There was a time, the early 70s, when a small list, your teachers and fellow students could get you to a large world of artists. Not the entire world, but certainly a grand sampling. Ask 3 people to introduce you to another few people, who introduce you, who help even more, until – BAM, a contact list. Just 3 months work… it could be done again, only the names would be different.
Bob Flick;Joel Meyerowitz; Van Deren Coke; Joe Deal; Ron Walker; Lee Witkin; Al Sweetman; Don Drowty; Ellen Brooks; Dennis Hearne; Elaine Mayes; Bart Parker; Larry Sultan; Ed West; Arthur Siegel;Leonard Freed; Margery Mann; Harry Callahan; Gary Metz; Peter Gowland; Ansel Adams; Ed Ruscha; Grace Mayer; Mike Mandel; Harold Allen; Laura Gilpin; Hank Smith; Anne Tucker; Phil Perkis; Michael Simon; Bill Owens; Manuel Bravo; Nathan Lyons; Bill Arnold; Jim Hajicek; Les Krims; Joyce Neimanas; Judy Dater; Al Coleman; Ira Nowinski; Jack Welpott; Linda Parry; Burke Uzzle; Jim Dow; Dave Freund; Todd Walker; Catherine Jansen; Eva Rubinstein; Eddie Sievers; Minor White; Michael Becotte; Fred McDarrah; Richard Link; Betty Hahn; Nick Hlobeczy; Bob Cumming;Ken Josephson; Naomi Savage; John Divola; Tom Barrow; Carl Chiarenza; Bea Nettles; Roger Mertin; John Benson; Cal Kowal; Aaron Siskind; R. von Sternberg; Paige Pinnell; Arthur Tress; Jacob Deschin; Linda Connor; Don Blumbeing; Jim Alinder; Harold Jones; M.J. Walker; Bill Parker; Al Woolpert; Duke Baltz; Gus Kayafas;Duane Michals; Darryl Curran; Arnold Newman; Geoff Winningham; Paul Vanderbilt; Anne Noggle; Timo Pajunen;Edmund Teske; Imogen Cunningham; Andy Anderson; Bill Larson; Pete Bunnell; Robert Doherty; Joe Jachna; Oscar Bailey; Jerry Uelsmann; Art Sinsabaugh; Charles Roitz; Doug Stewart; Chuck Swedlund; Bill Edwards; Bobby Heinecken; Micha Bar-Am; Beaumont Newhall; Wynn Bullock; Jerry McMillan; John Schulze; Neal Slavin; Lee Rice; Joan Lyons; Bill Jenkins; Fred Sommer; Barbara Crane; Emmet Gowin; Barbara Morgan; Mark Power; Cornell Capa; Lionel Suntop; Bunny Yeager; Doug Prince; Eileen Cowin; Eve Sonneman; Reg Heron; Scott Hyde;Conrad Pressma; John Szarkowski; Bill Eggleston; Mike Bishop; Bob Fichter; Liliane DeCock; Tom Porett; Arnold Crane; Arnold Gassan; Elliott Erwitt; Len Gittleman;
Many are gone. Most aren’t even remembered, yet at one time they were the time.
Post, expanded —
(8/27/17) … In an online world, experts like to block, to maintain their own value, self-appraisal. I have this blog, others choose to hold forth in sponsored forums. One person asked a question of me about the above, which I thought I’d prefaced correctly with the (now bolded section). Anyway, his question:
“What is the source of your list?” (Merg Ross)
He may not be expert blocking. I don’t know. Rather than answer back on that forum, I’ll expand here just a bit.
I began photography seriously by learning dye transfer. After just a few weeks of training, I was making airbrushed separation negatives; reading every scrap of information I could. These first efforts were in technique, the same thing every learning does – get the elementary done; collect all the elements you can handle. In doing that, I noticed that the Kodak materials were not complete, even somewhat scattered, or even outright wrong. What should be done? I contacted Kodak. Made a call to the main switchboard. After a few transfers, I got hold of a woman who had written some of the dataguides. Jeanette was the first person I spoke to who knew the famous. And she was generous with introductions. Like many structural keepers, she shared easily after qualification. She told me about Henry Holmes Smith at Indiana. I visited him, but didn’t feel that school was my path…not at that stage. I was a working commercial photographer able to set my own schedule; able to make any pictures I wanted on my time.
Then (a few years on) came my draft notice. I went. I returned. My DEROS was to Oakland Terminal in the middle of the night I was ‘exited.’ With cash in hand I went into San Francisco.
The next morning, I walked to a camera store to get supplies, which they didn’t have; however, the counter clerk told me about Adolph Gasser out on Geary Boulevard. It was there that I met Gene Saunders, the salesman who sold me my enlarger. He also told me about a new gallery that was exclusively photography.
Focus Gallery on Union Street was a haven for the world of photographers. Helen Head Johnson was the keeper. I showed her some of my dye transfers. She began introducing me to people, and suggested I check out SFAI since I had the GI bill and no real job. She told me to be certain to talk to Margery Mann.
I did. I enrolled. I got an MFA. The program was small, some of my fellow students were Larry Sultan, Mike Mandel, Harry Bowers, Adal Maldonado …
Oh, one other thing: a friend from the Army days worked for the phone company at Pine/Bush with something called ESS. He had access to every phone in the US. Everyone who had a phone, he had their address. Sweet. So, for awhile, I published something called the Contact Sheet – an address book for fine artists who wanted to connect.