L2 - Pictorialism (Fred Holland Day)
L2 - Pictorialism (Fred Holland Day) ARHI 3530
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Dominique N. on Sunday June 19, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ARHI 3530 at University of Georgia taught by Janice Simon in Summer 2016. Since its upload, it has received 30 views. For similar materials see Art History 3530 - Modern Photography in Art History at University of Georgia.
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Date Created: 06/19/16
ARHI 3530 – Modernist Photography Pictorialism in America Fred Holland Day (1864-1933) o Boston, Massachusetts o Only child of very affluent parents o Great proponent as photography as modernist ART; not science, not documentation, etc. It can be enjoyed like art o Born the same year as Alfred Stieglitz (THE voice for modern art/photography) o Did not allow Stieglitz to put his work in the many famous journals (turned Stieglitz down) o By 1913 he gets ill and depressed and doesn’t do any more photography for the next 20 years, then dies o In 1887, he really becomes interested in photography; “Married to his camera” o Unlike Atget, he uses a small, handheld camera rather than a large format camera; Day used small, gelatin silver plates. Was not as interested in the printing process, so he had others help him o Uses lenses that allow for ranges of focus o Alvin Langdon Coburn, Portrait of Fred Holland Day 1900 Day’s cousin and fellow pictorialist Photos of him help us understand his personality Stares out at us Large, pearl ring o R. Frederick Evans Portraits of Day in Algerian Costume 1901 Dressed up a lot o Aestheticism saw art as a way of life; beauty is truth As an aestheticists, he dressed up nicely Medieval Diner Party at Day’s Mansion, Boston, for group the Visionists” 1893 Friends dressed up in medieval costumes Transcendentalism – Ralph Waldo Emerson; key essay nature ran in 1836; then Henry David Thoreau Walt Whitman; 1855 – great leaves of grass John Keats Wrote beautiful poetry; beauty is truth A dandy – someone concerned with their fancy appearance o Modern Design – Art Nouveau – narcissistic line = the line in love with itself Influence of Japanese prints Day and Herbert Copeland Started a publishing house with Copeland Aubrey Beardsley Salome: The Climax 1893-94 Aestheticism, art nouveau, Oscar Wild o Boston Camera Club Trips to England Julia Margaret Cameron Royal Photographic Society William Morris o Great designer of wallpaper/arts and crafts design o Hannah 1894 Early photograph that let him become elected to a famous modernist photographic society in 1895: The Brotherhood of the Linked Ring st Of the 1 he produced in his new studio in Boston in 1894 Many critics wrote of this work in 1898 when the New York Camera Club showed a big solo exhibition of Day’s photographs (250 photographs) Is a portrait; Photographers want their pictures to be almost equivalent to paintings A play off the intensities; the role of contrasts of light and dark; very specific cropping brings you up really close (crops chair and hands)—adds intimacy; Silver gelatin allow for lots of contrast; concerns himself with the emotion of the subject; not wearing modern clothes—new England female type; so pale she almost disappears into the wall; the background is out of focus and less detail (very opposite of Atget) Restraint in terms of tones; not a lot of bright colors Purposely soft focused (KEY ASPECT OF PICTORIALISM) Collapsing of space; very shallow; very intimate Melancholy, looks as if she’s mourning CRITIC: “spirituality of the thing is overwhelming” – higher being of everything; asceticism – restrain from sensuous life; all the elements work to convey a certain feeling Cecilia Beaux New England Woman 1895 Philadelphia artist Uses white to suggest virginity Day is working with what other artists are doing o Young Woman in a Moorish Headdress 1894 Interest in the orient/exotic The environment and her are not very distinct High contrast of light and dark; sense of mystery Still has a soft focus in everything (hair, necklace, etc.); flattens out into a flat design due to the lack of focus Cropped very close and it makes you feel like you’re right next to her We have people posing; not people he finds on the street; like a painter—you have someone come in and pose for you like a painter would Character is very different from Hannah; she looks very confident; this was during the era of the “new woman” o Nubian Series (all done in 1897): African Chief 1897 Dark Sepia silver print; Ethiopian Chief 1897 Platinum Print; Model: unknown; is not his chauffeur Arthur Tanneyhill as once thought. Day started publishing essays and one was in Camera Notes in 1897 (run by Stieglitz) the camera, properly judged, is art, real art fellow artist posed for Fred Holland Day—Jay Alexander Skate (posing) not a real African/Ethiopian chief here he starts adding sepia tones fascination with race (especially the places being colonized)—writings of Henry Stanley meeting someone in the Congo; the writing of Tarzan convey the racial types and doing it with dignity Plessy v. Ferguson – separate, but equal; legal to treat African Americans differently Fred Holland Day is an abolitionist Shows a nobility to the Africans Sense of having their guard up and staying strong; emphasizes strength of his mind and body Headdress and elaborate metal plate Shooting upward, so it looks as if the figure is above and more powerful We see a lot of flesh for the Victorian area Ethiopian—the format is interesting (the arch cropping); Day is looking at renaissance art for inspiration He way he frames his work—in renaissance style frames to be seen as altar pieces/high art, like the art of the renaissance o Ebony and Ivory 1897; Platinum Print Reproduced in Camera Notes, July 1898 edited by Alfred Stieglitz Reproduced in Camera Notes in July 1898 Radical, new type of photograph Masterwork of the WHOLE Nubian series Very interesting contrast that the title also brings out All to be seen as