Friday, August 11, 2006

Charles W. Cushman Photograph Collection

Charles W. Cushman... Kite Flying Along South Main Street (Feb. 1940, Tucson, AZ). From the Charles W. Cushman Photograph Collection at the Indiana University Archives. "...Packing his car with camera, lenses, and film, his tripod, his notebooks and - often as not - his first wife, Jean (who was not, to judge from the expression on her face in Cushman's occasional carside portraits, always a happy traveling companion), this extraordinary amateur photographer pursued a life on the road, and in the streets, of mid-twentieth-century America. Whatever its effect upon his marriage, Cushman's peripatetic compulsion did result in a remarkable gift to future historians, photography lovers, and students of Americana. For here, framed through the lens of his Contax IIA camera, saturated in almost embarrassingly vivid colors, springs to life a world that we had long since resigned ourselves to viewing only in shades of gray. The America that we thought we knew, whether through the self-conscious artistic starkness of the images of Berenice Abbott and Walker Evans or through the polished middle-brow poses of Look and Life, is revealed as being but the shadow of a world no less full and tangible than our own. In Cushman's work the past becomes, for an instant, impossibly present."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

glad to see this archive is still making the rounds. those interested might want to read my thoughts on the Cushman collection I blogged a few years ago:


9:20 AM  
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8:07 PM  

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