Hugh Edwards /edwards/ Mon, 22 May 2017 15:31:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.2 Timothy O’Sullivan /edwards/timothy-osullivan/ Wed, 03 May 2017 20:10:45 +0000 /edwards/?p=21682

Timothy O’Sullivan (American, born Ireland, 1840–1882) began his photography career as an apprentice to portraitist Mathew Brady in his New York studio, later moving to the Washington, D.C., branch, which was managed by Alexander Gardner. When the Civil War broke out, O’Sullivan and Gardner joined Brady’s team of photographers documenting the conflict. Working with cumbersome equipment and using traveling wagons as darkrooms, O’Sullivan captured encampments, fortifications, and the aftermath of battle, providing mute testimony to America’s most deadly war; many of his images were included in the 1866 album Gardner’s Photographic Sketch Book of the War. On the basis of that field experience, O’Sullivan was later selected to participate in two government expeditions intended to assess the land and identify natural resources in the American West: Clarence King’s geological survey of the fortieth parallel, beginning in 1867, and George Wheeler’s survey of lands west of the one hundredth meridian, beginning in 1871. O’Sullivan made large-format wet-plate images of geological features for albums documenting the findings and stereo cards sold as boxed sets for general audiences. Factual and blunt, yet sophisticated in composition and often unexpectedly self-referential, O’Sullivan’s pictures served documentary ends in the nineteenth century but have intrigued modern viewers ever since.

 

When Hugh Edwards began as curator of photography in 1959, he had an immediate opportunity to add to the museum’s holdings in nineteenth-century photography. Beaumont Newhall, then director of the George Eastman House, made available duplicative material from its collection, including Wheeler’s two-volume survey album featuring photographs by O’Sullivan and William H. Bell and a boxed set of forty-six O’Sullivan stereo cards, also from the Wheeler expedition. Edwards’s real interest, however, lay in the Civil War material; as a native Kentuckian whose grandfather had fought in the battle of Shiloh, he had long maintained a personal interest in the conflict. Among his first photography exhibitions was an Eastman House–circulated display of Gardner’s Sketch Book, a two-volume compendium that included works by Gardner, Wood and Gibson, and John Reekie, as well as O’Sullivan. In 1967 Edwards was finally able to add a copy of the desired album to the Art Institute’s permanent collection.

n
Timothy O'Sullivan, Black Cañon, Colorado River, from Camp 8, Looking Above, 1871

Timothy O’Sullivan, Black Cañon, Colorado River, from Camp 8, Looking Above, 1871

In Timothy O'Sullivan
n
Timothy O'Sullivan, Historic Spanish Record of the Conquest, South Side of Inscription Rock, N.M.- No. 3. , 1873

Timothy O’Sullivan, Historic Spanish Record of the Conquest, South Side of Inscription Rock, N.M.—No. 3 , 1873

In Timothy O'Sullivan
n
Timothy O'Sullivan, Ancient Ruins in the Cañon de Chelle, N.M. In a niche 50 feet above present Cañon bed., 1873

Timothy O’Sullivan, Ancient Ruins in the Cañon de Chelle, N.M. In a niche 50 feet above present Cañon bed., 1873

In Timothy O'Sullivan
n
Timothy O'Sullivan, Explorers Column, Cañon de Chelle, Arizona. This shaft is the work of nature, and is about 900 feet in height; base about 70 by 110 feet. It stands near the center of the Cañon, and it is almost impossible to believe that it is not the work of human hands, 1873

Timothy O’Sullivan, Explorers Column, Cañon de Chelle, Arizona. This shaft is the work of nature, and is about 900 feet in height; base about 70 by 110 feet. It stands near the center of the Cañon, and it is almost impossible to believe that it is not the work of human hands, 1873

In Timothy O'Sullivan
n
Timothy O'Sullivan, Shoshone Falls, Snake River, Idaho, looking through the timber, and showing the main fall, and upper or "Lace Falls", 1874

Timothy O’Sullivan, Shoshone Falls, Snake River, Idaho, looking through the timber, and showing the main fall, and upper or “Lace Falls”, 1874

In Timothy O'Sullivan
n
Timothy O'Sullivan, Pontoon Bridge Across the Rappahannock, May 1863

Timothy O’Sullivan, Pontoon Bridge across the Rappahannock, May 1863

In Timothy O'Sullivan
n
Timothy O'Sullivan, A Harvest of Death, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, July 1863

Timothy O’Sullivan, A Harvest of Death, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, July 1863

In Timothy O'Sullivan
n
Timothy O'Sullivan, Field Where General Reynolds Fell, Gettysburg, July 1863

Timothy O’Sullivan, Field where General Reynolds Fell, Gettysburg, July 1863

In Timothy O'Sullivan
n
Timothy O'Sullivan, High Bridge Crossing the Appomattox, Near Farmville, 1865

Timothy O’Sullivan, High Bridge Crossing the Appomattox, near Farmville, 1865

In Timothy O'Sullivan
n
n
n
n
]]>
Danny Lyon /edwards/danny-lyon/ Wed, 03 May 2017 20:09:59 +0000 /edwards/?p=21695

Over a career spanning more than five decades, photographer and filmmaker Danny Lyon (American, born 1942) has become known for immersing himself in the cultures he documents. His preferred subjects often occupy the fringes of society, and his intensive investigations have resulted in acclaimed photographic series accompanied by books. His most notable publications feature examinations of the protests for civil rights in the south (The Movement, 1964); the members of the Chicago Outlaw Motorcycle Club (The Bikeriders, 1968); the demolition of a neighborhood to make way for commercial development in New York (The Destruction of Lower Manhattan, 1969); and the Texas penitentiary system (Conversations with the Dead, 1971). He began making films in the late 1960s, with topics ranging from the inhabitants of Bernalillo, New Mexico, to his own family. The recipient of numerous awards and the subject of many exhibitions, including a recent traveling retrospective, Lyon continues to photograph, write, and produce films and books to this day.

