing about the ascension of photography as a legitimate art medium, Andy Grundberg offered three simplified narratives: "the history of photographers making art, the history of artists making photographs and the history of hybridity in contemporary art." This Gilman Gallery installation focuses on the category of artists making photographs and features works from the Whitney’s collection made between the 1930s and the 1960s. Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, and Ed Ruscha are three of the artists whose photographs are displayed alongside examples of their work in other mediums.

Significant support for the Whitney's photography exhibitions is provided by The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, Inc.

Monday, March 9, 2009

100 Special Moments

Jason Salavon superimposes groups of photographs (kids with santa, wedding photographs, Playboy centerfolds, yearbook headshots, real-estate ads, internet porn) to derive blurred "averages" that trace conventions of photographic portraiture.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Women Project

The Women Project by J.R.
This French photographer, who is hiding his full name in case of prosecution, is taking portraits of women in various poverty-stricken and war-torn parts of the world (parts of Africa and Brazil so far, with Cambodia, India and Laos on the way). While the large scale photos are going on exhibition in Europe, the more interesting thing is that he is also pasting huge copies of them around the communities of the models, including some that are meant to be seen by satellite. Apparently the photos are even printed on water resistant materials and help stop erosion as well.

The Website

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Thomas Demand

Click HERE to go to Demand's website. He is known for creating empty 'sets' that look like real places.