African, not African American Opposition—Ebony and ivory used in Africa and seen as materials; ebony – blackness; ivory – whiteness; ebony is the black gold of slavery Full nudity of statue is outward and shown towards us VS. the subject faced away and hiding his nudity Photography is real and of this world A certain decorum needs to take place Sitting on a leopard skin (primitive) Received purely as aesthetic Here is the body beautiful. Whether it is Greek or black Other versions on next slide Great celebration of Day’s aesthetics and concerns o Art replacing religion; spirituality in art. Instead of the good being truth, what is truth is beauty 1898 Feb Camera Club NYC one-man show elaborate frames he put around his photograph conscious juxtaposition of photographs to create meaning John Keats Keats corner in Day’s home Beauty is Truth (1896/97) Entombment – entombment of Christ as a photograph All his images of Christ date from1898 Lots of criticism o Figure posing as Christ o Representing Christ in pure truth through photography rather than idealism o Critics though perhaps this isn’t appropriate for photography Using same props as the model in the Nubian series Holding a glass globe o Many artists equate their art with spirituality and spiritualism o Theosophy (define) o A window-light triptych is reflected in the globe and it references an altarpiece depicting the Holy Trinity Holding a fake plant o Very much like poppies o Poppies are associated with the peaceful sleep of death o Made of hammered copper o Association with eternity and being able to see the beyond Figure is almost nude Hans Holbein the Younger the Dead Christ in the Tomb 1521 & many other variations on next slide o Day plays off the history of art very frequently What is the message? Why combine the two? o A resurrection from the finality of death o Everlasting existence—Youth, beauty, truth, and aestheticism o Theory that art is redemptive—art is the new religion o Implication of the immortality of art Day had a great belief that art was a form of redemption; idea of the artist as martyr/sufferer o What better way to suggest you’re suffering, than to ally yourself with Christian art? Day’s photos Philadelphia Photographic Salon Exhibition 1898-99 o Notion of how Fred Holland Day displays his photographs (both in the frames and the juxtaposition) Essay – the camera is not just limited to the here and now Seven Last Words of Christ 1898 – (self portrait) o Multiple faces of Christ on the cross o In an elaborate frame with all the words that Christ supposedly spoke on the cross o All set up as a single work o Peter Paul Rubens the Crucifixion 1677 Inspired Day’s facial expressions o He, himself, poses for these pictures This allowed him to control the expressions Went to great extents to become Christ- like (so it became authentic) Fasted to become thin Got wood imported from Syria for posts Original clothing from the area imported Took the photos himself o Guido Reni Head of Christ with the Crown of Thorns 1630 oil on copper Day admired this image Aligned photography with the history of art th o Velazquez The Crucifixion 17 Century vs. Day Crucifixion 1898 Emphasizes Christ’s aloneness o Crucifixion with Mary, Joseph and the Saints 1898 Got his neighbors to dress up for him Common to represent crucifixion o Crucifixion with Roman Soldier 1898 o Common to represent crucifixion Passion Play 1898 film still from German film o For Day, photography could understand character; gives a legibility to character o Caffin called Day’s passion series a “sham presentment” “clap trap” Very opposite to what he said about the Nubian Series o Day Vita Mystica ca. 1900 Platinum print Notion of prayer before a work of art Light comes in as if God is blessing him Day used lighting and printing process to o Day Frederick Evans Views One of the Seven Last Words 1900 platinum print o Philadelphia Photographic Salon Jury of the Second Philadelphia Photographic Salon (1899) Frances Benjamin Johnston, Henry Troth, Fred Holland Day (standing), Gertrude Kasebier, Clarence White Gives addresses to major photographic societies (two exerpts) 1st o Emphasize the important of feeling and how this art is important to other types o During this period there is a great etching revival (can compare very easily to photography) o You are paying attention to other works on paper, photography is work on paper o Like an engraving, photography too has a range of lights and darks and can capture textures nd 2 o defending photography holding it equivalent to other types of art o light coming out of darkness Day Mother Nursing Infant 1905 Even more radical than Kasebier because the skin is showing Can see the connection between the mother and child more than you can in Kasebier’s Has a lot of Kasebier influence Ordinary woman who is nursing Background is more ambiguous and cropped So much flatness Gertrude Kasebier the Manger 1901 Soft focus, suggestion, spiritual light, more depth of feel She’s more interested in the whole ensemble and setting up narrative with the background o October 1904—Day lost his studio and vast works in a fire (Chinese vases, statues, rugs, costumes, negatives, Japanese prints, etc. were destroyed)—so he moves away from Boston and sets up a second residence in Maine (Maine becomes haven for many artists at this time) and calls it Little Good Harbor o Day Portrait of Black Woman with Striped Collar 1905 Combination print American Pinkham and Smith lens Adds individuality to photographs and allows for even softer focus; allows you to get even more up close and broader range of darks and lights Hampton ____ in Virginia Allows for Blacks and Native Americans to be assimilated into Western, American society The images are very personal and tight and you can really see their faces Love for African Americans Very grainy texture Much more richness o Black Girl with Broad White Collar 1905 Very grainy texture Half of face is cut off; makes her asymmetrical o Gum by Chromate process i.e. Combination Print