The painter Robert Colescott passed away last week at age 83. Although I was exposed to Colescott's work in college, I didn't know until I read the his obituary in the New York Times that he studied with Fernand Leger and represented the US at the 1997 Venice Biennale. A Colescott lithograph from the Harmon and Harriet Kelley Collection of African-American Art will be on view in the Carter's special exhibition galleries through August 23.
Edited to add: More info on Robert Colescott over at Time Magazine's Looking Around blog.
On June 6, 1944, Amon Carter handed over the deed to the land that formed the Big Bend National Park. Mr. Carter and his paper, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, spearheaded the drive to raise funds from the people of Texas to purchase the land.
Take the time to visit this incredible place. Be sure to visit the Basin and see Amon Carter Peak.
The Carter has five photographs in MOMA's current exhibition Into the Sunset: Photography's Image of the American West, which closes June 8. If you're going to be in NYC, stop and check them out.
White Birch, one of the Carter's six paintings by Georgia O'Keeffe, is also currently on view at SFMOMA until September as part of the exhibition Georgia O'Keeffe and Ansel Adams: Natural Affinities.
This week's photo brings some levity back to the blog. The image is actually a 100-year-old postcard that was included in the Carter's 2004 exhibition, Wish You Were Here! Early Postcards from the Collection. I like this photo not only because it's funny, but it reminds me of one of my favorite (completely ridiculous) horror movies, Night of the Lepus.
William H. Martin, [Lassoing a rabbit], gelatin silver print (postcard), 1909
I've been tinkering with the digital macro feature on my own camera this week, so I thought Photo of the Week would be a great opportunity to show off a couple of close-ups from the Carter's photography collection.
Edward Weston, No. 10--Pepper, gelatin silver print, 1930, ©1981 Center for Creative Photography, Arizona Board of Regents
Willard Van Dyke, Mushrooms, ca. 1934, gelatin silver print 1977, © 1934 Barbara M. Van Dyke
This Monday would have been the 157th birthday of photographer Gertrude KÃ¤sebier, the subject of week's photo of the week post.
KÃ¤sebier was very influential in the early 20th century, not just for her pictorialist portrait photography, but also for her independence and efforts to promote women in photography.
Clara Sipprell, Gertrude KÃ¤sebier, Photographer, platinum print, ca. 1910-1911
KÃ¤sebier didn't attend art school until her late 30s, and didn't try photography until her early 40s. A few years later, she was already taking her famous portraits of Native Americans touring with wild west shows through New York and was included in Alfred Stieglitz's photography magazine, Camera Notes. She was one of the first women members of the Linked Ring and a founding member of Stieglitz's Photo-Secession group. The first issue of Stieglitz's influential photography magazine, Camera Work, was dedicated exclusively to KÃ¤sebier's work.
For photo of the week, here are a few of KÃ¤sebier's photographs from the Carter's copy of the inaugural January 1903 issue of Camera Work.
Gertrude KÃ¤sebier, Blessed Art Thou Among Women, photogravure
Gertrude KÃ¤sebier, Portrait (Miss N.), photogravure
Gertrude KÃ¤sebier, The Red Man, photogravure
How can you help?
As you know, the Amon Carter Museum is an entirely free museum. The collection, exhibitions, and programs are free of charge to ensure that everyone has the chance to learn about their shared cultural history. We are able to continue free admission and programs because of your generous donations!
This Wednesday, the Carter has an exciting opportunity that will double gifts made to the museum! Stretching the value of your contribution through a matched gift helps the Carter’s mission, and we are encouraging all of the museum’s friends to help us this Wednesday.
”¢ What is it? The Communities Foundation of Texas (CFTX) has created an online giving program called DonorBridge, and nonprofits that have created a profile–like the Carter–can receive donations through this site. For one day only, those donations will be matched dollar-for-dollar by CFTX!
”¢ How will it work? On Wednesday, May 20, beginning at 12:01 a.m. (it’s early, we know), DonorBridge opens its Web site to the public. During that day only, beginning right after midnight, any gift (credit card only) of $25 to $2,500 made to the Carter will be matched 1:1 by CFTX. Note: gifts will be matched only until the allotted matching funds of $200,000 are depleted–so the earliest birds get the worms.
”¢ How can you help? On Wednesday, May 20 go to www.donorbridgetx.org Follow the simple instructions to make a donation to the Carter. The site is completely secure; you will not have to register, so you will not receive any future unsolicited e-mails.
Please call Director of Development Carol Noel at 817.989.5066 if you have any questions, or if you would like us to process your donation for you.
We sincerely thank you for considering a gift to the Carter. Every gift is critical in helping us serve our audiences.
Interesting post today on the Smithsonian's photo blog about the photographer Thomas Smillie. I had seen his name quite a bit in the Carter's collection of photographs from the Bureau of American Ethnology, but was not aware that he was also the Smithsonian's first staff photographer and photography curator. He even acquired the first American daguerreotype equipment for the Smithsonian for a whopping $23 in 1896 (that's less than $600 adjusted for 2009 inflation!).
Here are a couple of our Thomas Smillie portraits of Native Americans, and you can see a lot more over of the Smithsonian's Smillie collection on Flickr Commons.
Thomas Smillie, Eagle Chief, collodion silver chloride print, 1905
Thomas Smillie, His Hoop or Canhdeska, albumen silver print, 1904
The U.S. declared war on Mexico on this day in 1847 after Mexico refused to recognize Texas's independence and subsequent annexation into the United States. Not only did this war finally win US control of Texas, it also resulted in the US purchase of most of the southwest (comprising five present-day states and parts of 4 others) for a mere $18 million.
The Mexican-American War was the first to be documented by the new medium of photography, as the process was perfected in France only a few years before and introduced in the US in the early 1840s. In the early 1980s, the Carter acquired a group of Mexican War daguerreotypes, which were subsequently the subject of a major exhibition called Eyewitness to War: Prints and Daguerreotypes of the Mexican War, 1846-1848.
According to the exhibition catalogue, these rare works are made more special because "daguerreotypes were made on the spot,”¦each image was exposed in the camera and developed as a unique positive. Thus every daguerreotype plate, while in the camera, was in close proximity to the subject recorded on its surface. When we hold a daguerreotype of Mexican War troops in our hand, we hold a piece of silver-plated copper that was actually on the same street as those soldiers 140 [sic] years ago." Even though I see and handle 19th century photographs all the time, that idea gives me chills.
For photo of the week, here are some of my favorite Mexican War daguerreotypes.
Artist unknown, Col. Hamtramck, Virginia Volunteers, daguerreotype, ca. 1847
Artist unknown, Mexican Family, daguerreotype, ca. 1847
Artist unknown, [Street scene in Durango, Mexico], daguerreotype, ca. 1847
Artist unknown, [Parroquia de Santiago, Saltillo, Mexico], daguerreotype, ca. 1847
Artist unknown, Burial Place of Son of Henry Clay in Mexico, daguerreotype, 1847