[Alt-photo] the alt family tree

Christina Z. Anderson christinazanderson at gmail.com
Mon Jul 17 00:16:03 UTC 2017


Thanks for this, Dick!

So who did you learn kallitype from, if before MacDonald?

Was Jack McDonald the one who wrote: 
1.     McDonald, John and Melba Smith Cole. How to Make Old-Time Photos. Blue Ridge Summit: Tab books, 1981.

Chris


> On Jul 16, 2017, at 2:32 PM, Richard Sullivan <sullivan8486 at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> Christina,
> 
> You are on to something interesting. However, I do believe the genealogy goes back to the original sources and this is especially so with the texts. The chain in most cases was never really broken. I learned much from a man named Jack MacDonald, who ran a school of alt photography in Inglewood Ca. in approx 1968. Jack taught at Mortensen's School in Laguna Beach Ca that goes back to the 20's or at least the 30's. Jack was working in many processes and teaching them as well. 
> 
> Melody and I officially hung out our single in 1980 selling pt and pd materials but I was working much earlier in Kallitype, even before I met MacDonald and then when I started selling pt and pd material there were a handful of older and a few existing  younger workers in platinum. I was doing gum in 1967 but there were others lurking about. 
> 
> I think what the critical link is being able to get materials. As for platinum etc, the early modern source was Elegant Images which existed for several years. They went defunct and then we hung out our shingle and  for a few months or so there was a company called Blue Mountain supplies or something like that. (I am at an age were when I learn something new I have to forget something old, and I've learned a lot of new things lately!)
> 
> Of course the keystone issue holding up the modern renaissance in early processes was Keeper of Light.
> 
> Big industry is and was a problem. Just checked a company on the price of quinacridone magenta. Minimum order 50 lbs at $6,000.00. You can either buy a little bit at a very high price or a whole lot but not much in between.
> 
> --Dick Sullivan
> 
> On Sun, Jul 16, 2017 at 10:43 AM, Christina Z. Anderson via Alt-photo-process-list <alt-photo-process-list at lists.altphotolist.org <mailto:alt-photo-process-list at lists.altphotolist.org>> wrote:
> Dear All,
> 
> A few years ago SPE (Society of Photographic Education) was working out this photography family tree thing, where members would write in who taught them photography. I thought it was an interesting proposition, even though most of us have several moms and dads so to speak so the final tree trunk might not be just one set of “parents.”
> 
> An MFA in photography is a comparatively new field as compared to other arts, but even other arts had schools of training and thought (e.g. Bauhaus).
> 
> So that got me thinking about the key texts (and mentors, teachers, people) who influenced me in alt over the years. And it also got me to thinking about alt list members over the years, who’s still on, who still posts, that kind of thing.
> 
> And then I’ve noticed lately “pockets” of alt in different countries and wondered who was at the foundations of those movements. It had to start somewhere. Where did Mrhar come from?
> 
> Whatever the case, alt seems to be a burgeoning movement, unlike in the 60s or 70s where it was decidedly not mainstream.
> 
> Anyway, it is an interesting conversation to think about, our forefathers and foremothers.
> 
> Perhaps all contemporary collodion, for instance, leads back to Osterman or Coffer? Salt leads back to Reilly (1980)? Gum to Scopick?
> 
> William Crawford’s text and then Scopick’s were at my foundation, but then Airey, House, Arnow, Blacklow, Hahn (who was influenced by Henry Holmes Smith), Nettles, Van Keuren…and then later Enfield, James, Farber, Barnier.
> 
> I’d love to hear input from others as to their influences, perhaps too long a conversation for the summer vacation months! I decided to make a list of which I will share when I feel it is comprehensive. Wouldn’t want to miss someone because they weren’t on my personal radar.
> 
> Chris
> 
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