This past Monday marked the 50th anniversary of the Greensboro sit-ins and the opening of the new International Civil Rights Center & Museum at the site of the sit-ins, a former Woolworth’s in downtown Greensboro.
The Greensboro sit-ins quickly launched similar non-violent protests across North Carolina and a number of student civil rights groups, including the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. SNCC, whose first leader was future Washington D.C. mayor Marion Berry, organized voter registration drives all over the rural South and played an important role in the 1963 March on Washington, where Martin Luther King Jr’s "I Have a Dream" speech was delivered.
This photograph shows SNCC members training to respond to the physical dangers of their work. The photographer, James Karales, was a photojournalist originally from Ohio who worked for Look magazine and shot many key events in the Civil Rights Movement.
James Karales (1930-2002), Passive Resistance Training, SNCC, gelatin silver print, 1960, ©2002 Monica Karales
Last spring, the Carter was awarded a $50,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to catalog and digitize the entire works on paper collection, which is comprised of over 7000 drawings, watercolors, and prints of all kinds. We are well into the project now, and ready to start sharing some of the great stuff that we’ve been working with all year.
I’m kicking off this series of blog posts with a group of some of the oldest prints in the Carter’s collection. You’ll notice that these are unusually whimsical images, most likely drawn by Europeans who had not seen the American bison (or his friend, the deer) in person.
Johann Rudolf Holzhalb (Swiss, 1723-1806), Americanischer Aur-Ochs. Bos Bison, etching, ca. 1790
Unknown artist, The American Bison. The Cape Buffalo., engraving with applied watercolor, 1799
Bramati and Raineri, [Bison], aquatint and etching with applied watercolor, ca. 1753-1825
So this buffalo looks pretty normal, but check out that deer's antlers!
Unknown artist, Lopez Yucati and the Bison. (North America), lithograph with applied watercolor, ca. 1830-1860
Unknown artist, Buffle., lithograph with applied watercolor, ca. 1820-1850
Our Photo of the Week is drawn from the Carter’s collection of over 100 works by 19th century photographer Carleton Watkins. This albumen silver print, Commencement of the Whitney Glacier, Summit of Mt. Shasta, is currently on loan to the Turtle Bay Exploration Park in Redding, California, for their exhibition The Art of Mount Shasta.
Carleton Watkins (1829-1916), Commencement of the Whitney Glacier, Summit of Mt. Shasta, 1870, albumen silver print ca. 1876
The Whitney Glacier is one of seven glaciers found on Mount Shasta, which is located in northern California near the Oregon border. While 90% of the world’s glacier’s are shrinking, the Whitney Glacier is of special interest today because it is one of very few glaciers in the world actually growing as a result of global warming. Apparently warming of the Pacific Ocean has caused increased snowfall in northern California, accounting for 30% growth of the Whitney Glacier in the past 50 years.
Commencement of the Whitney Glacier, Summit of Mt. Shasta is on view at Turtle Bay Exploration Park through May 3, 2010.
I saw the city bus decorated with the Carter's painting, Wrapped Oranges again this morning on my way to work. I snapped a quick shot of it with my phone as it came through the Camp Bowie/Montgomery intersection right by the museum:
If you've driven anywhere near the Cultural District lately, you've probably noticed that midway rides and legions of horse trailers have once again descended upon Fort Worth for the Stock Show, which opens this Friday. This week I'm sharing a few historical Stock Show photographs from the Carter's Erwin E. Smith archive. These images date back to the mid-1920s, when the Stock Show was still held in the stockyards and the world's first indoor rodeo was held in the arena now known as Cowtown Coliseum (the event was moved to the west side of town in the 1940s).
