Friday, September 13, 2013

It's Been Rainy A Lot Lately

Doubtful Weather by Nancy Ford Cones. 1911 Gum Print

Not much to say this week. The weather has been changing between hot and sunny to cool torrential rainfalls. In the image above, we see a boy, girl and a dog, gathered around the base of a tree, wondering if it is going to downpour.

This is a vintage 1911 gum print by Loveland, Ohio photographer Nancy Ford Cones. Cones was a very prolific pictorialist photographer. Her work was very popular with camera manufacturers for advertising purposes. Her work also appeared in numerous home magazines of the day. She worked with her husband, James Cones. Together they photographed friends, family, and neighbors in pastoral scenes, showing the simple country life. Cones took second place behind Edward Steichen and bested Alfred Steiglitz, in a 1905 photographic competition sponsored by Eastman Kodak. Her work is in numerous museums and collections including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and The Art Institute of Chicago.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Photography and the American Civil War

Wednesday, I finally got a chance to see the show Photography and the American Civil War at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, thru September 2, 2013. Great show if you have a chance to see it. Many photographs I hadn't seen before, and many of the usual suspects. There were several with trees playing prominent roles in the compositions. One I hadn't seen before was a two piece panorama by Mathew Brady.

A Lone Grave on Battle-Field of Antietam, by Alexander Gardner 1862

I was surprised they did not display a copy of A Lone Grave on Battle-Field of Antietam, by Alexander Gardner. This is one of the most iconic images of the Civil War, and a rather different sort of image than the rest on display. It shows a lone barren tree, on a scorched earth hill top. All of the images in the show that showed part of the landscape were lush with foliage. This particular copy is of the smaller format Brady's Album Gallery, and is No. 570 in the series.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Farewell My Friend

Untitled. 1970 By Stephen T. Rose

I found out a friend of mine passed away yesterday. Rare books and photography dealer Stephen T. Rose of Indianapolis, Indiana, had been selling artwork since 1974. When he started out, he ran a photography gallery in Boston Massachusetts, one of the earliest in the USA. Photographers like Aaron Siskind, Harry Callahan, and Duane Michaels would give talks in his gallery. Many of the top collectors and dealers in the World today, visited his gallery. Stephen was a founding member of AIPAD, The Association of International Photography Art Dealers. He also helped start the photography departments at the Museum of Fine Arts, in Boston, as well at The J. Paul Getty Museum. Later when he moved to Indiana, he sold privately and produced a sales catalog of fine books and photography.

I met him much later, in the late 1990's, at a photography symposium in Rochester NY. After looking thru his catalog, I quickly added him to my antiques picking trail route.

My visits with him, was a big part of my midwest tour, buying, selling and trading photography. We would spend a good portion of the day looking at and talking about images and the business, until it was time for him to return to being a family man.

Around a year and a half ago, Steve bought the major portion of Walt Burton's tree collection, a mutual friend and long time Ohio photography dealer. I in turn bought most of the collection, which I partially helped build, and now forms a large portion of my tree collection. Many of which will be posted here.

I was hoping to spend more time visiting Steve, when I moved back to Michigan. He will be very much missed. He was one of the reasons why I've stayed in this business this long.

My Return To The Forest

My last post was supposed to have been illustrating the entire book "Reachmont" The Glen, by Herbert Greer French, a self published 1924 book showing the grounds of French's estate in Cincinnati, Ohio. Reachmont is now known as French Park, and is maintained by the Cincinnati Parks Foundation. French used a particular paper stock, a muted grayish green hued paper that I wanted to accurately represent, as it set the mood for the photographs.

Not being savvy with Photoshop, it had taken me a week and a half to color correct all the pictures. But before the post could be made, I lost all the pictures with a catastrophic hard drive crash. I thought it had all been properly backed up, but that was not the case. The idea of trying to color correct everything again has filled me with dread for over a year. And basically I've been paralyzed in regards to this blog ever since. At some point I will post Reachmont, but it's time to finally move on. I hope to at least post monthly, and maybe weekly.

The following is an albumen photograph by James Valentine showing a very mature tree, that has grown within a the ruins of an abbey.

Easby Abby, or the The Abbey of St Agatha, was founded in 1152. It still stands today, and is located in Richmond, in the Richmondshire District of North Yorkshire. I believe the arch still stands, but the tree does not.
Norman Arch. Easby Abbey. York, S. 3268. J.V.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Laying Down on the Job

"S.F.D. in repose on Mt Rainier"
I've been a bit lazy since my first post. So I figured I'd post an image that was apropos.

This is a circa 1910-1920's real photo post card of a telephone lineman resting while on the job.

Although most of my interest in trees is in the forms and atmosphere that trees create, I also have interest in how trees are used beyond their natural beauty. Logging and building are the more frequent imagery one will find in this period. Once in a while you can find real photo postcards of linemen up on poles connecting small towns across America with telegraph, telephone, or electrical lines.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Gen Fremont's Visit to the Redwood Big Trees in Santa Cruz California

85. Gen Fremont, Wife And Daughter.

1888 printing-out photograph by A.Y. Delotte of General John Charles Frémont and his family posed in front of the tree named in his honor at the Big Trees of Santa Cruz, California. Big Trees was a 40 acre grove of redwoods owned by Joseph Warren Welch at the time that this picture was taken, but is now is part of the Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. This image was later published as a postcard by Edward H. Mitchell

84. Gen. Fremont And Party Showing Circumference of Giant

1888 printing-out photograph by A.Y. Delotte, showing Gen. Fremont with his Family and friends gathered in a circle hand in hand, giving scale to the circumference of Giant, the redwood tree behind them.