Covering Photography: Web-based Archive not to be missed!

One of my favorite sites is “COVERING PHOTOGRAPHY” which studies the use of great photographs as book jacket illustrations.

“Covering Photography is a web-based archive and resource for the study of the relationship between the history of photography and book cover design. The images / book covers contained in our database may be accessed via a number of categories including by Photographer, Author, Publisher, Publication Date and Designer.”

One can search via photographer, author, publisher, publication date and designer. For those of you wishing to place your images as fiction illustration, the roster of designers features a sample of their work featuring photography – essentially, a window on their portfolios. And don’t miss looking at the work by publisher – standouts continue to be the designers at Knopf and Vintage (a personal favorite is the design work being done for Vintage Crime). This site is a fantastic tool for targeting your marketing efforts, and adding to your awareness of the history of photography and graphic design.

Today’s email noted Aaron Siskind‘s “Cover of the Month 6.”

Baden writes:
“Title: The Next Room of the Dream

Photographer: Aaron Siskind
Author: Howard Nemerov
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication Date: 1962
Designer: Not listed

Image Title: Chicago Facade no. 6, 1960
Photo Genre: Architecture
Book Genre: Poetry

Writing this entry, I’m reminded of the principle of Six Degrees of Separation; in this version, the photographer Aaron Siskind’s connection to writers is traced in turn to other photographers, and on, and on, until I’ve practically forgotten what I started to write about. No matter.

Siskind, a short man with a tall personality, was well-connected in the cultural circles of his time, both within and outside the photographic world. In addition to close friendships with painters and sculptors (Franz Kline in particular), Siskind, formerly an English teacher and originally a poet, knew a number of mid-20th century literati; his photographs appear on the covers of some of their books.

Perhaps due to its abstract quality, Siskind’s imagery from the mid 1940s and later seems particularly suited to poetry. Simultaneously concrete and non-representational, self-contained and open-ended, the work itself shares an emotional and existential kinship with a great deal of modern poetry.

The scrawled quality of the cover text for poet Howard Nemerov’s book, The Next Room of the Dream, provides a fitting counterpoint to the haunting and dissipated elegance of Siskind’s Chicago facade, as well as an extension of the graffito on the left-hand column. One might imagine equally compelling photographs for this cover by the likes of Ralph Eugene Meatyard or Clarence John Laughlin (Note: Meatyard’s poet friend and sometime collaborator, Jonathan Williams, used Siskind’s photograph ‘Feet #102′ for the cover of his collection of essays, ‘The Magpie’s Bagpipe’).

Nemerov had published four books of poetry, three novels and a collection of short stories by the time The Next Room of the Dream went to press. His younger sister, Diane, learned photography from her husband, Allan Arbus, and eventually achieved, albiet tragically, the status of a legend (Allan Arbus later became an actor, playng the role of the psychologist on the television comedy M*A*S*H). The publication date for Nemerov’s book, 1962, is also considered to be the pivotal year in which Diane Arbus switched from 35mm to the 6cm Rolliflex, establishing what was to become her signature visual style.

At least two books by Isabella Gardner (That Was Then and The Looking Glass) also have Siskind covers. Gardner, a poet, sometime actress and great niece of Isabella Stewart Gardner, married portrait and dance photographer Maurice Seymour. Their son, Danny, became a photographer and filmmaker, producing a single book of word and image before his untimely death in 1973. Danny Seymour’s soulful photographic autobiography, A Loud Song, along with Larry Clark’s Tulsa, were the first two books published by Ralph Gibson’s seminal Lustrum Press (they were on press at the same time, funded by Danny). Seymour went on to become Robert Frank‘s soundman, and eventually a heroin addict, in Frank’s notorious documentary on the Rolling Stones, Cocksucker Blues.

Finally, Covering Photography notes another cover, published one year after Nemerov’s book, and by the same publisher. Elder Olsen’s Collected Poems (University of Chicago Press, 1963), features a photo from Joseph D. Jachna’s “Water” series. Jachna, along with Ken Josephson, Ray K. Metzker and others, constituted the first generation of students under Siskind and Harry Callahan at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Of that group, Jachna is generally thought to be the photographer whose work is closest to Siskind’s in spirit.”

Read founder Karl Baden‘s statement of intent here.
Bravo Mr. Baden for all your efforts!

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AAF CONTEMPORARY ART FAIR in NYC this weekend: June 14-17

This year’s AAF Contemporary Art Fair is this coming weekend in NYC. It will be held at the Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street (where Photo NY had been held in the past).

From the website:
“AAF is the place for new and established collectors to discover and buy paintings, drawings, sculptures, video, photography and limited edition prints from distinguished galleries, all priced from $100 – $10,000. This year the Fair will host more than 60 galleries with approximately a quarter of the exhibitors from Europe, Canada and South America.”

Additional programs (check the website for updates):

All lectures will take place on the lower level of the Altman Building and are free and open to the public.

Saturday, June 16 @ 2pm
First Steps: Beginning and Developing Your Collection
Moderated by Lisa Hunter, Author of The Intrepid Art Collector: The Beginner’s Guide to Finding, Buying, and Appreciating Art on a Budget

Sunday, June 17 @ 2pm
The Paper Chase: Collecting, Owning and Preserving Works on Paper
Moderated by Judith Solodkin, Founder of Solo Impression Inc.

The weekend lecture series is held in conjunction with The School of Visual Arts.

Art fairs are a great way to survey which galleries are representing what type of work; remember however that this is NOT the place to bring your work! Rather – do your homework at their fairs, and perhaps you will come away with a short list of galleries that you will add to your mailing list, watch for the directors to server as Jurors, or Reviewers at portfolio review events. The worst “first impression” you can make is to try to show a dealer your work, when they have invested (heavily) in being present at a fair to SELL work that they have committed to representing. Pay attention to those galleries who are now representing photographers as there may be new opportunities for you with these venues.

Among the many galleries participating are three of my favorites: Dolby Chadwick (SF), Foley Gallery (NYC) and The Print Center (Philadelphia).

You can join the mailing list for this annual event here.

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MVS Marketing Workshops, Summer 2007: few spaces remain!

I’m off this weekend to teach my annual one-week marketing workshop at the Santa Fe Workshops (my class is sold out). I’ll be teaching alongside some great friends including Karen Kuehn, Chris Rainier and Alan M. Thornton, among others! A great place to study and emmerse yourself in photography.

There are a few remaining spaces in the two shorter workshops I’m teaching this summer, in the NE and the NW:

August 1-4 at the Maine Photo Workshops; click here for information. I’ll be giving a public lecture at The Workshops on the evening of Thursday, August 2nd.

NOTE: After this course ends on the 4th, the Agency VII seminar “Conflict Photography” starts – one day, free, but space is limited; information here.


August 18-19 at the Photography Center Northwest; click here for information. Note: workshop students are required to attend my public lecture on Friday evening, August 17th.

I hope I will meet many of you this summer!

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Photo London Fair THIS WEEK!

If you are lucky enough to be in the vicinity of LONDON…. Don’t miss photo-london. Dates are May 31 – June 3rd; this is the first year the fair has been managed by the same group that organizes Paris Photo, bringing a more contemporary emphasis to the event.

From the event website:

A new management: on November 2006, photo-london was taken over by Reed Exhibitions, owner and organiser of Paris Photo, now the most important photography fair in the world. photo-london is held in the spring, and Paris Photo in the autumn. The Paris Photo team will be managing photo-london with Daniel Newburg, photo-london’s founder, as creative director.

A new concept: photo-london will now focus exclusively on contemporary photography since 1970. It aims to show the diversity of subjects, concepts, styles and techniques explored by photo-based artists from documentary work to conceptual art photography, as well as image combined with media such as audio, video, and installation. photo-london will provide a unique platform to highlight the latest international trends and expressions available in the medium of photography.

A new venue: the fourth photo-london will take place in a new and exceptional venue, Old Billingsgate, a magnificent 19th-century market building designed by Sir Horace Jones and entirely renovated in 1988 by acclaimed architect Richard Rogers. At the foot of the City, next to the Tower of London and facing the Thames, Old Billingsgate is within easy access of Waterloo Station.”

And, in the planning ahead department, the eleventh annual Paris Photo will be held November 15-18 this year, at the Carroussel du Lourve once again.

Remember: If ou can’t attend these and other important art fairs, buy the catalogues to keep current with galleries and their rosters of artists. Such volumes are a must for your marketing library!

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Foundation Center: Upcoming Educational Sessions on Grantseeking

I’ve written often about the value of attending grantwriting classes at The Foundation Center, and of their great on-line tutorials on this important skill. Yesterday, I was checking on their NYC location’s educational offerings and noticed a great day ahead on Wednesday, May 9th, with three terrific classes, and when taken back-to-back, make for an extremely valuable afternoon:

Grantseeking Basics at 1:00
Introduction to Foundation Directory Online at 3:00 (this session has more limited space as all are seated at individual computer stations)
Grantseeking Basics for Individuals in the Arts at 5:30.

When you view the education schedule, you can see three months out, so plan your calendar accordingly.

You can register for all these free classes online.

And remember, if you do not live in the NYC area, the Foundation Center has branch offices in Atlanta, Cleveland, San Francisco and Washington, DC.
Additionally, there are “Cooperating Collections” in every state, so be sure to be aware of what grantwriting assistance you can gain in your own city/state. Cooperating Collections are free funding information centers in libraries, community foundations, and other nonprofit resource centers that provide a core collection of Foundation Center publications and a variety of supplementary materials and services in areas useful to grantseekers. Click here to view a list of offerings in your state.

There is a complete chapter on the importance of fundraising to support your personal project in my 2007 book “The Business of Photography: Principles and Practices” available on my website.

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SURTEX: “Selling and Licensing Art & Design” Coming to Javits Center NYC on May 20-22

For those of you involved in licensing images, you are likely to be aware of the SURTEX show, an annual event at the Javits Center in NYC where image placement for secondary markets, paper products and other ancillary product lines are featured. Dates are May 20-22. Members of the public may attend the exhibit hall as well as seminars; the website has complete details.

From the event website:

“MARKETS REPRESENTED: Art and design for sale and license to numerous industries: decorative fabrics, linens and domestics, contract textiles, wall coverings, floor coverings, apparel textiles, stationery, greeting cards, giftwrap and other paper products, tabletop, giftware, housewares, toys, ceramics, packaging and publishing.
Tools for the design industry: publications and services.”

“PROFILE OF ATTENDEES: Art buyers and licensees from the home furnishings, domestics, apparel, contract, gift, housewares, toy, stationery, greeting card, paper product, publishing and automotive manufacturing industries, plus private label retailers, licensing executives, interior designers, advertising agencies and stock houses.”

There are a range of interesting educational presentations as well, including “The Essential Licening Primer,” “The Licensing Agreement,” “Copyrights and Trademarks – The Best Defense is a Strong Offence,” “Trend Influences: Attitudes and Icons 2008″ and more.

If you have been curious about the growing market for photographic images in the licensed product arena, wear comfortable shoes, bring a backpack for all the marketing materials you will take away, and hit this annual show.

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MVS Live on Photo Talk Radio This Saturday, May 5th 8-9 a.m. PDT

I’ll be speaking about marketing your photographs this coming Saturday in a live interview format on “Photo Talk Radio.”

Listeners will be able to call in with questions for me to address as well.

You can visit the website for this radio program for complete instructions on how to hear the interview, and to call in during the hour with questions. The link to hear the show, whether live or archived, will be here. Happy listening and learning!

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MVS & Darius Himes offer Marketing Workshops in Portland, Oregon on April 16

NEWSPACE Center for Photography in Portland, Oregon, is offering two half-day marketing workshops for photographers on Monday, April 16th, immediately following the close of PhotoLucida’s Portfolio Review event. This event will be held at the Benson Hotel in downtown Portland, which is also the location of PhotoLucida.

MORNING SESSION: 9:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Mary Virginia Swanson: Presenting Your Work to the Fine Art Community

(Lunch will be available on-site)

Darius Himes on Publishing The Photographic Book

Check the website for registration details.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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27th Annual AIPAD Show in NYC April 12-15th

Don’t miss The Photography Show 07 from April 12-15th at the Park Avenue Armory (Park Avenue and 67th Street, NYC).


Thursday, April 12, 2:00pm-7:00pm
Friday, April 13, 12noon-8:00pm
Saturday, April 14, 12noon- 8:00pm
Sunday, April 15, 12noon- 6:00pm

Ticket Price:
Run of the Show: Four day pass: Thursday/Friday/Saturday/Sunday: $40
Three day: (any three days) $30
One day: (any one of the four days) $20
Ticket price includes 360 page illustrated catalogue

SPECIAL LECTURE, free and open to the public:

When: Saturday, April 14th, 10am-11am

What: “The Passionate Eye: Henry Buhl, Collector, in Conversation with
Jennifer Blessing, Curator of Photography, Guggenheim Museum”

Peter B. Lewis Theater
Guggenheim Museum

CLICK HERE to print PDF form for advance reservations to be faxed to AIPAD.

If you can’t attend this important gallery expo, order the 2007 catalogue from after the show closes.

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GRIFFIN MUSEUM PORTFOLIO REVIEWS: Reservations to open Friday March 23rd

The Griffin Museum in Winchester, Massachusetts (near Boston) has announced the details for attending its Portfolio Review to be held on May 11th, from 10:00 – 1:00.

Reservations will be taken beginning 10:00 EST on Friday, March 23rd.
To reserve a space, call (781) 729-1158.
Fee three reviews: members is $100, non-members $125.

Reviewers noted in today’s email announcement include Kathy Ryan, Photography Director, New York Times Magazine, Bernard Toale , Bernard Toale Gallery, Boston; Barbara Hitchcock, Polariod Collection and Scott Thode, Photography Editor, Fortune Magazine; additional information including the full slate of Reviewers are listed on the Griffin website.

On the website you will find an excerpt from my book concerning attending portfolio reviews and making the most of your investment.

I’ll be giving a 1/2 day marketing workshop at the Griffin on Saturday April 28th from 1-5; I encourage all of you considering attending (or booked to attend) reviews at PhotoLucida, Griffin, PRC, Review Santa Fe or other spring 2007 events to come to this session and learn more about the value of these and other industry offerings, as well as how to most effectively and efficiently reach your audience.

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