It has been a couple of difficult days of travel for us so we took some time to rest this morning. I let Ken sleep while I took a nice hot bath–definitely an uncommon luxury for us both!
We made our way over to AIPAD at Pier 94, only about 5 blocks from the hotel. It was still raining but not as much as last night which was a total deluge!
Monika was there already handling the book signing for Mitch Epstein with his book, also published by Steidl. We had only to wait and look around at all the great photos. Not a bad assignment.
At 4:00 we took the seats of the Steidl book signers. It’s a weird feeling to be sitting in the same seats that were occupied by Bruce Davidson just yesterday. It’s hard to describe really, but it’s a great honor for sure.
We had a drink with Monika and Karine after the show was over. All in all it was a very successful day at AIPAD! We’re on our way to a late dinner.
We finally made it to the event but it was a long trek! We were supposed to take off from long the Oakland Airport at 10:10pm, but because of a sand storm in Las Vegas, our plane was delayed for over 5 hours! So we actually left at 4:00 am. So, live and learn as they say…we will not take any more red eye flights, even if they’re less expensive. By the time we arrived in NYC and got to our hotel, we were very tired, but we were too excited not to go to the photo show, so we went anyway.
As promised, it was a huge venue filled with beautiful photos from all the most famous photographers you can think of. It took us quite a while to get to the D.A.P. and Steidl booth because it was too hard to pass up looking at all the photos on the way there.
Monika was there at the booth and it was wonderful to see her again! She was in the middle of facilitating a book signing with Bruce Davidson. We got a chance to talk to him for a little while. His daughter, Anna Mia Davidson, was with us in Steidlville when we were working on the book the first time. She was publishing her book, “Cuba” at that time.
So here are just a few photos from today. It’s not possible for me to think any more or stay awake any longer. More tomorrow!
The collection of photos promises to be mind blowing as the dealers are from all over the world. We saw a tiny preview of the unmatched caliber of the photos when we were at Bonham’s in LA for the book signing there. We plan to take lots of time on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to browse through as many of the collections as we can. I’m reminded of how our father used to take us to museums as children and as adults. I’ll be thinking of him there for sure as he’d have relished the chance to go! Our whole family echoes this! It’s a journey that Don set in motion and that is continuing!
We’ll also be accompanied vicariously by Bill Heick, Ira Latour, Cameron Macauley, and Ben Chinn! Oh, How they’d have enjoyed seeing the fruit of their labor materialized at such an auspicious photo venue! They worked so hard and waited so long! We were all expecting to arrive here together. It’s hard for us to have to go without them. We’re happy that we get to do it of course, but it would have been sooo much more fun to get to go with them and see them shine! John Upton, Charles Wong, David Johnson, Stephen Goldstine, Gerald Ratto, Walter Stoy, and Stan Zrnich who are still living are not able to go. The photos of all the students really are so incredibly edifying and they stand in time and in their own place in photographic history. We couldn’t have known we’d have to introduce the book without THEM! Life is so strange. . .
So please do check back Friday and Saturday nights as we should be able to post some photos to show what the show looks like. We’re very excited to get to see Monika again and her partner Karine (who is a fine photographer in her own right and she’s also publishing a book with Steidl!).
We’ll be signing books after Mitch Epstein and before Joel Sternfeld! Kind of Awesome! It’s all thanks to Steidl~~~!
Last weekend we attended the opening of another Golden Decade exhibit, this time at the Laguna Art Museum. We couldn’t be more thrilled with it! Malcolm Warner, the Director of the museum, did a fine job of sequencing all the photos, and Stefan Kirkeby worked so hard to frame everything, and together we collected about 70 of the photographs from the book. Also on view in the exhibit’s foyer are many vintage photos by the instructors who were there at the CSFA, among them are Ansel Adams, Minor White, Edward Weston, Imogen Cunningham and Dorothea Lange. Many thanks go to Scott Nichols of the Scott Nichols Gallery and Danny and Mary Solomon for the loan of the photos from the instructors for this important exhibit!
Here are a few photos. Enjoy!
The Golden Decade: Photography at the California School of Fine Arts, 1945-55
February 19 – May 29, 2017
Between 1945 and 1955, a fortunate group of students at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco studied under a faculty that included some of the great photographers of the age—Ansel Adams, Minor White, Edward Weston, Imogen Cunningham, Dorothea Lange, and Lisette Model. Many of the students went on to distinguished photographic careers themselves. Accompanied by a beautiful and informative book, the exhibition showcases about sixty choice examples of the work of teachers and students active at the CSFA during this remarkable midcentury period.
