Neal Rantoul on artists-in-residencies.

What is that? A “residency” as an artist? Where are they, how do you find out about them and how do you apply for one?

Artists-in-residencies are all over the world and come in numerous flavors, from out right grants where all expenses are paid and living conditions are first class to much more modest situations that involve teaching or that don’t provide any reimburse-ment for expenses.  But one thing that all have in common is that they are set up to be places where you can make your work in relative peace.

The best place to find out about residencies is currently at Artist Res (, which provides a list of over 400 residencies worldwide.

The site can also be helpful in getting to the application, knowing its deadline and so on.

My personal experience with residencies goes back now over thirty years. They have been invaluable in my career in helping fund projects, giving me a place to live while photographing somewhere, and supporting my efforts as an artist.  Let me list a few examples. My first was in Highlands, North Carolina in the 80’s over an extended spring break in March from where I taught in Boston. It was at the Appalachian Environmental Art Center. The residency was for photographers only. I was its only resident, the place was closed and no one was there the whole time.  Its director was away but had left me a note and the keys to get in. I had a whole house to myself, cooked my own meals, used the extensive darkrooms to develop my film and print my work. I photographed daily, sometimes driving some distance to explore and make pictures. It was a lonely time but very productive.

I have been three times to the Hambidge Art Center in Rabun Gap, Georgia to be a resident. If a residency is awarded, you are given your own studio building for the duration of your stay, are fed several dinners a week prepared by a chef and are left alone to work. There are seven residencies in each group and Hambidge accepts authors, sculptors, painters, filmmakers, composers, potters, as well as photographers in its make up. For the Hambidge residence you pay a modest amount each week to off set the costs somewhat. By the way, once you have been someplace, many residencies regard you as “alumni” and returning is easy and encouraged.

In 2001 on a fall semester sabbatical from teaching I had a one-month residence at Lightwork in Syracuse, NY right after 9/11. Lightwork is all about photography and most residencies there are one or two people working at a time. You are given a fully equipped apartment, a stipend, and have full access to all of Lightwork’s extensive darkroom and digital facilities, including the highly qualified staff, to help you make your work. Lightwork requests a print or two as a donation to their permanent collection at the end of your stay. They also publish your work in their publication “Contact Sheet”. This is clearly one of the premier residencies.

My most recent residency extends my experiences internationally to Iceland. This past July I was awarded a one-month stay at the Baer Art Center in Hofsos, Iceland.


This one provides all expenses and all meals except your transportation to get there and home again. Beautiful studios, wonderful food and the most amazing location in which to make art I have ever seen. This one is truly wonderful.

Lest you think I write an application and assume to be granted, there are several I have applied to numerous times where I have not been successful. I don’t have a clue why not. Except that artists need to come to terms with rejection, as do all of us. Ever talk to really successful people about this topic? Bet you they will all cite far more failure in life than success. It is how we deal with failure that counts.

What does it take to be awarded a residency? All the ones I have experience with want a CV, some samples of your work and usually three people to recommend you.

While it helps to have a strong track record of previous shows and accomplish-ments, some residencies will make an effort to award younger lesser known artists as a way to bring new ideas and new approaches to the mix of artists accepted.  Very often the residence wants to bring a group of artists together that when interacting, form a dynamic or at least is sympathetic. If this works, sometimes people will collaborate on projects, or, for example, a composer might write something to go along with a visual artist’s piece and so on.

What does the residence want in return for giving you their time and space? Most often, nothing. This is difficult for most outside this system to understand. Some will have an “Open House” at the end of the residency, where the local community is invited in to see what the residents have done. Often the artists will decide among themselves to have “studio viewings”, usually after dinner each evening where residents will meet at a studio to see work in progress or perhaps a slide show of an artist’s work. Some residencies will state that they want a piece made while there for their permanent collection, although this is in no way universal. But this is a system put in place primarily by individual non-profits as a way to support artists and the arts in general. Practically, this how much art and creative output is made.

Before I finish, there are a few more points that need be made. One is that the interaction between residents is often as important as the work made while there.

