U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: vernis soehnee

Re: vernis soehnee

On Thu, 9 Aug 2007, Christina Z. Anderson wrote:

However Puyo and Demachy published a book in 1906 (Photo Club de Paris) titled en francais "Art Processes in Photography." I translated some of the introduction (with help !) also in Post-Factory #1, tho as I recall the book did a number of processes, including oil printing. Don't know if it's been printed in English in its entirety, but I just loved the introduction.
Yeah, I have it here, the whole book--luckily I can read French, but that one is a long one.
Oh yeah, I can "read French" too -- but that "French" was a semi-archaic form used, I was told, for things like art/classics/old timey French culture. A student of mine had a specialized dictionary for that era/art/style, which helped, but even the limited amount we translated was slow going. Still, I found the ideas and expression fascinating. As I said in my introduction (on the previous page) this was where "printing gum in a soft blurry fashion began -- in ideas about the nature of art, not in any necessity of 'nature of the medium,' as so many of our modern books and articles would have it......" etc.

Today we have so many gum printers who can make gum prints as sharp as, say, platinum, we tend to forget that until relatively recently it was axiomatic (as in the Photographer's Formulary catalog not so long ago) that "gum can't do fine detail."

I also quoted Lincoln Kirstein, who said about gum printing:

"In the swampy margin of the half-arts, the wallowing of painter-photographer and photographer-painter has spawned probably the most odious and humorous objects in the lexicon of our disdain." [From a catalog essay for a MoMA show of Walker Evans, 1938.]

During the recent rhapsodies about Lincoln Kirstein (100th anniversary of his birth, or similar milestone) and his support of ballet in America, I kept waiting for someone to quote those lines, but was disappointed.