66 Years Ago Today: “…for you darling, your picture.”

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Mike Disfamer (1884-1959), Elma Lee, February 26, 1949 (2014.61.1)

“This was made Feb. 26, 1949. Little Darling Elma Lee was 5 months and 23 days old. God bless our little baby girl. This I pray will be kept for her so she may see how sweet she is, she is mine and daddy’s little angel girl, for you darling, your picture.
Mother Winona”

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113th birthday of Ansel Adams

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Ansel Adams, Sierra Club Commissary, 1929 (305.1991)

A shy and gifted child with a love for the outdoor, Ansel Adams became a member of the enivronmental organization Sierra Club when he was only 14. Very early in his career Adams published his work and writings in the Sierra Club’s bulletin and in 1928 he had his first exhibition at its headquarters in San Francisco.

This picture  shows a group of members gathering for a break at stunning campsite. It may have been during the yearly “High Trip”, a month-long hike that was organized each summer and took hundreds of the Club members to the most beautiful areas of the Sierra Nevada. Adams joined the trip in 1927 for the first time. In a short period of time Ansel Adams established himself as the main photographer of the Sierra Club and soon became known as both the artist of the Sierra Nevada and the defender of Yosemite.

Ansel Adams was born on February 20, 1902 and would have turned 113 years today.

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Washington Day

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John F. Jarvis
Washington Inaugurated first President of the U.S.ca. 1890 (2012.48.45)

The third Monday of the month of February was first known as Washington Day, in celebration of the first president of the United States. Today this day is widely known as Presidents Day and commorates all American presidents.

The ICP Archives holds an albumen silver stereograph by John F. Jarvis of George Washington’s inauguration on April 30th, 1789. The caption on the back of the mount reads:

The principles figures in the panel are portraits [of] John Adams, Vice President stood on his right, Mr. Livingstone the Chancellor then came forward in the advance of Roger, Sherman, Alexander Hamilton, General Knox, General St. Clair, Baron Steuben and others. The oath was read by the Chancellor, the hand of Washington lying on the open Bible as he took the oath, and, in the act of kissing the Bible, he was heard distinctly to say: “I swear so help me God.” The Chancellor then said “It is done,” and turning to multitude, proclaimed “long live George Washington, President of the United States.”

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Happy Birthday Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

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Mathew Brady (1822-1896), [Abraham Lincoln], May 16, 1861, (2009.15.1)

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Thomas McAvoy (1905-1966), [Marian Anderson and her mother on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial after her Easter concert, Washington, DC], April 9, 1939, (1083.2005)

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Roman Vishniac (1897-1990), [Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C.], 1940s-1950s, (RV_6_021_04)

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Cornell Capa (1918-2008), Spokane, Washington, September 6, 1960 (106.2004) (This statue of Lincoln, here on a Google map, was designed by Alonzo Victor Lewis and unveiled in 1930. More info: here and here.)

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Weegee (1899-1968), Abe Lincoln, ca. 1965, (11084.1993)
Weegee gets the last laugh. Weegee appropriated and played with the 1865 portrait of Lincoln by Alexander Gardner. It was one of the last portraits of Lincoln; 100 years later, one of the last projects by Weegee.

A classic Fansinaflashbulb post about Marian Anderson’s 1939 Easter Concert, can be found here.
“Contralto Marian Anderson’s historic Easter concert, which drew over 75,000 listeners to the Mall, foregrounded the general issue of racism in the United States as well as the specifics of segregation in the nation’s capital.”

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“That’s Magic! Too”

SPOILER ALERT!
The secret of this exciting and enchanting illusion will be revealed below…

Martin Munkasci, glass plate negatives
Martin Munkácsi (1896–1963), [Demonstrating magic trick, Budapest], 1928 (2007.110.299)
This is where we last left off in this macabre and magical series of glass plate negatives made by the marvelous and magnificent Martin Munkácsi…
(Munkácsi was ahead of his time…)

Martin Munkasci, glass plate negatives
Martin Munkácsi (1896–1963), [Mould of face used in magic trick], 1928 (2007.110.295)

Martin Munkasci, glass plate negatives
Martin Munkácsi (1896–1963), [Demonstrating magic trick, Budapest], 1928 (2007.110.296)

Martin Munkasci, glass plate negatives
Martin Munkácsi (1896–1963), [Demonstrating magic trick, Budapest], 1928 (2007.110.297)

This rare and 87 year old, behind-the-scene, glass-plate-glimpse at an illusion, conducted by an unidentified illusionist, made by Martin Munkácsi is miraculous and magically magic…

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Studio Visit: Jean Dubuffet’s “Volcanic Eruptions” in New York City

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Alexander Liberman, Jean Dubuffet in 1952 on a working visit to New York City, 1952 (138.1990)

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Alexander Liberman, Jean Dubuffet, New York City, 1952 (150.1990)

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Alexander Liberman, Jean Dubuffet, New York City, 1952 (145.1990)

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Alexander Liberman, Jean Dubuffet, New York City, 1952 (153.1990)

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Alexander Liberman, Jean Dubuffet in action, using plastics on wood. Duffet abandoned traditional tools and made movement and speed participate in the creation of his paintings, New York City, 1952 (179.1990)

In November 1951 Jean Dubuffet (1901–1985) lived and worked in New York City for six months.
From the Jean Dubuffet Foundation‘s website:
1901 Jean Dubuffet is born on the 31 July to a wine merchant family in Le Havre.
1942 Decides to devote himself entirely to painting and from now on will not cease to paint.
1951 In November he leaves for New York with Lili where he stays for six months.
1985 Jean Dubuffet dies in Paris on the 12 May.

The origin of pictorial vocations is mysterious and varied. Jean Dubuffet was a wine dealer, then a maker of theatrical masks. He assaults the concept of beauty with the violence of a primitive. A compulsive belief that truth can be found in untrained vision makes him investigate the arts of the innocent – children, savages, madmen, and the unconscious everyday artists who scribble on walls. The outpourings of instinct, however distorted, are the undecoded messages from man’s inner yearnings.
It is hard to penetrate Dubuffet’s shell of self-protection from everyday life; he knowingly shelters his inner dreams. He looks like a being who could have lived untold years ago. With something of a medium’s power Dubuffet links in his art the far-distant past with the unseen – to all but him – future. He has broken more violently with the conventions of traditional easel painting than any painter I have photographed. I watched him throw sand, or gravel, into amorphous mixtures smeared over a plaster board. With a knife, trowel, rag, or his hand, he shaped the lavalike flows of earth color until he finally brought them to a stop. I marveled at the amount of stored-up skill he summoned to fix the fleeting images that seemed to well up like volcanic eruptions.
Alexander Liberman, The Artist In His Studio, 1988, p. 268

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It’s moving day…


Unidentified Photographer, Evacuation of the Louvre Art Treasury – The “Raft of the Medusa” of Gericault evacuated from the Louvre in a truck that usually carries stage scenery, 1939 (1444.2005)


Weegee (1899-1968), [Gallo, 15 Downing St., New York]. ca. 1956 (17425.1993)


Weegee (1899-1968), [Reliable Thrift Shop], ca. 1942 (17425.1993)


Weegee (1899-1968), Moving Day, ca. 1946 (17429.1993)


Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004), Mexico, 1964 (236.1994)

The imminent moving of ICP’s archive of photographs, negatives, magazines, newspapers, books and objects, etc. remeinded me of this classic Fansinaflashbulb post

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