This can be tremendously rewarding, to be looking at work while it’s being made, discussing theory or influences over a meal or a glass of wine, citing examples or showing others’ work and so on. Another is that this is an affirming process, to be awarded a residence means that someone or some group deemed your work worthy and awarded your past accomplishments with the time and space to make new work. This raises the bar on you and the other residents to be active, to make work, to produce new work from new ideas while in residence. People don’t screw off much while on one of these. The time away from the day-to-day pressures and deadlines of family and friends, day jobs and commitments is too precious to squander. A residence is time away from this and therefore it is cherished and valued. So many of us squeeze art into our lives, make it when there is time, or can’t fully commit due to the need to work. But a residency is the affirmation that you are an artist and have been awarded the time, place and freedom to make your work. This can throw people at first, long days and nights with no pressure, no requirement to do anything, no one making you feel guilty for being in your studio or work place. Imagine this dream coming true for a month or so. What would you do?

I encourage you to apply to a residency. But be careful, there is no general rule that these are all going to be good experiences. Try to get to speak to or email someone who’s already been where you are applying. Look carefully at where it is. As photographers this becomes even more important for us as we are often reliant upon our location to make our work.

Note: The Baer Art Center in Iceland is not having residencies in 2014 but will start up again in 2015.

The facts:
Neal Rantoul is a career artist/photographer/teacher with over forty years of experience of teaching photography and exhibiting his work. He is a professor emeritus fromNortheastern University, where he retired in 2012. He now devotes his full time to making pictures and working to increase awareness of his work to a national and international audience. He lives in Cambridge, MA and his site is:

Photo: © Neal Rantoul. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.

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Bryan Schutmaat

I am very impressed with the color work of Bryan Schutmaat, particularly the series titled “Grays the Mountain Sends”.

From Bryan’s website:

“Grays the Mountain Sends

This project combines portraits, landscapes, and still lifes in a series of photos that explores the lives of working people
residing in small mountain towns and mining communities in the American West. Equipped with a large format view
camera, and inspired by the poetry of Richard Hugo, I’ve aimed to hint at narratives and relay the experiences of strangers
met in settings that spur my own emotions. Ultimately, this body of work is a meditation on small town life, the landscape,
and more importantly, the inner landscapes of common men.


You can see more of Bryan’s work here.
Photo: © Bryan Schutmaat. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.

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Rahi Rezvani

I found these hauntingly beautiful photographs by Rahi Rezvani on the web. I’m impressed by Ravi’s strong, simple compositions and his haunting use of color.

I’m not sure I understand all of it, but here is a little background on Rahi from his website:

The fantasy work ‘Rahi Rezvani’ is willful, but not stubborn and self-assumed. Without being based on the theories of the twentieth century and the various accompanying ideas, it corresponds harmoniously with a similar path in another way. It is based on the principals and systems of visual art.

It appears as if he is taking a ‘detour’, and not along the historical process of predecessors in the Art, but his creations belong to an exception, even along an extraordinary and unusual way. The result remains an exception, uniform and in harmony with the rules.

The expertise of Rahi Rezvani in the other genres of the Art is another motive for his visual strength: portraits, fashion, still lives, realistic scenes: Wonderful to interpret. He speaks the language of comparison and allegory. The scene is fantasy. Space is fantasy. Colour is fantasy. The composition is fantasy. Everything is fantasy. But there is no place for lies and forgeries. It is false, but not a lie. He has nothing to do with ‘reproduction’ based on the ideas of Aristotle on the imitation of nature, or with ‘speculation’. He has his own interpretation of portraying his fantasy. A picture which is not present in time – as in a story -, but in space.


You can see more of Rahi’s work here.
Photo: © Rahi Rezvani. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.

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Photographer Eirik Johnson didn’t travel far to find the subject of this terrific series.

From Eirik’s website:
For two years I spent my early mornings walking the streets of my neighborhood of West Oakland. It is a place steeped in history and diversity, from ship workers to blues musicians, Portuguese fishmongers to Black Panthers. Yet, as freeways were built and factories moved in, the neighborhood was bisected from the rest of the city, left isolated and marginalized by many. Over my many walks through West Oakland, I began to find intimate moments of strange beauty and ritual born out of the neighborhood’s very isolation.


From Eirik’s bio:
Seattle-based photographer and mixed-media artist Eirik Johnson has exhibited his work at spaces including the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, and the Aperture Foundation in New York.  He has received numerous awards including the 2012 Neddy at Cornish Award in Open Medium, a Massachusetts Cultural Council Grant in 2009, the Santa Fe Prize in 2005, and a William J. Fulbright Grant to Peru in 2000.  His work is in the permanent collections of institutions including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Seattle Art Museum, and the George Eastman House, Rochester, NY.  His second monograph Sawdust Mountain was published by Aperture in 2009. His first bookBorderlands was published by Twin Palms Press in 2005.

