I'd never noticed until this morning just how many photographs of workers there are in the Carter's collection. And not just photos of exciting outdoor work, but people sitting at their desks...going back to 1847!
For Photo of the Week, pencil-pushing through the years:
Unknown artist, [Unidentified civilian, seated at desk, pen in hand] , daguerreotype, ca. 1847, Gift of Paul Katz, Bennington, Vermont
Karl Struss, [Cecil B. Demille in his studio office], gelatin silver print, 1919
©1983 Amon Carter Museum
William Joseph Carner, C. R. Church, Jr., Seismographic Computer, Checking and Comparing Seismograph Reflections Sent in from the Field. Humble Oil and Refining Co., Houston, Texas, gelatin silver print, 1947
Gift of Texas Monthly, Inc., printed from a negative in the Standard Oil of New Jersey Collection, University of Louisville Photographic Archives, © Standard Oil Company
Paul Hester, Republic Bank. Office. Houston, gelatin silver print, 1984
Gift of the Texas Historical Foundation with support from a major grant from the DuPont Company and Conoco, its energy subsidiary, and assistance from the Texas Commission on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, © 1984 Paul Hester
Many thanks to Jim Hargrove and readers of the Star-Telegram for choosing our "front porch" as one of the most inspiring places to stand in Fort Worth. I've always thought that one of the fringe benefits of my job was walking out of the front door on Thursday evening (we're open until 8 p.m.) and viewing the lights of downtown. Come see some beautiful landscapes inside then step out for a wonderful look at an inspirational view.
Because we're all so excited about the unseasonably un-miserable weather lately, this installment of Photo of the Week features an unusual view of a rainy day. Special thanks to registrars Melissa and Lacey for helping choose this photo from hundreds of contenders.
Ruth Bernhard (1905-2006), Apple Tree, gelatin silver print, 1970
Gift of Paul Brauchle, Dallas, Texas, ©1970 Ruth Bernhard
The moon has been a source of inspiration for artists for ages, and it is a common theme in the Carter's collection. In honor of the 40th anniversary of the moon landing on Monday, our Photo of the Week features some charming, pre-space-race depictions of the moon from the photography collection: postcards from the moon!
Spooning in the Moon, published by A.C. Busselman, halftones with applied color, ca. 1906
And my favorite:
Spooning in the Moon is not currently on view, but you can see two more recent interpretations of the moon at the Carter right now: Louise Nevelson's Lunar Landscape, currently installed in the permanent paintings and sculpture galleries, and Moon Face (Cara de Luna), now on view in the exhibition Rufino Tamayo: Tamarind Lithography Workshop.
Louise Nevelson (1899-1998)
Lunar Landscape Wall, 1959-1960
Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas, Purchase with funds from the Ruth Carter Stevenson Acquisitions Endowment
After Louise Nevelson
Storytime Kids Community Art Project, 2009
Cardboard, chenille strips, foam shapes, glue
Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas
Our youngest patrons recently worked on a community art project using found objects and assembling them in a style evoking a sculpture in our permanent collection by Louise Nevelson. They constructed sculptures inside of small boxes, then placed their small box inside a larger assemblage of black boxes. How lucky we are to have such talented artists at our Storytime programs!
Only two more Storytime at the Carter programs to go for the summer! Bring your pre-schoolers and keep cool while making art and hearing some of your favorite stories.
Storytime at the Carter is made possible by the Junior League of Fort Worth and Target.
Today marks the anniversary of the first atomic weapons test in 1945. This first test took place in New Mexico; extensive atomic testing was also done in Nevada and Washington state, which is the subject of this week's photos by Nevada photographer Peter Goin.
Peter Goin, Site of Above-Ground Tests, Yucca Lake, dye coupler print, 1986, © 1990 Peter Goin
Yucca Lake is a nuclear test site in the Nevada desert -- only 65 miles from Las Vegas -- where a shocking 739 tests were performed between 1951 and 1992. This particular photograph shows the aftermath of above-ground nuclear testing, but apparently underground testing at the site also created craters large enough for the Apollo 14 astronauts to use for training.
Peter Goin, Burial Ground [Hanford Plant], dye coupler print, 1987, © 1990 Peter Goin
Hanford was a huge nuclear reactor in Washington state that produced the plutonium used in the first atomic test in New Mexico, tests at Yucca Lake, and the bomb used at Nagasaki in World War II. The plant stopped producing plutonium in the 1940s, but with 53 million gallons of nuclear waste still at the site, it is considered to be the most contaminated nuclear site in the United States. But why is this photograph called "Burial Ground"? The last reactor at Hanford was shut down in 1987, and since then most of the structures have been "cocooned" and buried here in the desert.
The Carter currently has several works out on loan to other museums, including three in exhibitions that opened very recently.
First, our 18th-century etching of a Cherokee man, Outacite, is on view at the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa in the exhibition Emissaries of Peace: The 1762 Cherokee and British Delegations through January 2010.
We also have two photographs on view at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (or if you prefer, MusÃ©e des Beaux-Arts de Montreal) in the exhibition Expanding Horizons: Painting and Photography of American and Canadian Landscape, 1860-1918 through September 27, 2009.
Karl Struss, The Avenue--Dusk, platinum print, 1914-1915
Frank Jay Haynes, Cascades of Columbia, albumen silver print, 1885
KERA's Art & Seek blog has a nice little post today about the Carter's recent purchase of a complete set of Edward Curtis's The North American Indian publication. Consisting of 20 bound volumes and 20 portfolios, with a total of over 2000 images, it is a very important acquisition for the Carter. And since I am the person in charge of cataloging it, you will be definitely be seeing more of it here on the blog...so check back!
The office buzz this morning was all about yesterday's fire that forced the evacuation of the Getty Center in Los Angeles.
It hits home - obviously Texas has its share of grass fires, as do other ridiculously hot, arid, windy parts of the country. Fire has shaped the history of the West and, not surprisingly, it is a major theme across the Carter's collection, from some of the first artworks to enter the collection, to the present. In the past two years alone, the Carter has acquired 3 photographs depicting fires. Our Photo of the Week is the most recent of these acquisitions:
Debbie Fleming Caffery, Burning Cane, 1999, gelatin silver print
Purchase with anonymous donation to the Stieglitz Circle of the Amon Carter Museum
© Debbie Fleming Caffery