 

Lyon first met Hugh Edwards as an undergraduate at the University of Chicago, when the curator singled out his work at a student exhibition. The young photographer soon became a regular visitor to the Art Institute’s Print Study Room, viewing objects from the permanent collection with Edwards and showing him his own work as well. In 1963 Edwards responded to new photographs of the Chicago Outlaws with a letter that Lyon kept as a talisman: “This time you have gone farther on and present the exciting subject without getting between it and the camera,” he wrote. “Thank you and God for no too often served social messages in these pictures. In them you evoke and provoke emotions and are modest about your own self-expression.”[1] Edwards mounted Lyon’s first museum exhibition in 1966, which included images of the Outlaws as well as photographs Lyon had made, with a camera borrowed from the curator, of working-class residents of Chicago’s Uptown who had migrated to the city from Appalachia. When Lyon’s first monograph, The Bikeriders, was published, he dedicated it to his mentor, sending him the first press copy with a letter that said, “I will always associate you with this book because it came out of the time I began making pictures and you were so much a part of that for me.”[2]

 

In 1969 Edwards organized a second presentation of Lyon’s work—only one other photographer, Robert Riger, was exhibited more than once during the curator’s tenure—called Prison and the Free World, comprised of the Texas photographs along with images from Knoxville, Tennessee, and Lower Manhattan. The exhibition’s introductory label praised Lyon’s growth and continued promise: “His fidelity to the principles of the photographic medium, his unprejudiced approach to truth, and his moving concern for humanity, all justify his position and influence as a unique and original young American photographer.”[3] During his tenure as curator, Edwards added over forty Lyon photographs to the collection. After his death, Edwards’s personal collection—which included gifts of prints from The Bikeriders and early images from Conversations with the Dead Lyon sent as he developed and printed them on site in Texas—joined these holdings.

 

 

[1] Edwards to Danny Lyon, May 8, 1963, Hugh Edwards Archive, collection of David and Leslie Travis.

[2] Danny Lyon to Hugh Edwards, Jan. 22, 1968, Hugh Edwards Archive, collection of David and Leslie Travis.
[3] Edwards, exh. label for Prison and the Free World: Photographs by Danny Lyon, 1969, on file in the Photography Department, Art Institute of Chicago.

n
Danny Lyon, Uptown, Chicago, 1965

Danny Lyon, Uptown, Chicago, 1965. © Danny Lyon

In Danny Lyon
n
Danny Lyon, Two Workers at the State Fair, (Knoxville, Tennessee), 1967

Danny Lyon Two Workers at the State Fair, (Knoxville, Tennessee), 1967. © Danny Lyon

In Danny Lyon
n
Danny Lyon, Boy with Dog, Knoxville, Tennessee, 1967

Danny Lyon, Boy with Dog, Knoxville, Tennessee, 1967. © Danny Lyon

In Danny Lyon
n
Danny Lyon,Brooklyn Bridge Site from the Roof of the Beekman Hospital, c. 1967

Danny Lyon, Brooklyn Bridge Site from the Roof of the Beekman Hospital, c. 1967. © Danny Lyon

In Danny Lyon
n
Danny Lyon, From 89 Beekman Street Looking South in Fulton Street, c. 1967

Danny Lyon, From 89 Beekman Street Looking South in Fulton Street, c. 1967. © Danny Lyon

In Danny Lyon
n
Danny Lyon, Route 12, Wisconsin, 1963

Danny Lyon, Route 12, Wisconsin, 1963. © Danny Lyon

In Danny Lyon
n
Danny Lyon, Racers, McHenry, Illinois, 1965

Danny Lyon, Racers, McHenry, Illinois, 1965. © Danny Lyon

In Danny Lyon
n
Danny Lyon, Racer, Schererville, Indiana, 1965

Danny Lyon, Racer, Schererville, Indiana, 1965. © Danny Lyon

In Danny Lyon
n
Danny Lyon, Leslie, Knoxville, Tennessee, 1967 ©Danny Lyon

Danny Lyon, Leslie, Knoxville, Tennessee, 1967. © Danny Lyon

In Danny Lyon
n
n
n
n
]]>
W. Eugene Smith /edwards/w-eugene-smith/ Mon, 01 May 2017 20:13:21 +0000 /edwards/?p=21684

W. Eugene Smith (American, 1918–1978) privileged honesty and technique in his carefully sequenced photo essays, becoming one of the most respected documentary photographers in mid-twentieth-century America. Smith photographed for local newspapers in his hometown of Wichita, Kansas, but became critical of journalistic practices after witnessing sensationalist coverage of his father’s suicide. He attended the University of Notre Dame on a scholarship for photography, then worked for Newsweek, and in 1938 joined the Black Star photo agency. A major injury kept him from active combat, so during World War II he photographed on aircraft carriers, accompanying troops on sixteen combat missions. Working for Life magazine intermittently between 1939 and 1955, he produced several renowned photo essays, including “Country Doctor” (1948), “Life without Germs” (1949), and “Spanish Village” (1951).[1] Desiring more control over the sequence and layout of his photo essays, he joined the Magnum agency in 1955 and, at the behest of seasoned picture-magazine editor Stefan Lorant, began his most acclaimed project, a series of photographs of Pittsburgh. Images from the multiyear endeavor were published in Photography Annual 1959 and included in the eventual book Pittsburgh: The Story of an American City, in 1964.[2] Over the course of his career Smith won three Guggenheim Fellowships—a rare, impressive achievement—in 1956, 1957, and 1968. Throughout the later part of his career, he continued to produce important photo sequences, including his pictures of the Atoms for Peace Conference in Geneva and of the aftereffects of chemical poisoning on children in Hitachi, Japan.

