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New Photo of Lincoln at Gettysburg

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Scholar claims to have spotted the president in a crowd, his head bowed.

Abraham Lincoln's appearance at Gettysburg on Nov. 19, 1863, has been remembered in the roughly 270 ringing words he spoke that day and exactly one undisputed photograph.

But now, a scholar is claiming he has identified another image of Lincoln from that occasion: a tiny, dark-suited speck in a wide shot of the crowd, his head slightly bowed.

Christopher Oakley, a professor of new media at the University of North Carolina, Asheville, made the discovery, which was reported in the October issue of Smithsonian magazine, while working with a group of students on the Virtual Lincoln Project. That project, which includes a detailed digital reconstruction of the Gettysburg ceremony, involved looking at the nine known photographs from that day, as well as the roughly 130 known photographs of Lincoln from other occasions.

Full story in the New York Times

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National Portrait Gallery Names 2013 Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize Shortlist

Posted By Administration, Saturday, September 14, 2013
Updated: Friday, September 27, 2013
Four photographers named
The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, sponsored for the sixth time by international law firm Taylor Wessing, continues the Gallery's long tradition of championing the very best contemporary portrait photography. The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize will showcase the work of some of the most talented emerging young photographers, alongside that of established professionals, photography students and gifted amateurs. Selected anonymously from an open competition, the diversity of styles reflects the international mix of entrants as well as the range of approaches to the portrait genre, encompassing editorial, advertising and fine art images. This year's selected artists include: Anoush Abrar, Dorothee Deiss, Spencer Murphy, and Giles Price. 

Born in Tehran, Iran, Anoush Abrar has lived in Switzerland since he was five years old. He studied at the University of Arts in Lausanne and has taught for 14 years. His portrait of Kofi Annan, the Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations until 2006, was commissioned by ZEIT Magazine and published in March 2013. Abrar had photographed Mr Annan previously and he says he knew that time was of the essence. 'In my mind it was clear what I wanted to do', he says.

Dorothee Deiss lives and works as photographer and pediatric endocrinologist in Berlin. Born 1961 in Münsingen/ Württ, she studied medicine in Freiburg/Breisgau and since then she has been working as a pediatrician. Since 2003 she has studied photography at the Fotografie am Schiffbauerdamm and at the Ostkreuzschule school for photography and design, Berlin. From 2010-13 she studied in the 'limited residency MFA in Photography' programme at Hartford Art School, USA, where she received her MFA in August 2013. 

Spencer Murphy grew up in Kent and studied at the Kent Institute of Art and Design before gaining a BA in Photography at Falmouth College of Arts. Taken at Kempton Park Racecourse his portrait of Katie Walsh was taken whilst shooting a series of jump jockeys' portraits for Channel Four's The Original Extreme Sport campaign. 'I set up at the side of the racecourse and pulled in the jockeys as they finished their races, 'he says, 'I was keen to include Katie. I wanted to show both her femininity and the toughness of spirit she requires to compete against the best riders in one of the most demanding disciplines in horse racing. 

Hertfordshire-based Giles Price has exhibited widely and has been commissioned by several magazines and newspapers. His interest in photography began while on military service. He joined the Royal Marine Commandos at 16 and served in northern Iraq and Kurdistan at the end of the first Gulf War in 1991. After leaving the military due to injuries sustained in Iraq he went on to do a BA in Photographic Studies at University of Derby in 1994-7. His portrait is from a series shot at the 2013 Kumbh Mela Festival in Allahabad India. Taken outside the main hospital in a pop up studio, the portrait shows Mamta who was on a pilgrimage to the Kumbh.

The winner of the £12,000 prize will be announced November 12, and the exhibition will run from 14 November 2013 – 9 February 2014 at the National Portrait Gallery, London.

For more information on the competition, exhibition, and nominees, please visit the National Portrait Gallery

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Lewis Morley Donated Archive to the National Media Museum in Bradford

Posted By Administration, Sunday, September 8, 2013
Updated: Friday, September 27, 2013
In an unusual move for a major British photographer, Morley and his family and close friends spent years amassing his papers and images and preparing to transfer them to a publicly accessible collection in the UK, rather than consigning them to the open market for sale through auction houses around the world. 

The National Media Museum, based in Bradford, was chosen by Morley and his advisers as the most suitable home for his archive, in preference to academic collections mainly in the US. The transfer of the collection, much of which is currently in Australia and America, to West Yorkshire is expected to be completed within weeks. It comprises an extraordinarily detailed account, in pictures and words, of a fraught and flamboyant era in British social history.

The Morley archive – which contains tens of thousands of prints, negatives and contact sheets, and a large amount of personal correspondence, notebooks and technical notes – had been meticulously prepared over several years by Morley, his family and a close friend, the American photography curator and authority David Knaus. Morley was horrified at the prospect of his life's work and his papers being auctioned off after his death, and wanted as much as possible to be entrusted to an academic or cultural institution in Britain, accessible by the public, said Knaus.

Full story in The Guardian

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Coloquial: Art of vernacular photography

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Updated: Friday, September 27, 2013
The thrill of the found image

An article in Mutual Art discusses the fun and the intrigue behind vernacular photography. Through the exhibition of two gallery-owner's collections the article touches on the relevance of a growing niche market. 

Although sometimes derived from the untrained photographer, vernacular photography held influence on celebrated photographers beginning with Walker Evans, and continuing with iconic photographers like Nan Goldin, Sally Mann, Robert Frank and William Eggleston. This influence raises the question of whether a trained or known photographer can create vernacular photography, or if they are incapable simply from their ingrained knowledge of aperture settings and compositional design.

For more information on this story please visit MutualArt

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The Fate of Detroit's Institute of Arts

Posted By Administration, Thursday, August 8, 2013
Updated: Friday, September 27, 2013
Can and will works be sold to help protect the failing city
The talk of the art world this month has been the fate of the Detroit Institute of Arts, which by some accounts is now on the chopping block due to the former industrial powerhouse's recent bankruptcy filing. Although the provisions of Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy technically shield the city from being forced to sell any asset, a mixture of alarmism and rational fear of a populist campaign—to find revenue wherever possible to pay pensioners and other creditors—has led a wide array of observers to wonder how much money, exactly, could be squeezed out of the encyclopedic museum's vast holdings. And no wonder: there's an abundance of riches in that neoclassical art piggybank. 

Reports have widely pegged the DIA's collection as worth about $2 billion, but that is almost certainly undervalued—the Detroit Free Press has paneled a group of experts who suggest that 38 paintings, including major works by van Gogh, Velázquez, Rembrandt, Breugel, van Eyck, and others would be worth about $2.5 billion on their own. Christie's quietly visited the museum to appraise the collection in June, but even seasoned experts may not be able to fully anticipate how much a masterpiece like van Gogh's Self-Portrait With Straw Hat could achieve at auction in these superheated days of ever more gargantuan record sales. Also, how does one value an irreplaceable classic of American painting like John Singleton Copley's Watson and the Shark? 
What's certain, though, is that if any of these works were to be sold, it would vastly and definitively reduce the museum's ability to function, sapping morale in the city's art community, strongly discouraging patronage and donations, and sparking a likely exodus of its remaining stalwart administrators.

DIA's director, Graham Beal, says that "if there are any attempts made to sell parts of the collection, we will fight it with all legal means at our disposal." That prospect, however, he insists is strictly academic. This Thursday, he previewed an exhibition of work by Diego Rivera that he plans to put on view at the museum two years from now, sanguinely saying, "We think it's going to be business as usual in 2015."

Full story in Artspace

Additional Coverage of this story in Detroit Free Press

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