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Photogs / Photo Exhibits This is the place to discuss a particular Photographer (work, style, life, whatever), as well as to post Gallery and Museum Photo Exhibitions and your own impressions of them. As we march on in this new digital world, it is often too easy to forget about the visual importance of the photographic print, as well as their financial importance to the photographer. It is also interesting to remember that some guy named Gene Smith shot with lenses that many lens test reading "never had a picture published in their life" amateurs would turn up their their noses at, as being "unacceptable."

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Sally Mann Exhibition in Washington D.C.
Old 03-04-2018   #1
giganova
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Sally Mann Exhibition in Washington D.C.

Today was the opening of the Sally Mann exhibition "A Thousand Crossings" at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. This is the biggest exhibition of her photographic work ever, with 110 of her photos on display. Seeing many of her photos on 40x60 inch silver gelatin prints is truly amazing! The introduction to the exhibit was given by Sarah Greenough, senior curator and head of the department of photographs, who gave an excellent scholarly one hour talk in front of a packed auditorium (roughly 500 people). However:

Bummer #1: To the big disappointment of many, Sally Mann didn't show up (even though one museum employee told me that she was in the building).

Bummer #2: The event was advertised as "followed by a book signing" and many people purchased the exhibition catalog to get it signed by Sally Mann. But guess what? The books were signed by the curator (!) of the exhibition, not by Sally Mann.

Bummer #3: The exhibition catalog costs a whopping $200! Edit: the pre-signed limited edition catalog is $200; the regular catalog costs $55.-


Last edited by giganova : 03-05-2018 at 13:05. Reason: correction
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Old 03-04-2018   #2
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Well, at least the prints were worth attending the opening of the exhibit.

For the 3 bummers ... this is a bad joke. They should have told the audience that the artist will not sign any books and those who would like to return the unopened catalog can do so for a full refund.
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Old 03-04-2018   #3
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Thanks for posting, my office is just a couple blocks away and I've been meaning to check the Obama portraits; will add this to my agenda.
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Old 03-04-2018   #4
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It looks like it was taken with a Holga.
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Old 03-04-2018   #5
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Thanks for the mini review. Can’t wait to go!
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Old 03-04-2018   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve M. View Post
It looks like it was taken with a Holga.
Lol. She uses a 8x10 and beyond.
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Old 03-04-2018   #7
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My kids live in DC, I will be visiting in May before the show closes


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Old 03-05-2018   #8
Stefan Wood
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The catalog is $55. The $200 is for a limited signed edition by the artist.
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Old 03-05-2018   #9
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Great to hear about tge Show !

Bummer she did not attend ... sign books
Hopefully most of those editions were pre signed.
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Old 03-05-2018   #10
Peter Wijninga
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I would consider $200 for a signed catalogue by Sally Mann as an excellent investment. Alas, I am no where near Washington.
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Old 03-05-2018   #11
Dan Daniel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Wijninga View Post
I would consider $200 for a signed catalogue by Sally Mann as an excellent investment. Alas, I am no where near Washington.
https://shop.nga.gov/item/748995/sal...edition/1.html
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Old 03-05-2018   #12
Peter Wijninga
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Thanks Dan...it's back ordered...no worries, eventually, I'll get my copy.
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Old 03-05-2018   #13
giganova
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helenhill View Post
Hopefully most of those editions were pre signed.
The signed copies are signed by the curator who edited the book, not by Sally Mann!
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Old 03-05-2018   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stompyq View Post
Lol. She uses a 8x10 and beyond.
She also uses an M3 -- or should I say she also owns an M3.

I've had two brushes with Sally Mann. The first was at grad school in 1994 at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, GA. She came to my school, as she was friends with a couple of my teachers there (Craig Stephens and Steve Bliss - likely due to their connection to the Maine Photographic Workshops), and she brought these loose 30"x40" prints with her from the 'Immediate Family' series. She was fairly disorganized, and yet brilliant at the same time. Everyone was pretty much in awe of her, her work and these big beautiful prints (an assistant of hers printed them).