Johnson’s editorial work has appeared in publications including the New York Times Magazine, Metropolis, Dwell, Audubon, GQ, and the Wall Street Journal.
Johnson is currently a visiting faculty at the University of Washington, Cornish College of the Arts, and the Photography Center Northwest.

Photo: © Eirik Johnson. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.
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Martin Usborne’s color portraits

From Martin’s website:

Martin’s key interest is man’s relationship to (other) animals. Although his imagery is sometimes dark – capturing the way in which we silence, control or distance ourselves from other animals – his pictures strive for a subtle humour.

Martin often undertakes editorial or commercial commissions and his work is regularly featured in international magazines and has been seen in group and solo shows around the world as well as in the National Portrait Gallery London. He has had four books published.

Martin lives and works in London. He studied philosophy and psychology and then 3D animation before finally settling on photography.

He is currently spending a year to see how many animals he can save in 365 days. Read the ongoing blog here. He hopes for this to become his next book.


Photo: © Martin Usborne. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.
There is much more to see and read on - The Classiest photography blog on the web


A Couple of Comments About Portfolio Review Events

I recently spent a weekend in Boston at the New England Portfolio Reviews. My good friend Paula Tognarelli of the Griffin Museum and I ran the reviews years ago when I served as Executive Director of the PRC. So, whenever Paula asks me to serve as a reviewer, I am more than happy to oblige.

A photographer I have known for many years drove up from New York City to attend the event. It was the first time he had his work reviewed at a portfolio review event. Over lunch, I asked him for his impressions. He said, “It reminds me of kindergarten, everyone is running around like their hair is on fire.” It’s true; there is generally a great deal of hyper activity during the event.

As usual, I saw a wide variety of work on many different levels of sophistication. Many of the people I reviewed (like my friend from New York City) were attending for the first time.

Since the weekend, I’ve been thinking about what kind of advice I could give to photographers that may be planning to attend their first review event. Here are a couple of thoughts. It’s a short list and it’s in no particular order. I’m sure if you asked the other reviewers, they would have more than a few of their own.

Finish all of your homework
Do a little research on your reviewers. It makes for a better review if you know something about the reviewer’s background. I’m sure you will better understand my comments about your work when you know a little bit about my history. I learned this incredibly valuable lesson during my 30+ years presenting advertising concepts to potential clients. You can never know too much about your audience.

Don’t follow me into the men’s room
Don’t laugh, it has happened. I appreciate that you want to maximize your investment, but approaching reviewers during breaks will not win you any extra points. Most review events book reviewers with a very, very full schedule. We need a bit of breathing room after each review to reset our brains.

You shouldn’t argue with me – I’m always right
You paid a fee to hear the reviewer’s perspective on your work, and the review time goes by very fast. I may not be right, but at least have an open mind. And, oh yes, take notes.

Please, please work hard on your craft
Only about 20% of the prints I reviewed were exhibition quality prints. If I recommended that you take a printing workshop, do it. It means that even if I were knocked out by your work, I would not be able to include it in an exhibition. The prints just didn’t come up to exhibition quality.

I consult with photographers on a regular basis about portfolio development and there are a large number of additional points I could include. These four were taken from the notes I made during the review event.

In the photo below, Jo Sandman is having her recent work reviewed by Dalia H. Linssen PhD. I’ve been a huge fan of Jo’s work for many years. Her work is totally unique. You can see more Jo’s incredible work here.


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“Harold Feinstein: A Retrospective” wins PDN best photo book of 2013 award

I  (Jim Fitts, Head Photoweenie) am very proud to announce that a recent book project I worked on has been chosen by PDN Magazine as one of the best photo books of 2013. The book is Harold Feinstein: A Retrospective.

To complete the book took several years of dedicated work, and a terrific team. Jason Landry, Phillip Prodger, and, of course, Harold and the Feinstein Dream Team (Judith and Cherie) were the core drivers of the project.

PDN best photo book 2013The story behind how it came about is quite unique and I wrote about it in my foreword to the book.

“I’m driving back from Merrimac, Massachusetts to my home in Boston and my head is swimming. I’ve just seen hundreds (perhaps it was thousands) of prints and contact sheets taken by a photographer that until a few months ago I knew nothing about.

The photographer’s name is Harold Feinstein.

Is Harold’s work as remarkable as I think it is? Are the photos as important as I think they are? How can I insure that people get to see them?

I’ve collected fine art photography for over 40 years and I think my judgment of quality is pretty sound, but I’m smart enough to know that it’s prudent to have someone you trust confirm your opinion. One week later I am back in Merrimac looking at Harold’s black and white prints with the one friend whose eye I trust emphatically.