 

Edwards viewed Smith as one of the heirs to an American realist tradition of photography that began with artists like Lewis Hine and Walker Evans. The Art Institute of Chicago acquired selections of Smith’s work in 1960, 1963, and 1965. Particularly enthused about the 1960 acquisitions, Edwards composed a thank-you letter to the artist, making special mention of The Spinner:

 

Thank you always for having lived to be one of the great ones and with all the obstacles that exist for a human being in our world, to have done these great things which put all the modern and scientific endeavor to shame. . . . now that I have the Spanish print here on the bookcase in the print study room, I want you to know it will be a little easier to get through some future bad times. What an honor to have this in the room with one! I shall return to it again and again as I write you. [3]

 

Despite this apparent enthusiasm, Edwards never mounted an exhibition of Smith’s photographs. The acquisitions, however—which include not only The Spinner but also signature work from Pittsburgh, his World War II period, and essays on Welsh miners as well as on Albert Schweitzer—attest to Edwards’s goal to have a comprehensive representation of an artist who had proven his place in the history of photography.

 

[1] W. Eugene Smith, “Country Doctor,” Life 25, 12 (Sept. 20, 1948), pp. 115–126; Smith, “Life without Germs,” Life 27, 13 (Sept. 26, 1949), pp. 107–13; Smith, “Spanish Village,” Life 30, 15 (Apr. 9, 1951), pp. 120–29.

[2] Stefan Lorant, Pittsburgh: The Story of an American City (Doubleday, 1964).

[3] Edwards to W. Eugene Smith, June 22, 1960, W. Eugene Smith Archive, Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona.

n
W. Eugene Smith, The Spinner, 1950

W. Eugene Smith, The Spinner, 1950. © Estate of W. Eugene Smith/Kevin Smith

In W. Eugene Smith
n
W. Eugene Smith, Marine Drinking, Battle for Saipan, June, 1944

W. Eugene Smith, Marine Drinking, Battle for Saipan, June 1944. © Estate of W. Eugene Smith/Kevin Smith

In W. Eugene Smith
n
W. Eugene Smith, Albert Schweitzer at the Piano, 1954

W. Eugene Smith, Albert Schweitzer at the Piano, 1954. © Estate of W. Eugene Smith/Kevin Smith

In W. Eugene Smith
n
W. Eugene Smith, Woman crossing street, 1957/58

W. Eugene Smith, Woman Crossing Street, 1957/58. © Estate of W. Eugene Smith/Kevin Smith

In W. Eugene Smith
n
W. Eugene Smith, Three Generations of Welsh Miners, 1950

W. Eugene Smith, Three Generations of Welsh Miners, 1950. © Estate of W. Eugene Smith/Kevin Smith

In W. Eugene Smith
n
W. Eugene Smith, Madness, 1959

W. Eugene Smith, Madness, 1959. © Estate of W. Eugene Smith/Kevin Smith

In W. Eugene Smith
n
W. Eugene Smith, Street in Pittsburgh: Downhill; houses on either side; church at end of street, 1955

W. Eugene Smith, Street in Pittsburgh: Downhill; Houses on Either Side; Church at End of Street, 1955. © Estate of W. Eugene Smith/Kevin Smith

In W. Eugene Smith
n
W. Eugene Smith, Hill District, 1955

W. Eugene Smith, Hill District, 1955. © Estate of W. Eugene Smith/Kevin Smith

In W. Eugene Smith
n
W. Eugene Smith, Untitled [night view, store front with pennants], 1955/56

W. Eugene Smith, Untitled, 1955/56. © Estate of W. Eugene Smith/Kevin Smith

In W. Eugene Smith
n
n
n
n
]]>
Edward Weston /edwards/edward-weston/ Mon, 01 May 2017 18:50:19 +0000 /edwards/?p=21686

A pioneer of modernist photography in California, Edward Weston (American, 1886–1958) was one of the founders of Group f/64, a collective that advocated sharp focus and crisp printing (the name referenced the smallest aperture of a view camera that would produce a maximally sharp image across the full depth of field). He was a proponent of what he termed “previsualization”—picturing the final print in his mind before exposing the negative and proceeding accordingly. Weston applied his purist perspective to produce grand landscapes of undulating dunes, female nudes, and still lifes of humble objects and natural forms, finding formal joy in common plumbing fixtures and erotic curves in peppers and shells. Awarded the first John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship for photography in 1937, Weston was also the subject of numerous one-man exhibitions during his lifetime, including a career retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1946.

