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100 Photographers from the East in Lausanne, 2 (1990)

Most of us in the West — even Western Europeans — simply have no idea of what it has meant to be Eastern European in this century, for even those who lived there are only now able to acknowledge it. There’s a long period of reeducation ahead for all of us; and the paper trail we’ll have to follow is strewn not only with sheets bearing the written word but with photographs of all kinds, like these. […]

100 Photographers from the East in Lausanne, 1 (1990)

[Shortly after the Berlin Wall came down in November 1989, the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne, Switzerland, then a relatively new museum specializing in photography, announced an ambitious plan to bring together the works of dozens of eastern European photographers in a massive group show the next summer.

I’d met Charles-Henri Favrod, founding director of […]

Guest Post 8: Bill Ewing on Polaroid at the Musée de l’Elysée

The collection was not put together in the standard way — by curators picking and choosing individual pieces. Photographers gave work in return for free materials, and gave what they felt like giving. It is, frankly, very uneven; there are some great pieces at one end of the spectrum, and some godawful ones at the other. Actually, the best individual works are often by lesser-known or even unknown photographers. The “name” photographers often are represented by lackluster work. […]

Polaroid Collection: Update 24

A most perplexing series of grandiose, self-flattering, and wildly inaccurate statements has appeared in a press release posted at the website of WestLicht Schauplatz für Fotografie in Vienna, the museum that acquired the portion of the former Polaroid Collection designated by the Trustee for the Minneapolis Bankruptcy Court as the “Swiss Assets,” which resided until recently in the holdings of the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne, Switzerland. My concern remains the issuance of false and misleading statements that, inevitably, go viral and contaminate the knowledge base. […]

Polaroid Collection: Done Deals

There were no bids made on the photographs still at Sotheby’s. This cluster, named the “Sotheby’s Assets” by the court, had a minimum bid figure of $556,750 during the earlier bidding period. It’s my understanding that this lot includes some 685 works, among them the ones withdrawn just prior to the auction due to the campaign to stop the auction, those that went unsold at the auction, and presumably some others brought down from storage in Somerville to Sotheby’s in anticipation of the auction but for various reasons not included therein. […]