This time, on the drive back to Boston, both our heads are swimming. It turns out we both saw the same brilliant qualities in Harold’s work.

A few years have passed and a dedicated team of Harold’s admirers has worked hard to put together the book you are holding. This book is not meant to be an all-inclusive catalog of Harold’s six decades of black and white work – it would take a much larger and heavier volume to accomplish that – but we hope that these 80 images will give you a sense of the wonder and inspiration we see at the heart of Harold’s work.”

A select number of Harold’s images will be in the Summer Salon exhibition in the private room at Panopticon Gallery from July 12 – September 10th.  They also have a limited supply of signed copies of Harold Feinstein: A Retrospective.

You can see the entire list of PDN’s best photo books of 2013 here.
You can see a list of this year’s judges here.
You can purchase a copy of the book here.
You can see more of Harold’s work here.

The facts:
TitleHarold Feinstein: A Retrospective
PublisherNazraeli Press
Creative Team: Jim Fitts, Jason Landry (Panopticon Gallery) and Chris Pichler (Nazraeli Press)

There is much more to see and read on - The Classiest photography blog on the web

Rick Ashley introduces Superman to Inges, Manet, Sargent, and Hopper

A Question of Identity

Sometimes (very rarely in my case) you see work that stops you in your tracks. That is exactly what happened when I first saw Rick Ashley’s work he creates with his brother-in-law. The images certainly provoke a strong immediate response, but immediate responses can be incorrect. Work this broad and complex can be easily misunderstood.

It took a while for me to wrap my head around it. The best work takes time to digest.

I have the good fortune to know Rick and to see how the work has evolved over time. It is challenging and important work and I am very pleased that Panopticon Gallery in Boston is featuring it in their current exhibition.

I highly suggest that you get to the gallery if you can, and if you can’t be sure to check out more of the work on Rick’s website.


I got the chance to ask Rick a few questions about the work.
PW:  Where to start? There is so much to discuss about the work. I’ve been very interested in finding out what was the impetus for the series. What was the thought process that led you decide to work with Michael?
RA: The idea for the series was planted while preparing to teach a course on portrait photography. The boss made the comment that to create great portraits “all you needed to know was how to pose the subject”. This seed of an idea grew into my creating a compendium of “bad” photographic poses. The problem was how to examine such conventions without just creating more “bad” portraits. Michael was my answer.
Michael is my brother-in-law, and we have been making photographs together since 1975. This project began 4 years ago and continues to evolve in ways I never anticipated. I chose Michael as I hoped the disconnect between these pretentious poses and someone with Downs Syndrome would bring attention to the superficial nature of posing specifically, and the inability to know anything about anyone in a portrait generally. To my surprise, the resulting photographs did not reveal pretentious poses, but instead different Michaels: the author, the jock, the hipster, etc. What the poses failed to do on others, they did to Michael to such an extent that his mother was amazed at the transformation, once commenting that ‘he almost looks normal”. My guess is that this occurs as Michael has no agenda, no image of self that needs to be presented. Michael is fully engaged in the process. He sits, puts his hands where I ask, and looks where I ask him to or he doesn’t as Michael doesn’t do what he doesn’t want to. The resulting photographs, which were based on photographic conventions, were then emailed to China where they were hand painted onto canvas, as painting is the original maker of myths.
PW:  Why the shift to Superman photographs?
RA: The Superman photographs evolved from my research into the history of portraiture from the Renaissance forward as many photographic cliches find their genesis in painting. The subjects of these formal portraits were dressed in their finest attire illustrating their status as surrounding props gave clues to their character and achievement. Most of these superman photographs find their compositional style and motifs in the works of Inges, Manet, Sargent, and Hopper. These photographs remain as photographs as their inspiration comes from painting. Other photographs in the series explore public relations and editorial motifs for presenting character.
These photographs and paintings were created to explore issues of artifice and identity, and to see if Michael and I could make interesting pictures together. The artist presents and the observer interprets, interprets what is seen in personal terms, adding meaning to the work. The more ambiguous the greater freedom for interpretation.
PW: I think the unique strength of the work is that it transcends conventional fine art photography boundaries. Due to the fact that the work incorporates a multiplicity of media, what has been the reaction from the photo community?
RAWhen I first showed some of the painted portraits in Boston, Houston, and Santa Fe, most everyone was intrigued and interested in seeing more. In my opinion much of this was due to the fact that the photographs had been sent to China to be painted, perhaps a new mode of photographic representation or just another gimmick. It was not until I added the Superman photographs to the project that the work hit a nerve. Suddenly I was being asked: “Do you feel like you are taking advantage of Michael?” and to paraphrase another: “you are receiving this reaction because you don’t portray Michael as the person he is and while the photos of Michael may be ones he loves they aren’t positive portrayals that assist in breaking down walls of prejudice against those with developmental disabilities”. Symbols, even ones with unexpected consequences, are charged with great power and influence our perceptions irrespective of their validity.
This is not the forum to examine the assumptions and positions of those opposed to Michael being portrayed in his superman suit, but let me end with this. My father contracted polio at the time I was born. My formative years were spent with a father that had use of his left arm and right hand and could breath without assistance for only a few hours a day. He was a brilliant and strong man who had served in WWII later receiving his MBA from the Wharton School, and then from a wheel chair he ran an automobile dealership and insurance company never once complaining about his condition. As a child I continually watched people judge my father based on what they saw and the assumptions they made about him based on that information. What was true about my father is true of Michael and for that matter the rest of us.
As for the multiplicity of media in this body of work (photographs, painting, etched glass, and debit cards thus far), the choices evolved through the exploration of the idea not the decision to create a group of photographs. Ideally when this work is shown in its entirety, paintings will hang next to photographs and superman will hang next to the man in a sports coat so that each successive bit of presumed knowledge is negated by the next piece, leaving the viewer with a multitude of identities presented in various media whose only real commonality is Michael, and that in the end we know nothing without meeting Michael and getting to know him in person.
PW: I have to ask, where are you planning to take the work from here?
RA: Cleveland.