 

Hugh Edwards was named curator of photography in 1959, just one year after Weston—by that time widely acknowledged as a giant of American photography—had died. That year, the American businessman and wildlife conservationist Max McGraw presented the museum with an extraordinary gift of 204 Weston prints, printed by Weston’s son Brett (a photographer in his own right) under his father’s close supervision. In 1953, at the request of friends, Weston had selected over eight hundred of his favorite negatives, a master set, which included signature works from the across his career; McGraw, a friend of the Westons, helped support their printing over the next year. Weston further winnowed down the selection to the Art Institute group, and Edwards selected sixty-four of these to be included in an exhibition, Photographs by Edward Weston, that opened on April 8, 1960. The curator, however, felt that the group lacked a certain personal approach, and in 1964 he wrote to Brett requesting portraits of Weston’s sons, acquiring four pictures of Brett, Cole, and Neil. Thanking Brett, and expressing his “fondness” for “these fine and handsome Americans,” he explained, “Portraits by great photographers are usually neglected (this is as true of Henri Cartier-Bresson as it is of Edward Weston) and yet many of them have produced some of the best portraiture in the whole of pictorial art.”[1]

 

 

[1] Edwards to Brett Weston, Feb. 14, 1964, Institutional Archives, Art Institute of Chicago.

n
Edward Weston, Excusado, 1925

Edward Weston, Excusado, 1925. © Center for Creative Photography, Arizona Board of Regents and Edward Weston

In Edward Weston
n
Edward Weston, Shell, 1927

Edward Weston, Shell, 1927. © Center for Creative Photography, Arizona Board of Regents and Edward Weston

In Edward Weston
n
Edward Weston, Nude, 1934

Edward Weston, Nude, 1934. © Center for Creative Photography, Arizona Board of Regents and Edward Weston

In Edward Weston
n
Edward Weston, Dunes, 1936

Edward Weston, Dunes, 1936. © Center for Creative Photography, Arizona Board of Regents and Edward Weston

In Edward Weston
n
Edward Weston, Nude on Sand, Oceano, 1936

Edward Weston, Nude on Sand, Oceano, 1936. © Center for Creative Photography, Arizona Board of Regents and Edward Weston

In Edward Weston
n
Edward Weston, "Hot Coffee," Mojave Desert, 1937

Edward Weston, “Hot Coffee,” Mojave Desert, 1937. © Center for Creative Photography, Arizona Board of Regents and Edward Weston

In Edward Weston
n
Edward Weston, Dead Pelican, Point Lobos, 1945

Edward Weston, Dead Pelican, Point Lobos, 1945. © Center for Creative Photography, Arizona Board of Regents and Edward Weston

In Edward Weston
n
Edward Weston, Portrait of Neil Weston, 1943

Edward Weston, Portrait of Neil Weston, 1943. © Center for Creative Photography, Arizona Board of Regents and Edward Weston

In Edward Weston
n
Edward Weston, Portrait of Brett Weston, 1943

Edward Weston, Portrait of Brett Weston, 1943. © Center for Creative Photography, Arizona Board of Regents and Edward Weston

In Edward Weston
n
n
n
n
]]>
Dennis Stock /edwards/dennis-stock/ Thu, 27 Apr 2017 22:01:42 +0000 /edwards/?p=21685

Over a career spanning six decades, Dennis Stock (American, 1928–2010) earned a reputation for depicting artists in relationship to their creative work. The New York native became serious about pursuing photography as an apprentice for Life magazine photographer Gjon Mili. After studying with Mili from 1947 to 1951, he joined the international press cooperative agency Magnum, with which he was affiliated for the majority of his career. Stock traveled around the world for his assignments and in 1953 landed in Hollywood, where he cultivated a friendship with the actor James Dean and produced a significant photo essay on him for Life.[1] This project, also published as a book in Japan under the title A Portrait of a Young Man: James Dean (1956), gave a rare view into the life of the star who died tragically in 1955.[2] Between 1957 and 1960, Stock composed a series of expressive portraits of jazz musicians, including Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday, which led to the book Jazz Street (1960).[3] Throughout the 1960s he filmed documentaries with his production company, Visual Objectives, and during later years he turned to color, making abstract photographs of flowers as well as studies of modern architecture.

 

With his humanistic approach and interest in the essay form, Stock was one of several Magnum photographers—including René Burri, Bruce Davidson, and Sergio Larraín—that Hugh Edwards supported with exhibitions and acquisitions. In 1963, the Art Institute of Chicago acquired fifty-seven prints by Stock, including large selections from A Portrait of a Young Man and Jazz Street, among other series. Stock supplemented the acquisition with a personal gift to the curator, which Edwards described in a letter: “Your photographs are now being finally matted for the collection and I am prouder than ever to have them here. The large print which you said I might keep has been handsomely framed and—better than any person I know—is a joy to live with. It overshadows everything else in my room and with two other prints of yours, I am never alone.”[4] That same year, Edwards organized Stock’s first solo exhibition in a museum, presenting the recently acquired images of Dean and jazz greats as well as pictures of classical conductors, dancers, and street scenes in California and from abroad.

 

 

[1] Dennis Stock, “Moody New Star: Hoosier James Dean Excites Hollywood,” Life 38, 10 (Mar. 7, 1955), pp. 125–28.

[2] Edwards thanked Dennis Stock for sending him copies of this now hard-to-find book in a letter dated July 18, 1963, Institutional Archives, Art Institute of Chicago.

[3] Dennis Stock and Nat Hentoff, Jazz Street (Doubleday, 1960).

