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In the Spirit of Fellowship (1985)

The dialogue which currently is most bitter but which promises to be most fruitful is that which engages the more specific question of how public monies for the arts should be allocated. Often foolish, dependably acrimonious, the interchange on this subject at least addresses matters more substantive. The hottest area of this debate — hottest, perhaps, because those under fire are those whose job is arguing in public over issues of art — is the Art Critics Fellowship program of the NEA. […]

Alternate History: Robert Capa and Time/Life (2)

So TIME/LIFE has made a slow-motion but dramatic about-face, going from studiously ignoring the myth of the London darkroom disaster at its public birthing in Charles Wertenbaker’s 1944 book and Capa’s certifying it in his 1947 memoir to enthusiastically promulgating it seven decades later. […]

Alternate History: Robert Capa and Time/Life (1)

Capa resigned his lucrative staff position at LIFE in January 1947 to go freelance once more. He may have made that choice in part so as not to bite the hand that fed him when his fictionalized memoir, “Slightly Out of Focus,” came out that fall, with its first formal, on-the-record claim directly from him that the magazine’s London staff had ruined his D-Day films. […]

APAG Seminar 2015

The most important points I took away from the weekend are these: To make anything happen with a private archive, you need to know what you have. Thus taking inventory, and thereby getting familiar with the materials so you can locate and retrieve them, becomes the necessary first step. Second, to borrow a concept from general systems theory, you have to convert it from a heap to a whole, establishing some kind of order. […]

“Why I’m Saying No To This New Arbus Book” (1995)

[In the fall of 1995 I received a review copy of the new Diane Arbus monograph, Untitled, just published by Aperture. Planning to review it, I sought answers to several legal and structural questions its production and publication raised. Becoming suspicious when I proved unable to get satisfactory answers — indeed, any answers at all […]