The facts:
Dress Up:
 Photographs by Keiko Hiromi, Atelieri O. Haapala,
 Eileen Clynes and Rick Ashley

Additional Exhibitions: New England School of Photography group exhibition 
Curated by Stephen Sheffield and William Scully – 
Emerging Artist
Panopticon Gallery in Boston
May 15 through July 9th
502c Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
Phone: 617-267-8929

To see more of Ricks work, click here.
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Guest Contributor Neal Rantoul On Art In Photography

Art in Photography… Showing: Gal­leries, Museums and Elsewhere

Here I am on Photoweenie, which is a real honor. Some of you may know my work or my blog which resides at: I have also been on Lenscratch a couple of times and I wrote a short piece on working aerially for Luminous Landscape recently and then, as these things go, it was picked up by dpreview.

At any rate, I wanted to write here about showing; galleries, museums and all things art in photography. Am I qualified? With over 50 shows over my career and two up right now in the Boston area (Panopticon Gallery and the Danforth Museum) I at least can speak from experience as to what to expect and what you get.


Almost always less than what you need, to coin a phrase from the Rolling Stones song.

Simply put, that if you expect fame, fortune and critical acclaim for getting your work shown you may not be living on this planet. Does it happen? Yes, I suppose it does. As an example, when the Starn Twins burst upon the art scene in the eighties, there was a flurry of activity and excitement. Or earlier when Diane Arbus emerged in New York in the seventies. Her work was clearly a break through for the medium and for women too. But it is rare and mostly art trudges along as a somewhat lower level of activity with artists working hard, producing new work, galleries and museums paying occasional attention to some or all of it, then moving on to the next person’s work and so on. There is real value in perseverance, of being out there with good work again and again with a proven track record. Even the heroes in our field, the Lee Friedlanders, the Bruce Davidsons, the Sally Manns and the Emmet Gowins have to keep plugging away, need to show new work that is alive and visceral, work that reinvigorates the concept of who they are in the discipline while being respectful of where they’ve come from. The appetite for new work is, of course, large but there is also some baggage inherent in being someone with an established career. By this I mean that often a well known artist is well known for something they’ve done practically in an earlier former life. This can be hard when he/she is disillusioned with that work and seeks to be known for a completely different kind of work they are doing now.

Regional Verses National
Most art is shown and made regionally. By this I mean that most artists have a regional fan base and their work seldom goes national or global. Most will get a show or be in a show somewhere else from where they live but it seldom amounts to much. Galleries particularly are susceptible to this, large museums less so. Some art markets sit way outside this definition, of course. New York is at the top of this list, but other large cities fit into this as well. In those markets I would bet that being local could even be a liability and for certain it makes it really difficult for the new and mostly young local talent to get noticed in such a large sphere.