[4] Edwards to Dennis Stock, July 18, 1963, Institutional Archives, Art Institute of Chicago.

n
Dennis Stock, Los Angeles, California, 1952/63

Dennis Stock, Los Angeles, California, 1952/63. © Magnum Photos, Inc. and Dennis Stock

In Dennis Stock
n
Dennis Stock, Jimmy Visiting the Cemetery, 1955

Dennis Stock, Jimmy Visiting the Cemetery, 1955. © Magnum Photos, Inc. and Dennis Stock

In Dennis Stock
n
Dennis Stock, Jimmy Beating Bongo Drums for Farm Animals, 1955

Dennis Stock, Jimmy Beating Bongo Drums for Farm Animals, 1955. © Magnum Photos, Inc. and Dennis Stock

In Dennis Stock
n
Dennis Stock, Paul Anka, 1961

Dennis Stock, Paul Anka, 1961. © Magnum Photos, Inc. and Dennis Stock

In Dennis Stock
n
Dennis Stock, Mary Lou Williams, 1958

Dennis Stock, Mary Lou Williams, 1958. © Magnum Photos, Inc. and Dennis Stock

In Dennis Stock
n
Dennis Stock, Louis Armstrong Playing the Trumpet, 1958

Dennis Stock, Louis Armstrong Playing the Trumpet, 1958. © Magnum Photos, Inc. and Dennis Stock

In Dennis Stock
n
Dennis Stock, Sonny Stitt at the Newport Festival, 1957

Dennis Stock, Sonny Stitt at the Newport Festival, 1957. © Magnum Photos, Inc. and Dennis Stock

In Dennis Stock
n
Dennis Stock, Acadamy Awards Coffee Shop Waitress, 1960

Dennis Stock, Acadamy Awards Coffee Shop Waitress, 1960. © Magnum Photos, Inc. and Dennis Stock

In Dennis Stock
n
Dennis Stock, Reflections - Soldier on a Bus, 1960

Dennis Stock, Reflections—Soldier on a Bus, 1960. © Magnum Photos, Inc. and Dennis Stock

In Dennis Stock
n
n
n
n
]]>
Duane Michals /edwards/portfolio_duane-michals/ Thu, 27 Apr 2017 21:57:08 +0000 /edwards/?p=21681

The narrative sequences of Duane Michals (American, born 1932)  often play with photographic meaning in uncanny ways, reflecting his long-standing fascination with the Surrealist painters Balthus and René Magritte. Before focusing on photography Michals started out in the field of graphic design, as a student at the Parsons School of Design and then in his first job, at Time, Inc. Yet in 1958, over a three-week vacation in the Soviet Union, he made a series of portraits of locals that sparked an interest in photography. He compiled these simple-looking snapshots into a portfolio that he quickly began exhibiting, first in a group show at Image Gallery in 1959. Embracing commercial opportunities, Michals published work in magazines like Esquire and Vogue, while also pursuing personal projects including Empty New York (1964) and A Visit with Magritte (1965). In 1966 he began constructing multipanel works such as Death Comes to the Old Lady (1969) and Chance Meeting (1970). Focusing more on narrative and less on technical perfection, over the following years Michals played with photography’s ability to be at once fictional and honest. Through double exposures and, from the 1970s, his own texts, his narratives embody the intangible as they consider death and mortality while simultaneously revealing an insightful and humorous perspective on family, relationships, and life.

 

Hugh Edwards first saw Michals’s photography in the Swiss art magazine Du and appreciated it as an authentic portrayal of individuals. In 1966 he wrote a recommendation for the photographer’s Guggenheim Fellowship application, stating, “The human acute sophistication of his attitudes brings us to single individuals and not types. The anecdote—one of photography’s most common temptations—is entirely absent from his work and he does not try to create an illusion of profundity by photographically plagiarizing painting and other arts.”[1] In 1968 Edwards organized a show of Michals’s work that included the photographs from Russia and other portraits. In the show’s exhibition label he highlighted Michals’s unvarnished approach: “To the wide area in which his talents are employed he brought a valuable contribution to the portrayal of actuality, photography’s most important use.”[2] Later that year, the Art Institute acquired fourteen of the prints from the exhibition.

 

 

[1] Edwards, recommendation for a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, submitted to John F. Mathias, Jan. 6, 1966, Institutional Archives, Art Institute of Chicago.

[2] Hugh Edwards, exh. label for Photographs by Duane Michals, 1968, on file in the Photography Department, Art Institute of Chicago.

n
Duane Stephen Michals, Boy Hitchhiker, 1968

Duane Michals, Boy Hitchhiker, 1968. © Duane Michals

In Duane Stephen Michals
n
Duane Stephen Michals, Boy Watching Performance, 1968

Duane Michals, Boy Watching Performance, 1968. © Duane Michals

In Duane Stephen Michals
n
Duane Stephen Michals, Man at Window, 1968

Duane Michals, Man at Window, 1968. © Duane Stephen Michals

In Duane Stephen Michals
n
Duane Stephen Michals, Kim Novak, 1967

Duane Michals, Kim Novak, 1967. © Duane Michals

In Duane Stephen Michals
n
Duane Stephen Michals, Texas, 1961

Duane Michals, Texas, 1961. © Duane Michals

In Duane Stephen Michals
n
Duane Stephen Michals, Restaurant Booth, 1963

Duane Michals, Restaurant Booth, 1963. © Duane Michals

In Duane Stephen Michals
n
Duane Stephen Michals, Saloon, 1965

Duane Michals, Saloon, 1965. © Duane Michals

In Duane Stephen Michals
n
Duane Stephen Michals, Hotel Room, 1965

Duane Michals, Hotel Room, 1965. © Duane Michals

In Duane Stephen Michals
n
Duane Stephen Michals, Office, 1964

Duane Michals, Office, 1964. © Duane Michals

In Duane Stephen Michals
n
n
n
n
]]>
Ray K. Metzker /edwards/ray-k-metzker/ Thu, 27 Apr 2017 21:53:10 +0000 /edwards/?p=21677

Eventually the concept of the Loop diminished to a less significant stage; my concern was for photographic form. The Loop was not so much the idea to be expressed as the situation or location wherein the camera and photographer find meaning. I wanted to photograph and the Loop was the reason.

