05/17/2013 Leave a comment
Life on Lake Michigan at the Turn of the Twentieth Century – glass plate negatives made into large format prints
05/16/2013 3 Comments
I became obsessed with UW-Parkside Archive’s collection of dry plate negatives last year when director Anna Stadick shared them with me. I determined to scan, print and research a group of the negatives for a little show for the Parkside gallery. We have just installed an exhibition of large format digital photographs pulled from high quality scans of the original negatives that date to 188os to early 1900s. These photos show mostly beautiful boats on the Lake Michigan, but there are a few other subjects as well. Enjoy this slide show and vista Parkside’s E. H. Mathis Gallery located in the theatre lobby if you can.
By researching the names of the vessels mentioned in the index to the slidesI found that many of the ships shown were well-known racing yachts at the time. I had no idea that yacht racing was a popular spectator sport at the turn of the century, and that the Lake Michigan Yachting Association hosted a regatta in 1901 that sailed between Chicago and Kenosha. The images are marvelous.
What is a Dry Plate negative?
The Dry Plate process was first invented in 1871. It replaced a messy and time-sensitive process that required the application of wet chemicals (wet collodion) to a glass plate minutes before a photograph was taken. This means that before the Dry Plate process, a photographer could not take a photograph without having a “dark room” to create a light sensitive “Wet Plate” for use in his or her camera. The Dry Plate process made photography much easier because the light-sensitive silver gelatin emulsion was applied and allowed to dry on the plate before it was used by a photographer. A photographer could simply carry dry plates and load them into a camera to take a photograph. By the 1880s factory-made silver gelatin dry plates were widely available, and this brought photography to a wide audience of amateur practitioners. Glass plate photography began to decline when flexible roll film was invented and it virtually disappeared by the mid-1920s, replaced by George Eastman Kodak cameras that used only flexible roll film. (from the galley website)
04/15/2013 1 Comment
As many as 100,000 people will visit the Milwaukee Art Museum this spring and summer while the Veterans Book Project by Monica Haller is on view in the small gallery adjacent to the entryway to the permanent collection galleries.
Now numbering fifty volumes, the VBP is complete. Seeing the entire library comprised of written accounts by veterans, family members of veterans, Iraqi-Americans and Iraqi refugees, on display at MAM, I was impressed by Haller’s ability to transform just about any space into an incredibly welcoming room for quiet reading.
At the “reading workshop” facilitated by the artist before the opening reception I read two of the new books written by Milwaukee veterans during Haller’s final VBP workshop which took place during the winter at the museum. Zach LaPorte, one of the Milwaukee authors, was a team leader with 2nd battalion of the 75th Ranger Regiment, an airborne infantryman from January 2004 to April 2007. His book is a powerful rumination on the downright savagery of war and make it seem impossible that any soldier could ever return from war deeply troubled. Roger Quindel chronicles of his experiences during the Vietnam War in his book dedicated to the more than 58,000 American soldiers, including his buddy Richard Meighan, lost in it. Quindel, who served with the 25th Infantry Division from February 1967 to October 1968 and was wounded in action, explained during the panel discussion that his participation in the VBP workshop gave him the opportunity he needed to research the actual events he had lived through, but had only understood as personal experiences. Writing the book Quindel was able to trace for the first time the battles he fought in and the bases where he was treated for his injuries within the historical record of the war, allowing him, he says, to know what happened to him much more fully.
Eight books in the VBP are written by Wisconsin authors. Hopefully the close proximity between MAM and the War Memorial Center (they share a building) will introduce Milwaukee veterans and their supporters to this remarkable project.
04/12/2013 Leave a comment
- Tremper High School jazz combo
- Photographic studies of downtown Kenosha architecture by Harborside Academy high school students (see the work at this link! It is amazing)
- Mixed media and painting by Maureen Fritchen
- Sculpture by Gary Wolfe
- Painting by Beth Cumbo
- Photography by Jessica Zalewski Schafer
- Chalk Talk Kenosha photographs
- Do-it-yourself Newspaper Poetry
- And much more!
03/30/2013 Leave a comment
Readers of “Scene Unseen” have seen numerous posts about Monica Haller’s Veterans Book Project (VBP) over the past few years. I am happy to report that the Milwaukee Art Museum (MAM) is exhibiting the project this season. The entire VBP library will be on view at MAM April 4-September 2, 2013, with the opening Thursday, April 4, 5–8 pm. Because I have organized exhibitions of the VBP and assisted with VBP workshops I have been invited to be a panelists discussing the project along side artist Monica Haller and local authors April 4 at 6:15pm.
In my view the VBP is one of the most important artworks of the decade. It is a library of 52 books authored by veterans, family members of veterans or refugees with first hand experience of American led wars. These books were created in workshops Haller facilitated across the country over the past four years. She worked with local Racine and Kenosha veterans in a workshop sponsored by UW-Parkside Galleries last winter and this this year she finalized the library with a workshop sponsored by Milwaukee Art Museum.
Wisconsin veterans have played a big role in this project – please pass the word about the MAM exhibition to veterans and others who would like to know more than they can read in the newspaper about war and its impact from people with first hand experience of it.
Too see online versions of books written by area veterans look for these names when you visit the VBP library online:
A spread from Katoinka’s book.