Yesterday, we took a taxi to The Strand Bookstore to meet Monika at 3:30, a little early before our 4:00 booksigning date! Several other authors and photographers began to arrive. We met Ina and Phil Trager. Phil just published a book with photos he took of Ina over many years. They were absolutely fabulous. We also met to Romney Mueller Westernhagen who just published a wonderful book called “Portraits.” She is stunningly beautiful to look at and her friends who came were equally beautiful. We had a great afternoon meeting the other people there for their Steidl X Strand booksigning. It was the last day of the event. Monika Condrea, Steidl’s Marking Director for N. America and English speaking countries, put on a top notch show for four days. There were posters for each of the books on display too.
So now we head home to California. After we check out we’re planning to walk over to the Empire State Building to admire the NYC skyline and environs. We will be flying on Cloud Nine after this amazing experience here. We’re thinking of Bill Heick, Ira Latour, Cam Macauley, who wanted to share their experience from that important time in photographic history, and who asked us to help them finish their book. Our dad, Don Whyte, has had a great influence in the whole project as well! So grateful for it, and for the interest of Gerhard Steidl in publishing The Golden Decade that made this all possible. So glad we got to see him on the first night of the event. And to Monika Condrea who invited us to come and be a part of it.
Thanks to our daughter Angela and her able chauffeuring we got to SFO at 5:30 Wednesday morning in plenty of time to get through Security and to our flight by 7am.The flight was not very long, and before we knew it we were landing at JFK. We got a taxi to our hotel to drop off our stuff, quickly changed, and caught a taxi over to The Strand Bookstore, very excited to see our friends from Göttingen. The Strand is a huge, famous bookstore on Broadway and 12th Street in NYC. Here are a few photos from the event. We went to the book signing for Robert Polidori, our friend from Steidlville, who was speaking about his two new books, “Hotel Petra” and “60 Feet Road.” Gerhard Steidl introduced Robert and also Joel Sternfeld and his new book “Landscape as Longing: Queens New York.” Our book signing isn’t until Saturday.
Today we switched hotels and rested. Tomorrow we’ll go to The Met, and a few other places. More soon! Much Love from NYC!
The Golden Decade is making its way onto the world stage. Again THANKS to Stephen Goldstine and John Upton for suggesting we send the manuscript to Gerhard Steidl in Göttingen, Germany. We have found the kindred spirit art photo lover in him and his whole amazing publishing house from top on down. It’s something the other artists we’ve met there have also expressed. To whit they’re working on other books just to be able to go back and experience it all over again!! MANY THANKS also to Victor Balko, one of the very fine designers at Steidl, who redesigned The Golden Decade. It models very well in its new look!
Now, the next development in the GD (Golden Decade) story, is that Gerhard Steidl is coming in person to NYC. During the week of October 26 Steidl will take over the Strand Book Store to present new books, stage talks and book signings. Monika invited us to come for a book signing, as incredibly, the GD is among them! https://steidl.de/
At first we thought it was completely out of the question for us to go. Then we reconsidered. I’m not really sure what made that shift. Perhaps it had something to do with my father, Don Whyte….I just kept thinking about the fact that he was born in New York City all those years ago (1911) and that there was a strong pull on me to go. That’s all I can figure out to say on how to account for it. If it was from him I’m not sure. Maybe it has something to do with coming full circle, or full sphere, as one of my dear sisters Margaret says. And also, how many times will we be invited to The Strand Bookstore in NYC to sign a book? Whatever the reason, we’re all set to go! Below is the information on The Steidl Strand Program that starts Wednesday with William Eggleston signing books 4-6pm. Please come to see us if you’re in the vicinity on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 4:00-6:00!
Of course, this whole book project was sparked by us going through the contents of Don’s darkroom after his death. Ken, an avid life-long photographer himself, had a strong connection with my father because of this. He became extremely curious when he recognized photos of Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, Minor White, Dorothea Lange, Imogen Cunningham and others among my father’s photos. He asked me about them and I said yes, of course, we had lived down the street from Ansel Adams in San Francisco. And then the research began to try to find any of the students who might still be living so we could learn more about the photos. The last 15 years have been dedicated to these students, their photographs and their stories—and to rekindling a relationship with my father and his love for art and photography.