—Ray K. Metzker[1]

 

Born in Milwaukee, Ray Metzker (American, 1931–2014) began photographing as a teenager and studied art at Beloit College in Wisconsin. Following a two-year stint in the army, he enrolled in the master’s program at the Institute of Design (ID), where he studied with Harry Callahan, Aaron Siskind, and Frederick Sommer and received his degree in 1959. His thesis, My Camera and I in the Loop, comprised 119 photographs taken within the boundaries of the elevated transit line that encircles downtown Chicago. More an investigation of photographic form than a strictly documentary project, the thesis set the stage for lifelong photographic experimentation in such series as Composites (in which he employed an entire roll of film to make a single image), Sand Creatures (featuring photographs of people splayed out on the beach at the Jersey Shore), Pictus Interruptus (marked by images obscured by something in the foreground), and City Whispers (focusing on light, shadow, and isolation in photographs of people in Philadelphia). After leaving Chicago in 1959, Metzker taught photography and received numerous awards, including Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships; his work has been featured nationally in several one-man exhibitions.

 

In 1959 Hugh Edwards selected seventy of the photographs from My Camera and I in the Loop and displayed them in Metzker’s first solo museum exhibition. It was also the first of numerous monographic shows Edwards would mount of young photographers, many of whom were recent graduates of ID. In the brochure, Edwards noted that Metzker’s pictures engaged with yet transcended their urban subject matter. “The first attractions of these pictures are that they show us the Loop and suggest a new identification with our environment,” he wrote. “But after we have looked at them again and again, it is the abstract pleasure of contemplation which remains as their final distinction.”[2] The following year, Edwards was able to add seventeen photographs to the collection, followed by four more in 1965.

 

In 1961 the photographic journal Aperture featured Metzker in an issue dedicated to five students at the ID. Minor White, the publication’s editor, remarked that an exhibition of such a young artist was rare indeed: “Yearly a few arrive at the threshold of camera work. But only in Chicago does the city art museum celebrate ‘arrival’ with a public exhibition.”[3]

 

 

[1] Ray K. Metzker, Untitled Statement, in “Five Photography Students from the Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology,” special issue, Aperture 9, 2 (1961), n.p.

[2] Edwards, My Camera and I in the Loop, exh. brochure (Art Institute of Chicago, 1959).

[3] Minor White, “Editorial,” in “Five Photography Students from the Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology,” special issue, Aperture 9, 2 (1961), p. 46.

n
Ray K. Metzker, The Loop: Chicago, 1958

Ray K. Metzker, The Loop: Chicago, 1958. © Estate of Ray K. Metzker

In Ray K. Metzker
n
Ray K. Metzker, The Loop: Chicago, 1957

Ray K. Metzker, The Loop: Chicago, 1957. © Estate of Ray K. Metzker

In Ray K. Metzker
n
Ray K. Metzker, The Loop: Chicago, 1958

Ray K. Metzker, The Loop: Chicago, 1958. © Estate of Ray K. Metzker

In Ray K. Metzker
n
Ray K. Metzker, The Loop: Chicago, 1958

Ray K. Metzker, The Loop: Chicago, 1958. © Estate of Ray K. Metzker

In Ray K. Metzker
n
Ray K. Metzker, The Loop: Chicago, 1958

Ray K. Metzker, The Loop: Chicago, 1958. © Estate of Ray K. Metzker

In Ray K. Metzker
n
Ray K. Metzker, The Loop: Chicago, 1958

Ray K. Metzker, The Loop: Chicago, 1958. © Estate of Ray K. Metzker

In Ray K. Metzker
n
Ray K. Metzker, Chicago, 1958

Ray K. Metzker, Chicago, 1958. © Estate of Ray K. Metzker

In Ray K. Metzker
n
Ray K. Metzker, Philadelphia, 1964

Ray K. Metzker, Philadelphia, 1964. © Estate of Ray K. Metzker

In Ray K. Metzker
n
Ray K. Metzker, Untitled, 1964

Ray K. Metzker, Untitled, 1964. © Estate of Ray K. Metzker

In Ray K. Metzker
n
n
n
n
]]>
Sergio Larraín /edwards/sergio-larrain/ Thu, 27 Apr 2017 21:49:04 +0000 /edwards/?p=21696

Sergio Larraín (Chilean, 1931–2012) studied forestry in the United States before becoming a freelance photographer who published and exhibited his images across South America. In 1958 he received a grant from the British Council that allowed him to photograph in London; that same year, the photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson saw Larraín’s images and asked him to join the international photographic cooperative Magnum. He spent two years with the agency in Paris, emulating Cartier-Bresson’s “decisive moment” style and producing photo essays on the marriage of the shah of Iran, earthquakes in Chile, and the Sicilian mafia. Returning to Chile, Larraín published a book of lyrical photographs largely featuring children in Valparaíso and other cities, El rectángulo en la mano (The Rectangle in the Hand) (1963).[1] He continued to work on photography projects throughout the 1960s, including a collaboration with the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, but serious photography ceded to writing, painting, and an interest in mysticism by the end of the decade.

