PDA

View Full Version : Arnold Genthe



Drew Wiley
17-Apr-2015, 15:44
There's an interesting piece in the SF Chronicle today about a fundraiser to save Genthe's life work. He is best known for his documentation of the SF 06 earthquake and street scenes of Chinatown prior to its reincarnation as a Faux-architecture tourist magnet. Only a tiny sampling of
his work has been published, and it appears the old nitrate negatives are starting to decompose, endangering both the images itself but obviously posing a fire hazard. They're trying to raise 40K and already have several local museums helping with the funding, but also have
initiated a supplementary "adopt a negative" program to get the whole collection digitally copied while there's still time.

benrains
17-Apr-2015, 16:51
Here's a link to the article-
http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Without-40-000-priceless-1906-S-F-quake-photos-6205223.php

Randy Moe
17-Apr-2015, 16:53
Maybe they should copy with film...

cowanw
17-Apr-2015, 18:25
You'd think San Francisco would pony up for 40 grand. That must be chump change for a city that size.

Roger Thoms
17-Apr-2015, 18:45
Drew, did a little searching but could not find anything about the adopt a negative program. Do you have a link? I'm not a Chronicle subscriber so I don't have access to the article.

Roger

tgtaylor
17-Apr-2015, 19:49
Tomorrow is the 109th anniversary of the great quake of 1906. Here's a link to a collection of large format glass plate negatives that were taken by a local photographer during the earthquake and the aftermath: http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/New-S-F-archive-includes-stunning-photos-from-6207086.php

Thomas

dsphotog
18-Apr-2015, 18:30
Maybe they should copy with film...

My thoughts exactly!
I'd do it for a lot less than $40k.

Randy Moe
18-Apr-2015, 18:42
My thoughts exactly!
I'd do it for a lot less than $40k.

Might last another 100 years also.

dsphotog
18-Apr-2015, 19:11
$40k? They're only scanning 158 negs... That's over $250 per scan!

Thom Bennett
18-Apr-2015, 20:32
Genthe spent some time in New Orleans in the '20's: http://www.knowla.org/entry/581/

According to this article, his pictorialist depiction of New Orleans helped establish it as a city that time forgot.

Drew Wiley
20-Apr-2015, 08:35
I don't think the point is to merely copy the negs "as is", but to remaster them, which involves a lot of corrective work due to advanced deterioration. I used to do this kind of thing with Tech Pan once in awhile, and TMX might work too; but frankly, it's a lot easier digitally. And in this case they do want quality scans with a lot of post-processing. It's a distinct project. Then they want to catalog everything, create reference prints, and make it all available for public access. People have known about Genthe for quite awhile, but for some reason he rarely hit the collector market. I can remember seeing vintage prints of his for anywhere from five to forty bucks apiece at used book fairs. He was more a documentarian than anyone we'd call a fine printmaker, but still had quite an eye. I should have torn out and saved the article for the specifics of the foundation, but was on the run. It sounds completely legit.

DrTang
20-Apr-2015, 09:34
You'd think San Francisco would pony up for 40 grand. That must be chump change for a city that size.


no kidding..considering how m...

(oops..no politicking)...



yeah..they should do that

Drew Wiley
20-Apr-2015, 11:13
Most of the tab has already been picked up by other local institutions. City hall a different job to do, like selling downtown to the highest Silicon Valley bidder.
Maybe someone should start documenting what's about to be demolished in our own era.

Richard Wasserman
20-Apr-2015, 11:28
Most of the tab has already been picked up by other local institutions. City hall a different job to do, like selling downtown to the highest Silicon Valley bidder.
Maybe someone should start documenting what's about to be demolished in our own era.

Might want to talk to Rebecca Solnit who has written quite a bit on this topic.

Randy Moe
20-Apr-2015, 11:28
I should get right on that, a 1905 Church is coming down right behind me. Scaffolding going up as the steeple may fall.

I think somebody stole the organ years ago. It's missing...

tgtaylor
20-Apr-2015, 12:02
There's more construction going on in downtown San Francisco than I have seen since I've been here. An a lot of it is high-rise close to the bay which I question the wisdom of considering the earthquake potential.

Curiously, though, I haven't noticed the moving vans on the freeway as I did back during the dot com boom.

Thomas

Drew Wiley
20-Apr-2015, 12:39
Those highrises have concrete T-piers pumped underground almost as massive as they are tall. I wouldn't worry about earthquakes. Downtown will be doomed without a phenomenally expensive perimeter seawall in a few decades, but at least its doable, unlike the airport. Much of it is nominally on landfill. And a lot of
damage from the mid 1880's earthquake was do to soil liquification and almost Tsunami-like water damage to that neighborhood. Popular memory has overshadowed that with the fires the '06 earthquake, but it's was a significant factor more than once before. A have a friend who specializes in writing books and
giving seminars on this kind of history, illustrated with a lot of contemporaneous photos and newspaper clippings. It helps that he is a seismic reinforcement
contractor. But demographically, lots of local businesses are being forced out of downtown by up to a thousand percent lease increases. I don't live there, and
couldn't afford to anyway. But once everything becomes genericized by big corporate businesses, a neighborhood loses at lot what people moved there for to
begin with. But tech is dog eat dog anyway. Boom and bust. All those obscene office lease rates back in the dot com boom collapsed, and the speculators were
left holding the ball. I see the same thing here. Lots of huge condo and shop spaces going up, but everything is mostly vacant.

sun of sand
20-Apr-2015, 14:16
Sounds whacky

Soon well be paying twice to flush the toilet once

Drew Wiley
20-Apr-2015, 15:52
Paying once to flush it, paying twice over to get it pumped back above sea level so the sewers will work. Where the highrises have NOT been correctly reinforced and are slowly sinking into the landfill and mudstone, like directly across the Bay Bridge in Emeryville, there are some gross horror stories from the tenants, like rats trying to escape by climbing out of toilets. And mudstone is almost an understatement. It's barely consolidated Pliocene clay, with no firm rock till almost two hundred feet below. Those buildings are basically on Jello. With my geology background I made sure I bought a house underlain by one of our rare granite patches. When the Loma Prieta quake hit, all it did is tip over a stack of magazine. That was the worst. But down at the Emeryville condos, the earthquake wave amplified so heavily that some dude sleeping on a waterbed was flipped right through a window!

sun of sand
21-Apr-2015, 00:01
Man did i just come up with the next big appalachian carnival ride