Erwin E. Smith, A group of rodeo officials standing in front of the General Offices of the Southwestern Exposition and Fat Stock Show in Fort Worth, Texas, 1925-1940, gelatin dry plate negative, Erwin E. Smith Collection of the Library of Congress on Deposit at the Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas
Erwin E. Smith, [Rodeo grand entry, Southwestern Exposition and Fat Stock Show Rodeo, Fort Worth, Texas], glass plate negative, ca. 1925-1926, Bequest of Mary Alice Pettis
Erwin E. Smith, Southwestern Exposition and Fat Stock Show Rodeo, Fort Worth, Texas, glass plate negative, ca. 1925-1926, Bequest of Mary Alice Pettis
Erwin E. Smith, Riding a tough one, [Southwestern Exposition and Fat Stock Show Rodeo, Fort Worth, Texas] , gelatin dry plate negative, ca. 1925-1926, Erwin E. Smith Collection of the Library of Congress on Deposit at the Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas
Erwin E. Smith, A rodeo performer throwing a loop over a horse and rider as they race by him, [Southwestern Exposition and Fat Stock Show Rodeo, Fort Worth, Texas] , gelatin dry plate negative. ca. 1925-1926, Erwin E. Smith Collection of the Library of Congress on Deposit at the Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas
Over the past several months, you may have noticed that the Carter's building and grounds undergoing maintenance in preparation for the museum's 50th anniversary next year. All the activity going on around the building inspired this week's post, which draws from the Carter's collection of construction photographs by Charles Rivers (1904-1993).
Born in Greece, Rivers was a construction worker, union organizer, political activist, and photographer, who also worked on the construction of both the Empire State Building and Chrysler Building 1929-1930. Rivers led an incredibly full and varied life, and a full bio is available from NYU, which holds his personal archive.
Charles Rivers, Shadow of the Chrysler over the Graybar Building while a Load of Steel is Being Relayed from Derrick to Derrick to Reach the Floor where It is to Be Erected into Place, gelatin silver print, 1929, Gift of the artist, © Charles Rivers
Charles Rivers, Repairing the Derrick on the Chrysler Building, gelatin silver print, 1929, Gift of the artist, © Charles Rivers
Charles Rivers, The Bolter Up – Empire State Building [Self-portrait], gelatin silver print, 1930, Gift of the artist, © Charles Rivers
Snow twice in one week?! Where ARE we? Since it looks like we north Texans might ring in a slushy 2010, our photos this week are examples of two snowy New Year's Eves in other parts of the world.
Eliot Porter (1901-1990), View from Monastery Nunatak, Dry Valleys, Antarctica, December 31, 1975, dye transfer print, Bequest of the artist, ©1990 Amon Carter Museum
Brent W. Phelps (b. 1946), View West Toward Original Fort Mandan Site from Highway 200, North Dakota, December 31, 2000 [47Â° 14' 37" N -- 101Â° 11' 34" W], 2000, dye coupler print, © 2000 Brent W. Phelps
This week's photo comes from the Carter's Karl Struss archive. A fine art photographer, Struss was also an Oscar-winning cinematographer, which is why he was out photographing 1920s Hollywood.
Karl Struss (1886-1981), Hollywood [Shop Window Decorated for Christmas], gelatin dry plate negative, 1928, © 1983 Amon Carter Museum
As you might have heard, the Carter acquired a rare, complete set of Edward Curtis's The North American Indian, a 20-volume publication documenting American Indian life. Starting tomorrow, a selection of photogravures from the set will be on view in the Carter's photography galleries.
Only a few Carter staff have had the opportunity to see all 723 of the Curtis photogravures, and I was lucky to be one of them. I catalog all new art acquisitions at the museum, so I have seen each one of these photographs and, of course, have a few favorites. The quality of the whole set is pretty amazing, but these images really stood out to me because they are so different from the Carter's other collections documenting the lives of Native Americans.
Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952), Waiting in the Forest - Cheyenne, photogravure, 1911, Purchase with the assistance of an anonymous donor
Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952), Watching the Dancers, photogravure, 1922, Purchase with the assistance of an anonymous donor
Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952), Kotsuis and Hohhuq - Nakoaktok, photogravure, 1915, Purchase with the assistance of an anonymous donor
Edward S. Curtis: The North American Indian is on view through May 16, 2010.
The Whitney Museum's exhibition, Georgia O'Keeffe: Abstraction was named one of Time Magazine's top ten art exhibitions of the year! And even better, the show includes one of the Carter's paintings by O'Keeffe, Series I-- No. I, which is the painting reproduced on the left side of the Whitney's exhibition page.
Georgia O'Keeffe: Abstraction is on view at the Whitney until January 17, after which it travels to the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. and the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe.