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My Historical Archives Part II: FDR to National Park Service Resource Center

July 8, 2016 1 comment

Over a five-year period, I made thousands of photographs of sculptor Neil Estern creating the full-round statues of President Roosevelt, Eleanor and their dog Fala for the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial Park in Washington, DC. Dozens of the images were reproduced in the book Shaping A President: Sculpting for the Roosevelt Memorial, written by Kelli Peduzzi; and a large group of black & white darkroom prints and color photographs appeared in solo and group exhibits across the United States. (Many of these images are on my website.)

I followed Estern working on this historic project as he sculpted the tiny maquettes and larger scale models in clay in his Brooklyn studio, enlarged them in clay at Tallix Art Foundry in Beacon, NY, and supervised the many phases of bronze casting.   At each stage of creation, I was struck by the forceful personae emerging out of inert substances. Neil’s concentration was total. The figures, even in armature form, seemed to interact with him and appreciate his perfectionism.

I felt like a fly on the wall. I endeavored to illustrate the unfolding emotional relationship between the sculptor’s artistic intensity and the complex personalities of the President and First Lady emerging from armature and clay.

The Memorial Park was inaugurated in May 1997.

Last summer, I contacted various government archives to find a home for my archives. I was thrilled when they were accepted by the National Park Service. Their offices and storage facilities are located in Washington, CD and Maryland, where objects related to the monuments on the National Mall and Memorial Parks in this area of the country are preserved.  Here are the materials in my studio before I packed them up:

I still retain the copyright, however, and sets of exhibition prints.  My husband and I drove to Maryland earlier this year to deliver them to Curator Laura Anderson.

Archive Bldg

Me with Laura

The next day we were given a tour of the facility by Tom Sonderman, Director of the NCR Museum Resource Center,. It was fascinating.  Along with historical documents, there were objects left at the Vietnam Memorial by visitors, furniture from historic homes and all sorts of interesting ephemera.

I am honored that these historic materials – negatives, slides, darkroom notes, work prints, shooting diary, etc. are now part of this wonderful archive, where they are available to the public for research and exhibitions.  2017 will be the 20th anniversary of the monument park and there is talk of an exhibit.  Meanwhile, I am on to new projects!

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Photo Album: Post #5 Jacmel 2013

June 14, 2013 1 comment

A picture is worth a thousand words.  Here are a few that might fill in the blanks left by my reporting:

The fact that Art Creation Foundation for Children offers three meals a day to its youth is very very important.  Here is where money for food goes:

Sorting beans for lunch

Sorting beans for lunch

Kids enjoying lunch.

Enjoying lunch

4-13-4_212 ©DSmook

Dining area

Dining area

And here are more photographs of what the children are learning and accomplishing:

Mosaic vases

Mosaics are used to create vases out of bottles.

Another shot of the photography group.

Another shot of the photography group.

Students doing homework after school.

Students doing homework after school.

Group working on papier mache projects.

Group working on papier mache projects.

The work is painted.

The work is painted.

Paper can be glued to a mask base.

Paper can be glued to a mask base.

A fabulous mask

A fabulous mask

A colorful vase.

A colorful vase.

The showroom in our new building.

The showroom in our new building.

A mosaic design begins with a sketch.

A mosaic design begins with a sketch.

The mosaic pieces are cut and glued to mesh.

The mosaic pieces are cut and glued to mesh.

The tiles are cemented to the wall.

The tiles are cemented to the wall.

Grout is added when the wall is complete.

Grout is added when the wall is complete.

You can see how the children’s imagination and skills have evolved in these images.  And they are so proud of their work!

ACFFC will celebrate its tenth anniversary as a 501c3 corporation later this year.  This milestone is the perfect time for us to reflect on the amazing achievements of the past decade and move ahead on plans for the future.  A future that looks very promising for the Art Creation Foundation for Children youth!

4-13-2_168 ©DSmook

“A Woman’s World” Photography Exhibit opening March 3 in NYC

February 23, 2011 2 comments

This should be a terrific show.  In celebration of Women’s History Month, Macy’s has generously donated the 8th floor walls, across from Au Bon Pain, to display photographs recognizing the strengths of women by celebrating their advancement outside of the home, and honoring the importance of their work within it.  The exhibition will feature work by members of Professional Women Photographers, an international organization based in New York.  The exhibit was juried by photographer Karen Marshall – there were many,  many entries – and I am honored that my portrait of Choreographer Isabel Gotzkowsky was included.

Portrait of Choreographer Isabel Gotzkowsky

I took this portrait of Isabel a few years ago during a rehearsal at Dance Theater Workshop as she created new works for Isabel Gotzkowsky & Friends, her dynamic small dance company here in New York.  Isabel has always liked this photograph because “it was the last time I looked relaxed until after the week of performances was over!”  The image was part of my solo show in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, called Becoming Dance: Images of a Process.

The exhibit will be on the 8th floor of Macy’s at Broadway & 34th Street from March 2-23.  The opening will be next Thursday, March 3rd, from 6-8pm.  A talented group of photographers will be represented in a large variety of work and I hope you can join us.

For those of you who love modern dance, Isabel’s next season will be June 9-12, 2011 at Dance New Amsterdam.

New Visions Exhibit Opens December 9th

December 6, 2010 Leave a comment

I am very glad to announce that my work has been included in New Visions, an exhibit of new work by members of Professional Women Photographers, here in New York.  The opening is 6-8 pm on Thursday, December 9th and the show will be up until January 15th in the lobby of the Durst building at 1133 Avenue of the Americas.

Brings back memories from another lifetime,  when I was a Program Director at RCA VideoDiscs and had an office on the second floor of that building.  We had moved there from 10 Rockefeller Center, where I had a beautiful view of the plaza and the Christmas tree.  Magical.  Then, as  an economy measure, the entire videodisc division moved to 1133 Avenue of the Americas, a perfectly fine building and even easier commute for me, but where my view was of a Duane Reade drug store.  Alas.  No magic.

Back to the exhibit.  As usual, I am a little mystified by the choice by the curator of the exhibit.  The photograph that was chosen is this:

I do like this image very much.  It is one I shot with my husband’s little Lumix when we traveled on a sailing ship last winter.  The amazing thing to me was that such a small camera could produce such a nice large, sharp image (17″ x 22″) with almost no help from Photoshop.  I blogged about the camera last March in my entry called Large Print from a Small Camera.  I had rather hoped that the image I blogged about there would be chosen:

But at least you get to see it again here….Do stop by the show as there is bound to be a great deal of good work shown.

Come To My Exhibit in Great Barrington, MA

September 17, 2010 Leave a comment

I am so pleased to to have the opportunity of exhibiting my sepia portfolio, Portraits from the Garden: An Uncommon View, at Art on Main in Great Barrington from September 24 through October 29.   I printed these images in my darkroom, toning them a rich, warm sepia.  It is a project dear to my heart, shot in my own garden over a period of several years.  The gallery is a beautiful space within Barnbrook Realty on Main Street right in the center of town, and the curator is Peggy Reeves, whose blog is artonmain.blogspot.com.

Here is more information about the exhibit and the opening reception:

The opening will be festive and I invite anyone in the area with an interest in photography to join us!