Photographer Roy DeCarava died this week at age 89. DeCarava, whose body of work included famous portraits of jazz greats and subtle images of life in Harlem, was awarded the National Medal of Arts and was the first African American artist to receive a Guggenheim Fellowship. The Carter has four photographs by DeCarava in its collection, and you can see an extensive slide show of his works on the NYT Lens photography blog.
Our Photo of the Week comes from the Carter's Eliot Porter archive, which is 99.9% nature photography. Along with a handful of photos featuring urban scenes, the archive also contains this little gem from a trip Porter took to New York in 1979. And yes, I really wish I knew what was behind that wall!
Eliot Porter, New York City, November 1979, dye imbibition print
Bequest of the artist, ©1990 Amon Carter Museum
The Carter has loaned seven of its over three hundred works by Charles M. Russell to the artist’s first major retrospective exhibition since his death in 1926. The Masterworks of Charles M. Russell will be on view at the Denver Art Museum through January 10, 2010; from there it travels to the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. [Denver Post review of the exhibition <a href=http://www.denverpost.com/entertainment/ci_13620640">here]
The Carter’s loan to the exhibition includes six paintings – The Silk Robe, The Buffalo Hunt [No. 39], The Medicine Man, In Without Knocking, A Tight Dally and a Loose Latigo, and Breaking Camp – and one sculpture, The Enemy’s Tracks.
Soon to come: photographs of delivery & installation of the Russell works in Denver!
Charles M. Russell, The Medicine Man, oil on canvas, 1908
This morning I was taking a gander at a printed inventory in our files that details Amon G. Carter's personal library. My understanding is that by the time of his death in 1955, he had amassed about 4,000 titles. His collection was buoyed by the purchase of two private libraries: the Louis P. Merrill collection that focused on western cattle trade, range grasses, and Texas history; and the Frank B. Smith collection that focused on books illustrated by Frederic Remington and other artists of that genre. Carter's library came to the museum shortly after its opening in 1961. By this time, Carter's library had expanded to take in a wide range of subjects consistent with his varied interests. The original library of 4,000 titles got weeded to about 2,500 titles with subject matter most appropriate to the museum's mission. Today I tip my hat to Mr. Carter and his fine library that forms the nucleus of the museum's library collection. Today the collection includes over 100,000 items.
Expanding Horizons: Painting and Landscape Photography of American and Canadian Landscape 1860-1918, an exhibition that includes two of the Carter's photographs by Karl Struss and Frank Jay Haynes, has traveled to its second and final venue. The exhibition opens tomorrow at the Vancouver Art Gallery, where it will be on view through January 17.
With the happy outcome of yesterday's newsmaking joyride, what better topic for Photo of the Week?
Here are three joyrides from the Carter's photography collection...
Elliott Erwitt, Yale/New Haven, 1955, printed 1977, Gift of George Peterkin Jr., ©1955 Elliott Erwitt
Unknown artist, [Driving to Denver], gelatin silver print postcard, ca. 1910s
And one of my personal favorites:
Edward H. Mitchell, "The Joy Ride" at the California Alligator Farm, Los Angeles, California, halftone postcard with applied color, ca. 1910s
It's Nobel Prize season again. Today's installment of Photo of the Week draws on the Carter's archive of photographer Clara Sipprell (1885-1975) who shot, among other things, portraits of famous diplomats and scientists. The following three photographs, all by Clara Sipprell, are portraits of Nobel Prize-winning scientists that I just happened to come across while doing some cataloging last week.
Professor Manne Siegbahn--Physics--Nobel Prize--Stockholm - 1938, gelatin silver print, 1938
Manne Siegbahn (1886-1978) was a Swedish scientist who won the 1924 Nobel Prize for Physics. Interestingly, his son won the Nobel for work in the same field - x-ray spectroscopy - in 1981.
Professor The Svedberg--Physical Chemistry--Nobel Prize--Uppsala, gelatin silver print, 1938
Dr. Hideki Yukawa, Nobel Prize--Physics, gelatin silver print, ca. 1950s
Hideki Yukawa (1907-1981) was the first Japanese Nobel Prize laureate, who won the prize for his work with subatomic particles in 1949.