As a for instance, it was always almost impossible to get any traction with work in the Boston area, if you lived there. I believe this is less of an issue now than when I was younger in the 70’s and 80’s but it certainly was true in my case. One popular tactic was to get your work shown successfully in New York so that you could bring it back to Boston because you were now an established artist.

Galleries and Museums
Of all the avenues for getting one’s work out I believe galleries are the most fluid and adaptable, flexible and enterprising. Galleries are, after all, small businesses and they are trying to compete in a large market that requires real enterprising business acumen. Museums, on the other hand, are slow, large behemoths that move at a glacial pace and do not take chances often. There are exceptions of course, as in when the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston chose to show the photographer Herb Ritts. This was by all accounts ridiculous as Ritts was a high-end advertising photographer with little credibility in the art world.

Group Shows Verses Solo Shows
There is another line of distinction that needs looking at. Representation of work in a group show verses having a one person show. All younger artists do this, submit work for group shows. Some more well established artists do as well but I think of this as more of a placeholder than something that furthers a career. By this I mean that if the show is in a category that is your own stock in trade, so to speak, then it would unconscionable for your work to not be represented in that show. As a younger artist one of the ways that my work was different and known was that I photographed in black and white infrared. For my work to not be shown in a survey that looked at contemporary black and white infrared photography would be bad and could cause my career some damage.

Solo shows are better, of course, particularly if where you are shown in a “one person” is an excellent gallery, at a good time of year, with good publicity and a gallery backing you and your work every step of the way. But even a show in a restaurant or a bar that is only your work, has clear advantages in that you can list it as a one person show, you can Facebook and Twitter it as one and you can email your friends and contacts about it.

“Do You Know”
Specifically, getting your art shown is a “do you know” game, meaning that places that might be likely to show your work aren’t gong to if they don’t know you or have only met you at an opening or in passing. This is where the cold call comes in, taking the initiative to establish a working relationship with those that you want to show your work. Rebuffed, turned down, blown off, told to try again in six months or a year? Suck it up, do try again if possible but be okay about moving on to plan B, whatever that may be. If you do get a chance to show your portfolio, congratulations, you have crossed a very large hurdle.

As a young artist I’d had some initial success getting my paintings exhibited and sold in galleries but when I switched over to photography full time, galleries didn’t seem very interested in my work. This did upset me but artists need to have thick skins. I just moved laterally, to places that would show my work. In early days I had considerable success showing my work in academic galleries. I had one man shows at Harvard, MIT, Hampshire College, Dartmouth and so on. All those places and most other schools have galleries or small museums and need a constant flow of work to hang on their walls. Would my work sell? Seldom. Would the school pay for the framing or my travel? No. Would the show get reviewed by a major newspaper? No. Was it worth it? Yes.

As I said when I started out: You seldom get as much as you need. But you might get the satisfaction that you got your work up, that people saw it and thought about and perhaps were enlightened, enriched, affected, moved, concerned and impressed by it.

That may just be good enough.

The facts:
Neal Rantoul is a career artist/photographer/teacher with over forty years of experience of teaching photography and exhibiting his work. He is a professor emeritus from Northeastern University, where he retired in 2012. He now devotes his full time to making pictures and working to increase awareness of his work to a national and international audience. He lives in Cambridge, MA and his site is:

As always, there is much more to see and read on


The Russian Empire of Czar Nicholas II

In 1909, Russian chemist and photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) set out on a journey to capture all of Russia in color on behalf of Czar Nicholas II. One of the early pioneers of color photography, Prokudin-Gorskii systematically documented the vast empire with the unprecedented technique he had developed—a method in which he used color-sensitive glass plates—decades before the widespread availability of color film. His color images were not only meant to document the diverse citizens, ethnicities, settlements, folklore, and landscapes of a vast empire, but to create nothing less than a common identity for its populace.

 Prokudin-Gorskii’s know-how and his skilled eye make his images especially vibrant and timeless. A century later, they have not lost any of their original beauty and intensity.


Over 250 of these early masterpieces of color photography, which have recently been laboriously restored by the Library of Congress, will be also showcased in the exhibition “Nostalgia”, and shown in Europe for the first time at Gestalten Space.

Just the facts:

Nostalgia – The Russian Empire of Czar Nicholas II
The Russia of Czar Nicholas II in laboriously restored historical color photographs by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii
Format: 30 x 27 cm
Features: 320 pages, full color, linen hardcover, landscape format
Language: English
Price: $88.00
More information about the book here.


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