So read this blog so you can come along with us to NYC. We’ll do out best to relay the Book Fair so you can enjoy it vicariously! We will be enjoying it thoroughly! Thanks!
PLEASE MARK YOUR CALENDARS for upcoming Golden Decade Events:
It’s hard to believe that it’s already been several days since we left Steidlville. The last couple of days, my brother and his wife came from Denmark. It was wonderful to be able to share with them some of the euphoria we were feeling fresh off the book’s publication. It was one of the most satisfying experiences of our life. The book is now at the bindery. It will be available and shipped in the latter part of May. Now our task is to market the book! Books can be ordered many ways, either at U.S. Steidl bookstore outlets, or online on amazon, Barnes & Noble, Artbook online, etc. Steidl’s marketing director, Matthias, is available for large book orders at firstname.lastname@example.org
Now we’re trying to relax and take in everything that happened. All the wonderful people we met and worked with, principal among them Gerhard Steidl himself, and the process, the amazing process, of being present as our book came into being, off the press, page by page roughly every 40 minutes, in its new beautiful form! It was like witnessing a birth! And the photos look their very best. Steidl is a master with ink; we watched him as he calibrated the tritones, and we were in awe how they perfectly pick up each photo’s wide range of values. We can’t wait until we get our copies!
Here’s a picture of why we fell in love with these photographers. About 8 of them are still around to sign the books! Stefan Kirkeby is planning an exhibit for just this purpose in the fall. So Please Stay tuned!
It wasn’t necessary to come to the Print Room super early today because Henry Leutwyler’s book, “Objects,” has to be printed first! Or at least the first side of his sheets. Then while that part is drying, the printers will go back to printing our book! Henry felt really bad about pushing us off the press, but since he had come all the way from Tokyo Steidl felt he should put his book on the press. And we will be here long enough to still finish ours. So there it is. We just had to wait. But to be honest, we had a wonderful time getting to know Henry and hear his stories. Maybe he was entertaining us because he felt bad, or maybe he’s just fun –We think the latter! Henry gave us all kinds of ideas about where we could look for galleries for The Golden Decade. He had lots of nice things to say about the photographers’ work in the book.
Since the printer Andreas told us that our book wouldn’t go aback on the press until after 2 p.m., we decided to do a little shopping and walk around.
We got back at 1:30 just in time for lunch. Rudy served a super good salad of tomatoes and mozarella, noodles with eggplant sauce and aged Parmasiano. The dessert was fresh berries and light yoghurt. We definitely high off the hog here! Except all the meals are extremely low in fat. Everything is organic and fresh. This is because of Rudi’s meal planning and good taste. He also has a keen eye for beauty. He is also a photographer working on his craft.
Right after lunch we got back on the press. In between press checks that occur about every 40 minutes, we visited the rest of the afternoon with Henry and then Robert Polidori came. The two of them together, being very old friends, are loads of fun with hilarious stories and observations! Heathe, who met us at the train last June, and Claudia who is in charge of press coverage, stopped by. When Henry and Polidori went off to dinner it was time to say Bye to Henry as he’s leaving in the morning. It’s amazing how you can make fast friends with some people in the course of a day! That’s how it’s been with Henry! And Polidori too!
Now it’s after 10:30 p.m. and the printers’ night shift just changed. We’re coming along well and should be finished printing by 9 a.m. tomorrow morning. We are excited to see the F&G’s (folded and gathered) of the book by sometime tomorrow.
My dear brother and sister-in-law, Mike & Sue, are due to arrive from their home in Copenhagen by train in Göttingen 14:15. It was so nice of them to come while we were here printing the book. We will get to stay over night at Gebhard’s Hotel, a very old family-run hotel inside the old city walls. Mike & Sue will leave the next day, Saturday, and so will we. They will go North to Copenhagen, and we will head South to Frankfurt. In Frankfurt we will stay overnight and then fly out to SFO the next morning. This is the last day for our blog as it will be too busy tomorrow. The first run of the GOLDEN DECADE BOOK will be completely printed by tomorrow and we will have a comp of the book to take home. It seems incredible to be saying this, but it’s absolutely TRUE!