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Thread: Clarence H White exhibit and book

  1. #11

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    Re: Clarence H White exhibit and book

    When is it due in Maine? Portland Museum of Art?

  2. #12

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    Re: Clarence H White exhibit and book

    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty View Post
    When is it due in Maine? Portland Museum of Art?
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    June 22, 2018 to September 16, 2018
    Bill
    "There are a great many things I am in doubt about at the moment, and I should consider myself favoured if you would kindly enlighten me. Signed, Doubtful, off to Canada." (BJP 1914).

  3. #13
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Clarence H White exhibit and book

    I wonder if the label "Pictorialism" was originally a slur. It had a lot of wannabee painters using cameras (sound familiar, deja vu, fauxtoshoppy?). So I can understand the f/64 reaction, which soon attracted its own wannabees. But Clarence White was brilliant.

  4. #14
    jp's Avatar
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    Re: Clarence H White exhibit and book

    Drew, probably depends on who you ask and when... Painters looked down on them because it was not 100% handcraft. Being an Amateur is not a slur, which this book better explains.. White was an amateur who trained a whos who of professionals. Pictorialists were probably sometimes snobby to use big cameras and soft lenses as a way to do more artsy stuff than the hillbilly with a kodak brownie who must only press a button and leave the rest to Kodak and have no craftsmanship in the brownie photos. Then with the strength of modernism and it's f64 component, those still doing pictorialism were likely regarded as behind the times... [Like most here for one reason or another.] In respect to whether painters thought low of pictorialists, I don't think it mattered by that point.. Painting tradition had already been upended a couple of times with things like pre-raphaelites, japonism, impressionists, etc.. Pictorialists worked well with arts&crafts people and were often multi-art-talented. White's school employed artists with a painting background (such as Arthur Wesley Dow) and mixed with many contemporary painters of the day (as documented in Maine Moderns: Art in Seguinland, 1900-1940, of which White's school and Day's compound were prominent parts of Seguinland)

  5. #15

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    Re: Clarence H White exhibit and book

    Arthur Wesley Dow was an Ipswich guy, there is a large collection of his Cyanotypes at the museum here in town.
    Looking forward to Clarence White, ordered the book on Amazon.

  6. #16

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    Re: Clarence H White exhibit and book

    The fundamental controversy of photography, sharp/documentary vs other styles/ artistic was born into the very start of photography ie Daguerreotype Versus Calotype. Certain practitioners were later heralded as forefathers and foremothers but it seems that the first mention of the word Pictorial in the photographic sense was Henry Peach Robinson's book "Pictorial Effect in Photography". Immediately thereafter the recurrent argument raised it's head as Emerson proposed the use of differential sharp/soft focus. The use of the word Pictorial presupposes the preeminence of English practitioners and ignores non English speaking countries where a name might not be so easily translated.
    Initially American pictorialists used a variety of techniques to achieve the expression of artistic purpose. Scratching, gum, Platinum, selective brush development, pinhole, and straight printing. Frederick H. Evans was strictly a straight photographer. White specifically accepted all of the isms of photography in his teaching, specifically including modernism.
    Only later as soft focus lenses became commercialized and widespread did Pictorialism become associated with just that idiom and even that was not correct.
    Despite F64, which only lasted three years, Pictorialism has been a favorite form of photographic expression in numbers of photographers all along. Indeed if one accepts White's belief of a print as an expression of artistic intent, regardless of the technique used to get there, then the struggles of digital photography to find its nature is just another form of pictorialism.
    Personally I think the timeline of American Photography goes much more naturally through White to Modernism and beyond, than the more tortured timeline of Newhall's Stieglitz to Strand to Adams and beyond.
    The F64 and pictorialist debate was a pissing match between two men. Sometimes there is not a whole lot of difference between Cunningham and Kasebier for example
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    Bill
    "There are a great many things I am in doubt about at the moment, and I should consider myself favoured if you would kindly enlighten me. Signed, Doubtful, off to Canada." (BJP 1914).

  7. #17
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Clarence H White exhibit and book

    Even blatant pre-Raphaelites were sometimes capable of great work, like Julia Cameron. But most of it looks copycat kitchy to me. Steichen's "fuzzy wuzzy" portraits impress me more than he later crisp work. I could say the same about EW. But there's a helluva lot more involved than just owning a soft-focus lens. PH Emerson seems like a bridge, even though he later recanted. I never work in this style, but even so, there are a lot of valuable things we "Crispy Critters" can learn from the Fuzzy Wuzzies.

  8. #18
    tgtaylor's Avatar
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    Re: Clarence H White exhibit and book

    For me this was a 'no brainer' as White is an historically important photographer in a time that I have an active interest in and I actively print in a photo process from the period - the Kallitype. In fact, am on the very verge of adding the Bromoil process to my tool kit: I've acquired the brushes, ink, paper and chemistry for the process and this very day selected an 8x10 negative to begin on. So I put the book in my cart and checked-out.

    I hope the exhibition make its way to the west coast. Momentarily I thought it would be in Portland, Oregon but, alas, it's Portland Maine.

    Thomas

  9. #19
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    Re: Clarence H White exhibit and book

    Got an email from Amazon that they shipped it and is scheduled to be delivered Monday. The email contained an ad for https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/19...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 for only $4.33 and I ordered it and https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/03...?ie=UTF8&psc=1. A little overboard for me spending $100 this week on photography books but it's been a while since I last bought one and these three titles does strike a chord.

    Thomas

  10. #20
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    Re: Clarence H White exhibit and book

    Can't believe it but the PO delivered the White book a few minutes ago and it was shipped just yesterday! This is a fine book printed on quality heavyweight paper and the photography reproductions are excellent. Hope the same holds for the two that I ordered last night. Amazon has two other books on historical photography that I want to get. After a long hiatus of books on the history of photography, several have been published within the past 18 months.

    Thomas

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