My second 'brush' with her (and hence the Leica M3 reference) was years later and came through my camera repair guru and good friend, Frank Marshman. Frank repairs all of Sally's cameras, and they've been friends for many years. Actually two of her prints are currently being shown in Harrisonburg, VA in a group show at the Arts Council of the Valley (and I'm lucky enough to have a print in this show too!). Anyhow, this was a few years ago -- I was talking with Frank on the phone, and he said to me: "You know about old Leica lenses. Sally Mann was asking me about the really old ones, as she has this M3, and she's trying to get this dreamy look and doesn't know which lenses are the best for that. Could you give her a call and help her out?" So Frank gave me her number, and I called her (she lives in Lexington, VA). We talked on the phone for about 1/2 hour about dreamy old Leica lenses -- 73/1.9 Hektor, 50/2 Summar, 50/1.5 Xenon, Thambars etc etc. We were both looking on KEH's website, Leicashop in Vienna, Igor Camera, etc etc. Don't know if she ever followed through on my advice or whether she ended up buying any dreamy old Leica lenses. But maybe I should put on my CV that I was a 'Technical Advisor to Sally Mann'
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Old 03-05-2018   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by giganova View Post
The signed copies are signed by the curator who edited the book, not by Sally Mann!
The web site advertising the catalogue says
Limited slipcased edition, signed by the artist

https://shop.nga.gov/item/748995/sal...edition/1.html
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Old 03-05-2018   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shac View Post
The web site advertising the catalogue says
Limited slipcased edition, signed by the artist

https://shop.nga.gov/item/748995/sal...edition/1.html
I bet the artist pre-signed copies of the book, and the curator also signed/personalized copies. I suspect that's fairly common.
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Old 03-05-2018   #17
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Maybe that's the case. When I was at the gallery yesterday, they said all they had was the catalog for $200 and they warned me that the catalog was signed by the editor of the book and not Sally Mann. But maybe that book store employee was mistaken.

In any case, I'll swing by NGA before they close tonight and ask again.
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Old 03-05-2018   #18
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Great story Vince. You sure sat on that one till an appropriate moment. But a ‘brush’ always makes me think of a negative encounter so I was reading with trepidation. Must look it up.
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Old 03-05-2018   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lewis Francis View Post
I bet the artist pre-signed copies of the book, and the curator also signed/personalized copies. I suspect that's fairly common.
Why would the curator of an exhibit of a living artist sign the book?
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Old 03-05-2018   #20
giganova
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I just returned from the National Gallery and asked them about the catalog:
  • The regular hard bound exhibition catalog costs $55.- and is readily available.
  • They have some regular catalogs that were signed by the curator/editor of the book at the opening of the exhibit because Sally Mann did not attend.
  • The special edition catalog is limited to 500 copies, is hard bound with a hard bound cloth slip case, pre-signed and numbered by Sally Mann. It cost $200 but is sold out.
They had one copy of the special edition catalog left and I just bought it!
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Old 03-05-2018   #21
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Giganova - thanks for clarification. Sounds a different way of doing things but what do I know. I am enjoying her memoir though - an interesting read.
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Old 03-05-2018   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vince Lupo View Post
She also uses an M3 -- or should I say she also owns an M3.
Like most professional photographers, she uses all sorts of cameras ... 35mm, 6x7, 8x10 (even hand held!), b&w ortho film, color film, collodium plates, tintypes ... I love the dark room in the back of her truck!



















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Old 03-05-2018   #23
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From the special edition catalog that I bought today:

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Old 03-29-2018   #24
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NYT review of the exhibition.
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Old 03-29-2018   #25
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Originally Posted by Steve M. View Post
It looks like it was taken with a Holga.
Not when you see the prints in person.
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Old 03-29-2018   #26
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Quote:
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NYT review of the exhibition.
Thanks for the link, that's a great read!

The Sally Mann exhibit is the most meaningful photography exhibition I have ever seen. She finds beauty in the most mundane moments of life (family photos), fearlessly addresses our mortality head-on (e.g., her dying father, sick husband), and even gives history a profound meaning (battlefields).
[EDIT: I removed two sentences that some people found offensive, and I sincerely apologize for it]
I saw Sally Mann's haunting battlefield images of Virginia, I was deeply moved by the human drama that unfolded here and history came alive, as if it happened only yesterday.

What a national treasure she is!

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Old 03-29-2018   #27
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Here's an idea:

Lets all put our Leicas on Ebay tomorrow! Every body and lens for $100 "Buy it Now". It would destroy the used Leica camera market over night. And from the few hundred bucks we'd make, we buy all the Large Format cameras and 8x10 sheet film that we can find and stuff it into our freezers. We'd basically purchase the entire world supply of large format cameras and film on one day.

