Jon Crispin's Notebook

American Demographics / Hope and Feathers Exhibit (Image #5)

Posted in Jon Crispin, photography, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 15/08/2018

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I started going to presidential inaugurations back in the 1970s.  I think the last one I did was Clinton’s second.  I am going through my contact sheets to identify the specific dates of each photo for the Hope and Feathers / American Demographics show, so I can’t yet say what year this was taken.  I should have all the dates by the time the exhibit goes up.  I especially like Robby Aceto’s hand coloring of this shot.  Really nice.

American Demographics / Hope and Feathers Exhibit (Image #3)

Posted in Baseball, baseball stadiums, Friends, Jon Crispin, photography, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 31/07/2018

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I really like this image a lot.  This is Dan who was a friend of Don who was a friend of Herman’s when we all went to a Mets game at Shea.  If I remember correctly, Dan was a scientist of some kind and I think he might be an academic somewhere.  If I can track him down, I’ll give him this print.  Today Herman sent me Don’s phone number, so I’ll text him to see if he is still in touch with Dan.  Robby Aceto did a great job hand coloring this one.

We are in the process of finalizing the Hope and Feathers show.  Looks like the opening will be on 5 October and I will be giving a gallery talk sometime later in the month.  Details to follow.  I am really excited about this.

American Demographics / Hope and Feathers Exhibit (Image #2)

Posted in Art, Jon Crispin, photography, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 20/07/2018

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This photo was taken in Columbus, Ohio in late December of 1981.  I almost felt compelled to knock on the door and see if they wanted to interview me.   It was an unsettling time in my life. / Those Millar Mitts do go way back.

I’m working on my statement for the exhibit and will continue to post here whenever Hope and Feathers start putting details online.  Have a great weekend everyone and thanks for following.

American Demographics / Hope and Feathers Exhibit

Posted in Jon Crispin, old photographs, photography, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 11/07/2018

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I’ll write more about this later, but I wanted to start posting some of the images that will be in an exhibit at Hope and Feathers Gallery in Amherst this October.  The photos were all featured as illustrations for articles in American Demographics Magazine and were hand colored by the amazing Robby Aceto.  I put this photograph up on my Instagram a few days ago (jonkcrispin) and got a great comment from “thepunchandjudyman” identifying this fellow as Percy Press II.  Check out this amazing clip.  Classic Punch and Judy with a Christmas theme.

The exhibit opens on 4th October and runs through the month.  Opening reception on the 4th.  Hope (and Feathers) to see you there.

White Lightning /Alex Ross

Posted in Friends, Jon Crispin, photography, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 23/05/2018

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I bought 3 Paul Buff White Lightning Ultra strobes sometime in the 80’s.  I always liked the company and Paul Buff designed them to last forever.  He was a really interesting fellow who started out on the West Coast doing recording and engineering work with Frank Zappa.  He saw a need in the photo industry to have a strobe system that was simple and powerful, so he moved to Nashville and started building these.  I still have my original 3 units, and they work fine.

At some point during the time I was shooting the suitcases my dear friend Alex Ross gave me 5 of his Ultra 1800’s, which are 3 times more powerful than my original set.  I used them for the majority of the project.  Yesterday, I pulled out one of them to do some quick shots and saw his somewhat cryptic notes on it.  It is never a bad idea to thank the people in your life who have made a continuous and positive impact.  I wouldn’t be the photographer that I am without Alex’s influence and support, and he might never really know just how much he means to me.  Thanks Ace.

Willard Suitcases / Madeline C / UTMB

Willard Suitcases Project
Madeline C

I apologize for the long gap in posting about the suitcases.  It has been an incredibly busy time.  I have been devoting most of my mental energy getting prepared for a series of talks at the University of Texas Medical Branch that are scheduled for next week.  This is a huge honor for me, as I will be a visiting Osler scholar.  When I was in Galveston in 2016 presenting to NAMI Gulfcoast I was approached by Dr. Dwight Wolf about returning to speak at UT to the Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences department.  Cristine and I fly out on Sunday (weather dependent), and there are events scheduled for the whole week.

Here is a rundown.

Monday the 15th – I’ll be speaking about the suitcases and my other work at the Galveston Arts Center from 6-8 pm.

Tuesday the 16th – Osler Club Grand Rounds, Temple B’nai Israel, 3008 Avenue O, Galveston.  I believe this is open to the public but reservations are required.

