The museum is closed Friday due to inclement weather.

Blogs

Our Man With The Plan

Congratulations to Alfred Walker, facilities manager, on his thirty years at the Carter. By the way, Alfred is not the senior staff member. That honor belongs to Rynda Lemke, staff photographer extraordinaire for 31 years.

Brrr

An article appropriate for such an unseasonably chilly day: if you've ever wondered why museums are always SO cold inside, read Keeping Art, and Climate, Controlled in the NYT.

The Life of a Civil War Photograph

"Perhaps more than any other artifact, the photograph has engaged our thoughts about time and eternity. I say “perhaps,” because the history of photography spans less than 200 years. How many of us have been “immortalized” in a newspaper, a book or a painting vs. how many of us have appeared in a photograph?" -- Errol Morris, Whose Father Was He?

You have to read Whose Father Was He?, a fascinating five-part series about the fate of a civil war soldier and a photograph of his children over at the New York Times. One of about 8000 casualties of the Battle of Gettysburg, a soldier was found without any identification. He did, however, have an ambrotype photograph of his three young children in his pocket. The series chronicles the efforts to locate the soldier's family, and what has become of them in the ensuing 140 years.

I am by no means a civil war buff, but the story was so moving that I found myself looking forward to each installment of the story this week. The Carter has a good number of 19th-century portrait photographs, many of which depict long-dead people that no has been able to identify, and probably never will. When I work with these images, I always wonder about these people's stories and it makes me a little sad to know that they are essentially lost. I loved reading in this NYT series about the historian who went to great lengths to study the life of this soldier (and also some interesting tangents into whaling, orphanages, and Mayan astroastronomy).

Some of my favorite portraits of anonymous sitters from our collection. What are their stories? We'll probably never know.


[Unidentified infantry colonel], daguerreotype, ca. 1847


[Woman and child], daguerreotype, ca. 1850s


[Young woman in dark dress], tintype, ca. 1863-1869

'Into the Sunset' catalogue

The Guardian has reviewed the catalogue for MOMA's exhibition Into the Sunset, which features several photographs from the Carter's collection.

Also, the Village Voice's review of the exhibition is here.

Robert Frank Speaks

Check out Tyler Green's coverage of photographer Robert Frank's speaking engagement at the National Gallery of Art. It's two-parter. [Previously]

Thomas Moran's House

Also in the NYT, an article about the renovation of the Hamptons home & studio of painter Thomas Moran and his wife, Mary Nimmo Moran, also an important landscape artist. The National Park Service declared the site a National Historic Landmark and awarded a $525,000 grant to spruce up the house (where according to the NYT, Thomas painted many of his famous western landscapes) and eventually open it to the public.


Thomas Moran, Cliffs of Green River, 1874, oil on canvas


Mary Nimmo Moran, An Old Homestead--Easthampton, L. I., 1880, etching

Helen Levitt (1918-2009)

More sad news - Helen Levitt is the second American photographer we've lost this month (NYT obit). Levitt was known and respected for street photographs that show a great sense of humor - and a great sense of timing.

Though none are currently on view, the Carter has six photographs by Helen Levitt in the permanent collection. Here are some of my favorites:


Helen Levitt, Walker Evans, ca. 1938-1939, ©1975 Helen Levitt


Helen Levitt, New York, ca. 1942, ©1965 Helen Levitt
[This is the Halloween photo described in the NYT obituary]


Helen Levitt, New York, ca. 1942, ©1965 Helen Levitt

Edited to add: NPR, TIME, The Wall Street Journal, and ArtsJournal are also remembering Levitt.

Carter Photos @ MOMA

Five photographs from the Carter's collection will be on view starting Sunday at the Museum of Modern Art in the exhibition, Into the Sunset: Photography's Image of the American West. Our office recieved an advance copy of the exhibition catalogue, and it looks like a really interesting selection of images (nevermind what the NYT says). Check it out if you're going to be in New York between now and June 8, and keep an eye out for our photos:


Edward S. Curtis, Cañon de Chelly, 1904


W.R. Humphries, Bisbee, 1904


Timothy O'Sullivan, Savage Mine, Curtis Shaft, Virginia City, Nevada, 1868


Wells Moses Sawyer, Chief Joseph and Nephew, 1897


Charles D. Kirkland, Wyoming Cow-boy, ca. 1877-1895

Harlem Renaissance in OKC

Alert registrar Melissa noticed "our" Prodigal Son over on the Art Blog By Bob's post about the Harlem Renaissance exhibition at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. This survey of African American art features over 100 works from 20 lenders, including God's Trombones: Seven Negro Sermons in Verse, an illustrated book from the Carter's library. The book is open to The Prodigal Son image for the duration of the exhibition. Check it out if you're in OKC!

Pirkle Jones (1914-2009)

We heard earlier this week that California photographer Pirkle Jones had died at age 95 (obits here and here). Jones is probably best known for being Ansel Adams's assistant and photographing the Black Panthers in the 1960s.

The Carter has 14 photographs by Pirkle Jones in the photography collection, and one of them - Sunset District and Pacific Ocean, San Francisco - is on view now in the exhibition High Modernism: Alfred Stieglitz and His Legacy through July 19.