 

Hugh Edwards gravitated toward many of the Magnum photographers, acquiring their works and mounting shows of René Burri, Bruce Davidson, Inge Morath, and Dennis Stock, among others. The humanism and intimacy of Larraín’s The Rectangle in the Hand impressed the curator, and in 1965 he organized Larraín’s first one-man exhibition in the United States, from which he acquired twenty works. Edwards often made literary comparisons in his discussions of photography, and he found that Larraín’s attention to everyday gesture and relationships reminded him of one of his favorite authors. He described this effect in a letter to the photographer: “You are always behind the picture, and not before it, and it is easy to see clearly, without interruption, the world you reveal. You offer no college-patented remedies with sociological labels for the human existence. . . . There has been nothing like the sympathy your people touch upon, except—perhaps—the children who are found in the pages of Genet’s early book, Le Miracle de la Rose.”[2]

 

 

[1] Sergio Larraín, El rectángulo en la mano (The Rectangle in the Hand) (Cadernos Brasileiros, 1963).

[2] Edwards to Sergio Larraín, Aug. 3, 1965, Institutional Archives, Art Institute of Chicago.

n
Sergio Larráin, Untitled, Valparaiso, Chile, 1963

Sergio Larraín, Untitled, Valparaiso, Chile, 1963. © Magnum Photos, Inc. and Sergio Larraín

In Sergio Larráin
n
Sergio Larráin, Untitled, Valparaiso, Chile, 1963

Sergio Larraín, Untitled, Valparaiso, Chile, 1963. © Magnum Photos, Inc. and Sergio Larraín

In Sergio Larráin
n
Sergio Larráin, Untitled, Valparaiso, Chile, 1963

Sergio Larraín, Untitled, Valparaiso, Chile, 1963. © Magnum Photos, Inc. and Sergio Larraín

In Sergio Larráin
n
Sergio Larráin Chilean, Vagabond Children, Chile, 1957

Sergio Larraín, Vagabond Children, Chile, 1957. © Magnum Photos, Inc. and Sergio Larraín

In Sergio Larráin
n
Sergio Larráin, Vagabond Boys Warming Hands at Fire on the Street in Santiago Chile, 1957

Sergio Larraín, Vagabond Boys Warming Hands at Fire on the Street in Santiago Chile, 1957. © Magnum Photos, Inc. and Sergio Larraín

In Sergio Larráin
n
Sergio Larráin, Bar in House of Seven Mirrors, Valparaiso, Chile, 1963

Sergio Larraín, Bar in House of Seven Mirrors, Valparaiso, Chile, 1963. © Magnum Photos, Inc. and Sergio Larraín

In Sergio Larráin
n
Sergio Larráin, Two Girls, La Paz, Bolivia, 1957

Sergio Larraín, Two Girls, La Paz, Bolivia, 1957. © Magnum Photos, Inc. and Sergio Larraín

In Sergio Larráin
n
Sergio Larráin, Valparaiso Streets at Night, 1963

Sergio Larraín, Valparaiso Streets at Night, 1963. © Magnum Photos, Inc. and Sergio Larraín

In Sergio Larráin
n
Sergio Larráin, Vagabond Boys Playing on Bridge, Santiago, Chile, 1957

Sergio Larraín, Vagabond Boys Playing on Bridge, Santiago, Chile, 1957. © Magnum Photos, Inc. and Sergio Larraín

In Sergio Larráin
n
n
n
n
]]>
Algimantas Kezys /edwards/algimantas-kezys/ Thu, 27 Apr 2017 21:16:48 +0000 /edwards/?p=21697

A Jesuit priest turned photographer, Algimantas Kezys (American, born Lithuania, 1928–2015) came to the United States in 1950, settling in Chicago. He began to photograph toward the end of that decade, working in a quasi-invented field that he came to call “design-oriented documentary photography.”[1] Kezys exhibited his photographs in local venues such as the Lithuanian Youth Center in Chicago and published them in books on topics ranging from religious rites and celebrations to world’s fairs to scenes in Chicago and Lithuania. Later in his career he also operated a gallery that promoted the work of other Lithuanian artists.

 

In 1965 Hugh Edwards granted Kezys his first museum show. In the postscript to a book of his photographs published the following year, Edwards recalled seeing the photographer’s work at the Lithuanian Center and being struck by “the manifestation of an individual and his relationship with the world.”[2] The Art Institute exhibition included Kezys’s earlier, design-oriented works along with images made at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York. In a draft for the wall text, Edwards argued, “The bold use of large patterns and design, the brilliant contrasts of silhouette and pure light result in surprising discoveries and the elucidation of the relationship of objects in space. Nothing describes this better than the words of Thomas Aquinas: Integrity, consonance, light.”[3] In 1968 nine photographs by Kezys entered the permanent collection.

 

 

[1] Barbara Stodola, “Lithuanians Bring International Flavor to Art Attack,” Beacher (Michigan City, IN), May 5, 2005, p. 14.

[2] Edwards, postscript to Photographs: Algimantas Kezys, S. J. (Loyola University Press, 1966), n.p.