Earlier that day I will present the project to residents at UTMB.  This is not open to the public.

Wednesday the 17th – IMH Colloquium at UTMB during the lunch hour.  Jennie Sealy Hospital.  This might be open to the public, I’m not sure.

That evening I’ll be speaking at the Galveston Historical Foundation about the suitcases and my other documentary institutional work.  6-7 pm at Menard Hall, 3302 Avenue O, Galveston.

Thursday the 18th – There is an open mic event with Dr. Steve Fisher with a display of photographs of both of our work.  Dr. Fisher has been photographing the collection of medical specimens at UTMB.  Should be interesting.  3rd Floor Old Red.  I’ve been told it is an amazing building.

That’s it for now.  Thanks for following.

Willard Suitcases / Herman G

Willard Asylum Suitcases
Herman G
©2015 Jon Crispin
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Herman G was featured in the 2004 New York State Museum exhibit on the suitcases.  His story is interesting in that he was a patient at the “Craig Colony for Epileptics” before he came to Willard.  I had posted about him around the time we photographed his box of photo gear and correspondence in 2015.

Willard Asylum Suitcases
Herman G
©2015 Jon Crispin
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I have just uploaded the complete edit.  You can see the collection here.

I’ll start work on Rodrigo L. tomorrow.  His story is amazing.  Thanks for following.

 

Willard Suitcases / Dorrit Harazim Book

O instante certo

Several months ago I was contacted by the Brazilian publisher Compania Das Letras about the suitcases project being included in a book by Dorrit Harazim.  They have been really great to deal with, but I wasn’t entirely clear about the nature of the project.  When I got back from Nepal, a copy was waiting for me in my post office box.  It seems to be a collection of essays about photographs (it is in Portuguese so I am not sure), and I was amazed to see the other photographers that were included.  Several Magnum photographers are involved along with Gordon Parks and Vivian Maier and some other illustrious names.  I am thrilled an honored to be a part of it.  “O instante certo” translated roughly to “the right moment”.  It is available through Amazon, so if you read Portuguese it might be nice to get a copy.

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The article on the suitcases translates to “travel without return”.  I would be happy if the book  was translated into English at some point, but in the meantime, I’ll ask for a pdf and plug it into google translate.

Design Observer / Jessica Helfand

 

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Very shortly after the first Willard Suitcases kickstarter went up I received an email from Jessica Helfand expressing her interest in the project.  She soon invited me down to New Haven to speak to her Yale freshman seminar class, “Studies in Visual Biography”.  Here is a post I did just after that first visit.  I have subsequently been to her class on several other occasions and it is always very stimulating and fun.

As well as teaching at Yale, Jessica and her late husband Bill Drenttel created Design Observer, which is a fantastic website devoted to creativity and design.  That description doesn’t do it justice though, as it is so much more than that.  It is really worth checking out on a regular basis.  In addition to the site, Design Observer recently started publishing a quarterly magazine.  The second issue is just out, and they included a huge spread on the suitcases.  I am just so honored to be a part of the issue, and it looks great.  Here is a link to purchase it, and I would really recommend all of you interested in the project to do so.  It includes many suitcase photographs that haven’t been published before.  Special thanks go to  Eugenia Bell, who did a great job selecting the images, and making sure it all came together.  She was a joy to work with.

As we were saying goodbye after that first class at Yale, Jessica reached out, hugged me and said “We’re friends now!”  It was a most touching gesture and I have rarely felt so quickly welcomed into someone’s life.  She has been a massive supporter of the project who has helped me in so many ways, and I am very fortunate to be her friend.

Herman

Posted in Friends, photography, Uncategorized, Willard Asylum, Willard Suitcases by joncrispin on 10/02/2016

Herman

Working my way home today, but I got to see my good friend Herman this morning on Elizabeth Street.  I think he just got this new hat.

Big thanks to Judy Berde at the Roosevelt Island Historical Society for inviting me to speak about the suitcases.  We had a great crowd with lots of interesting questions.  And a note to any of you who are involved in organizations that might like to sponsor a talk.  I am starting to travel quite a bit and really look forward to presenting the project.  Next Wednesday the 17th, I be talking about some of my other work to the Schenectady Photographic Society.  If you live in the Albany area, stop by.

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