Tag Archives: photography

Can great art be seen through a lens???

Of course I can’t know, but I imagine that in old Europe, in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, life happened on multiple levels. There was the everyday where most people lived, their time filled with the humdrum of their

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Eggleston’s tricycle and the obvious in art

I recently went to a poetry reading at one of our local bookstores. I didn’t know the writer’s poetry, I only knew his reputation, which was considerable. As it turned out, I was deeply disappointed. As my friend Sally would

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Eudora Welty’s photographs

Making pictures of people in all sorts of situations, I learned that every feeling waits upon its gesture, and I had to be prepared to recognize this moment when I saw it…. These were things a story writer needed to

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The slow art of Frank Auerbach

Once, not so very long ago, people only occasionally looked at their own image or those of their friends and family. Even mirrors were uncommon. With the invention of photography that changed. I suspect, although I don’t know it for

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I know who you are. I see it in your face.

I recently looked again at a book that was published in the 1970s. Called The Face of Madness, it’s about Hugh W. Diamond, the founder of psychiatric photography in the 1850s. It’s fascinating to look at his very sensitive photos

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The desperation to be original

It’s odd how something that’s on your mind is suddenly and from out of the blue given back to you. I was having lunch with an artist friend who was filled with impressions from a trip to San Francisco and

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Photography changes the world. Part 2. The children of Lewis Hines

A number of years ago I worked freelance for church organizations—not the kind that seem to always catch the headlines today—but the liberal descendants of the mainstream churches of the early 20th century who advocated a “social gospel.” Their mission,

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Photography changes the world: Part 1

 In my last post I wrote briefly about the photograph and the mass of people who, unlike the wealthy, never saw their family history in paintings and sculpture, whose parents, grandparents and great grandparents were lost to memory. Photography helped

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Photography as a great social leveler

To be without a history is like being forgotten. My grandfather did not know the maiden names of either of his grandmothers. I thought that to be forgotten must be the worst fate of all.        – Donald Hall For centuries

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Narcissus in the Age of the Snapshot

Sometimes I try to imagine what it must have been like more than a century and a half ago, during our grandparents’ grandparents’ time, when there were no cameras and probably very few mirrors. Now, we’re inundated with images of

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