[3] Edwards, draft exh. label for Photographs by Father Algimantas Kezys, S. J., 1965, on file in the Photography Department, Art Institute of Chicago.

n
Algimantas Kezys, Union Station, Chicago, Illinois, 1966

Algimantas Kezys, Union Station, Chicago, Illinois, 1966. © Estate of Algimantas Kezys

In Algimantas Kezys
n
Algimantas Kezys, Tampa, Florida, 1967

Algimantas Kezys, Tampa, Florida, 1967. © Estate of Algimantas Kezys

In Algimantas Kezys
n
Algimantas Kezys, Simon Fryser University, Vancouver, Canada, 1966

Algimantas Kezys, Simon Fryser University, Vancouver, Canada, 1966. © Estate of Algimantas Kezys

In Algimantas Kezys
n
Algimantas Kezys, Santa Monica, California, 1966

Algimantas Kezys, Santa Monica, California, 1966. © Estate of Algimantas Kezys

In Algimantas Kezys
n
Algimantas Kezys, Knott's Berry Farm, 1966

Algimantas Kezys, Knott’s Berry Farm, 1966. © Estate of Algimantas Kezys

In Algimantas Kezys
n
Algimantas Kezys, Knott's Berry Farm, 1966

Algimantas Kezys, Knott’s Berry Farm, 1966. © Estate of Algimantas Kezys

In Algimantas Kezys
n
Algimantas Kezys, Expo. '67, 1967

Algimantas Kezys, Expo. ’67, 1967. © Estate of Algimantas Kezys

In Algimantas Kezys
n
Algimantas Kezys, Camp Rakas., 1966

Algimantas Kezys, Camp Rakas, 1966. © Estate of Algimantas Kezys

In Algimantas Kezys
n
Algimantas Kezys, Camp Rakas, 1966

Algimantas Kezys, Camp Rakas, 1966. © Estate of Algimantas Kezys

In Algimantas Kezys
n
n
n
n
]]>
Rudolph Janu /edwards/rudolph-janu/ Thu, 27 Apr 2017 16:22:34 +0000 /edwards/?p=21699

Rudolph Janu (American, 1934–2013) was one of several young Chicago photographers to whom Hugh Edwards gave early encouragement and support. After serving in the Air Force and working as a commercial artist, he turned his attention to photography full-time around 1960. His early work, largely shot in Chicago, comprises candid black-and-white images of ordinary people in everyday activities. Later, in a practice that combined commercial and artistic concerns, Janu shot for magazines like Esquire and Fortune, documenting motorcyclists for an article by Hunter S. Thompson, for example, and capturing a jet airline captain for the John Bainbridge book Like a Homesick Angel. In 1965 Janu’s photographs were included in an exhibition at the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, Twelve Photographers of the American Social Landscape, along with other members of Edwards’s stable such as Bruce Davidson, Robert Frank, Simpson Kalisher, Danny Lyon, and Duane Michals. In later years he employed large-format color photography to document Chicago architecture and neighborhoods.

 

In 1962 Edwards introduced Janu to the Chicago public with his first museum exhibition, which included nearly sixty photographs. The curator maintained in the show’s text panel that the task of making visible what was usually unseen before our eyes—for which he found a literary equivalent in Albert Camus’s The Stranger—had far greater value than any sociological study: “The originality of these photographs is invariably sincere and never pretentious or exhibitionistic; it is shown again and again in simple statements which may be appreciated and comprehended by anyone.”[1] As he did with many other artists who were just starting out, Edwards shared his enthusiasm for the work, asking Robert Frank, for example, to meet with this young admirer.[2] In 1965 Edwards acquired fourteen works for the collection. The following year, he wrote Janu a recommendation in support of his Guggenheim Fellowship application, arguing, “His is a poetry, not of events, but of the significance of the ordinary facts of existence.”[3]

 

 

[1] Edwards, exh. label for Photographs by Rudolph Janu, 1962, on file in the Photography Department, Art Institute of Chicago.

[2] Edwards to Robert Frank, Nov. 9, 1961, on file in the Photography Department, Art Institute of Chicago.

[3] Edwards, recommendation for a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, submitted to John F. Mathias, Jan. 6, 1966, Institutional Archives, Art Institute of Chicago.

n
Rudolph Janu, Untitled, c. 1960

Rudolph Janu, Untitled, c. 1960. © Estate of Rudolph Janu

In Rudolph Janu
n
Rudolph Janu, Untitled, c. 1960

Rudolph Janu, Untitled, c. 1960. © Estate of Rudolph Janu

In Rudolph Janu
n
Rudolph Janu, Untitled, c. 1960

Rudolph Janu, Untitled, c. 1960. © Estate of Rudolph Janu

In Rudolph Janu
n
Rudolph Janu, Untitled, c. 1960

Rudolph Janu, Untitled, c. 1960. © Estate of Rudolph Janu

In Rudolph Janu
n
Rudolph Janu, Untitled, c. 1960

Rudolph Janu, Untitled, c. 1960. © Estate of Rudolph Janu

In Rudolph Janu
n
Rudolph Janu, Untitled, c. 1960

Rudolph Janu, Untitled, c. 1960. © Estate of Rudolph Janu

In Rudolph Janu
n
Rudolph Janu, Untitled, c. 1960

Rudolph Janu, Untitled, c. 1960. © Estate of Rudolph Janu

In Rudolph Janu
n
Rudolph Janu, Untitled, c. 1960

Rudolph Janu, Untitled, c. 1960. © Estate of Rudolph Janu

In Rudolph Janu
n
Rudolph Janu, Untitled, c. 1960

Rudolph Janu, Untitled, c. 1960. © Estate of Rudolph Janu

In Rudolph Janu
n
n
n
n
]]>