Do you think they'd build a new sheet film factory in Rochester?
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Old 03-29-2018   #28
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as long as you don't try to buy a Deardorff
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Old 03-30-2018   #29
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Thanks Lynn for the NYT review link, much appreciated. I haven't any book from Sally Mann. I think I'll buy something soon...
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Old 03-30-2018   #30
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FYI look like this exhibit is going on tour:

Other venues: Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, June 30–September 23, 2018
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, November 20, 2018–February 10, 2019
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, March 3–May 27, 2019
Jeu de Paume, Paris, June 17–September 22, 2019
High Museum of Art, Atlanta, October 19, 2019–January 12, 2020
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Old 03-30-2018   #31
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giganova wrote "Having immigrated from a country with ~2,000+ years of history, I never understood why people here in the US are so obsessed with the early settlers, battle re-enactments, and Civil War. It seemed banal and insignificant to me."

That's your history, giganova, and I very much respect that. But this is our history, and it's all the history we have. It's the history of a people who struggled, who conquered, and who, in less than two and a half centuries created the greatest, most free nation in the history of the earth.
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Old 03-30-2018   #32
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Quote:
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giganova wrote "Having immigrated from a country with ~2,000+ years of history, I never understood why people here in the US are so obsessed with the early settlers, battle re-enactments, and Civil War. It seemed banal and insignificant to me."

That's your history, giganova, and I very much respect that. But this is our history, and it's all the history we have. It's the history of a people who struggled, who conquered, and who, in less than two and a half centuries created the greatest, most free nation in the history of the earth.
That's all we have? Except there's a whole lot buried here that we don't know, or don't care to think about, dating nearly as far back as anything in Europe, Asia or Africa. But let's start with the genocide of the people that lived on this continent just a few hundred years ago. In order to create "our" so-called greatest of nations. (No you don't speak for all of "us" Americans).
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Old 03-30-2018   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Jenkins View Post
That's your history, giganova, and I very much respect that. But this is our history, and it's all the history we have. It's the history of a people who struggled, who conquered, and who, in less than two and a half centuries created the greatest, most free nation in the history of the earth.
I suggest you delete this before the thread gets closed. I will try and bite my tongue. I agree with bluesun that you don't speak for all us Americans
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Old 03-30-2018   #34
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I suggest you delete this before the thread gets closed. I will try and bite my tongue. I agree with bluesun that you don't speak for all us Americans
Without endorsing Dave Jenkins viewpoint, should giganova be required to delete his comment that America history is "banal and unimportant" as well?
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Old 03-30-2018   #35
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Read my post again: while I said that I always found US history banal compared to other countries, the battlefield images of Sally Mann were an eye opener to me, I was deeply moved by the human drama that unfolded here and history came alive. I believe I now have a better understanding and appreciation of US history.

My sincere apology if I offended anyone!
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Old 03-30-2018   #36
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I removed the two sentences that some people found offense.
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Old 03-30-2018   #37
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In my home town is a medieval church where they found a 2,000 year old Roman temple underneath, and when they kept digging, they found a Neanderthal settlement underneath.
I suggest a moment of silent reflection over the fate of those poor Neanderthal peoples, likely driven to extinction by the callous intrusion of modern man into their lands. Shame on us all. Shame, shame, shame.
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Old 03-30-2018   #38
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I can't wait to see this show. Such talent. "Hold Still" is a must read for photographers, in my humble opinion.
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Old 03-30-2018   #39
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Just got the signed copy of the book. It is a gorgeous printing!

Going to DC next week and can’t wait to see the show.



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Got the book too, $200 ones not sold out btw.
Old 04-02-2018   #40
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Got the book too, $200 ones not sold out btw.

I got the regular version from amazon just the other day. I'll attend the show when it comes to the PEM. hopefully she will be there to sign books - I have asked PEM about it.

I wonder if the $200 version is really any better, print-wise than the $45 edition? Probably not, though the slipcase looks nice and of course the signature is cool to have.

the $200 ones are not sold out btw, they are still available at least a couple places at list price, FWIW.

Print quality on the $45 edition seems great, there's some nice images in there, though there's also a lot of pages wasted on people blathering on about their interpretations and what not, which would have been better spent showing more photos.

While nice, the print caliber of the book is not at say Steidl level of quality, but it is quite good, esp. for $45.

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