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Collection

Aaron Siskind photographs of Harlem, circa 1933-1941 1.0 Linear Foot — 1 box — 28 photographic prints — Print versos are marked with legacy identifiers, titles and dates assigned by former owners, and other notes.

Aaron Siskind (1903-1991) was an American photographer and faculty member of the Chicago Institute of Design and Rhode Island School of Design. Collection consists of 28 black-and-white signed prints by Siskind, documenting life in New York City's Harlem neighborhoods from about 1933 to 1941. The images form part of two projects, "Harlem document" and "The most crowded block in the world," and feature portraits of African American men, women, and children; street scenes; images from the Apollo and Lafayette theaters, a night club, and a church; and the interiors and exteriors of tenement buildings. The gelatin silver prints measure 11x14 inches. Some of the images have two copies in the collection, resulting in 23 unique images represented by 28 prints. Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.

Collection consists of 28 black-and-white photographs taken during the earliest years of Aaron Siskind's career, documenting life and conditions in New York City's Harlem neighborhoods from about 1933 to 1941. The majority of the images feature portraits of African American men, women, and children in various settings: on the street; in the Apollo and Lafayette theaters; in a night club; taking part in a church service; playing around abandoned houses; and posing in bedrooms, kitchens, and other interior rooms of tenement buildings. A few images focus only on buildings or outdoor settings.

Siskind included these and other images in two photo projects in which he played a central role: "Harlem document" and "The most crowded block in the world." "Harlem document" was sponsored by the Photo League of New York. The second project unfolded from about 1939 to 1941 after Siskind left the Photo League; to a large extent, this project carried on his work of documenting street life in Harlem.

The gelatin silver prints in this collection are all signed by Siskind. They all measure 11x14 inches, with the image dimensions ranging from 9 1/8 x 8 3/4 to 11 3/4 x 9 7/5 inches. The year these particular prints were created is unknown. Some of the images have two copies in the collection, resulting in 23 unique images represented by 28 prints. Library staff assigned titles and original negative dates according to original negatives donated by Siskind to the Eastman House; some titles are not known. Titles assigned by a former collector, sometimes present on the back of the prints, are also given in a note field in the entry for each print.

Collection
Seven mounted photographs and five pamphlets from the Abortion Rights Association of New York, later known as the Abortion Rights Association, Inc., dating between 1972 and 1974. Pamphlets explain abortion procedures, clinic and physician guidelines, and women's rights to abortion, largely designed to address and implement the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade. Photographs (which contain captions) include black-and-white images of tools used in self-induced abortions; coroner's office photographs of deceased women following self-induced abortions; morgue photographs of infanticide victims; and images of fetuses in utero.

Collection consists of a set of seven mounted photographs, apparently intended for exhibition, and a set of five pro-choice pamphlets created by the Abortion Rights Association of New York (later known as Abortion Rights Association, Inc.). The photographs include coroner's office photographs of deceased women following self-inflicted abortions; morgue photographs of infanticides; equipment and tools used in self-inflicted abortions; and fetuses in utero, one with deformed brain. Author of the included captions is unknown. The pamphlets, written to assist New York physicians and practioners implementing the Supreme Court Roe v. Wade ruling, address women's rights to clinical abortions, abortion laws, counseling and guidance on policies, and references to New York abortion clinics and practitioners.

Collection

Activating the Archive student projects collection, 2015 0.5 Linear Feet — 1 box; 7 computer files; 10.6 Gigabyte

Creative projects produced by students in Activating the Archive: Archival Research as Documentary Practice, DOCST 316-01 / 716-01 / ARTVIS 316-01 / VMS 314S-01, taught by Lisa McCarty in the Rubenstein Library in the Fall of 2015. Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Art (Duke University).

Materials have been arranged by student name.

Collection

Alen MacWeeney photographs, 1962-1986, bulk 1965 .5 Linear Feet — 1 box — 14 prints — The prints all measure approximately 13x18 inches; image sizes vary and are given in the inventory. All sizes given are rounded up to the nearest 1/8 of an inch.

Collection comprises fourteen black-and-white inkjet prints of photographs taken in Ireland by Alen MacWeeney, chiefly in 1965. Locations include counties Donegal, Galway, Kerry, Limerick, and Sligo, and the city of Dublin. Portraits of individuals and families, as well as some of animals, coexist with depopulated, dramatic landscapes. The prints measure 13x18 inches. A photobook titled UNDER THE INFLUENCE (2011) which includes these images along with others, accompanied by excerpts of poetry by William B. Yeats, is also held by the Rubenstein Library. Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.

Collection comprises fourteen black-and-white inkjet prints of photographs taken in Ireland by Alen MacWeeney, chiefly in 1965. Locations include counties Donegal, Galway, Kerry, Limerick, and Sligo, and the city of Dublin. Portraits of individuals, including an old man in a field, a Benedictine monk, a woman in a doorway, and a farming family, coexist with depopulated, dramatic landscapes.

The black-and-white inkjet prints are printed on uncoated textured art paper, and measure 13x18 inches. Image sizes range from 6 1/8 x 10 1/4 to 11 1/2 x 10 1/4 inches.

A photobook titled UNDER THE INFLUENCE (2011) which includes these images and others, accompanied by excerpts of poetry by William B. Yeats, is also held by the Rubenstein Library.

Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.

Collection

Amanda Berg photographs, 2014-2015 1.0 Linear Foot — 7 items; 17 x 34.5 inches

Collection comprises seven panoramic color photographs measuring 17 x 34.5 inches, whose central panels portray older women who worked in manufacturing and are now retired or laid off; images set along each side of the portraits feature the sites where they once worked. The images were taken by documentary journalist Amanda Berg in five North Carolina locations - Banner Elk, Fayetteville, Lumberton, Massey Hill, and Newland - in 2014 and 2015. They form part of the multi-artist project "Where we live: a North Carolina portrait." Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.

Collection comprises seven panoramic color photographs measuring 17 x 34.5 inches, whose central panels portray older women who worked in manufacturing and are now retired or laid off; images set along each side of the portraits feature the sites where they once worked. The images were taken by documentary journalist Amanda Berg in five North Carolina locations - Banner Elk, Fayetteville, Lumberton, Massey Hill, and Newland - in 2014 and 2015. They form part of the multi-artist project "Where we live: a North Carolina portrait," funded by the Annenberg Foundation and directed by photographer Alex Harris.

The photographer writes: "As I reflect on the history of documentary photography, my photographs in this exhibition call attention to the evolution of the camera and possibilities of digital art. The resulting panoramas invite the viewer to project their own story into the frame, while considering the relationship between industry, identity, gender, and social mobility in North Carolina."

The collection was acquired as part of the Archives of Documentary Art at Duke University.

Collection

André Kertész photographs, 1919-1984 1.0 Linear Foot — 2 boxes — 31 photographic prints — 8x10 and 11x14 inches

Collection of 31 black-and-white photographs by André Kertész provides a sampling of his compositional styles and topical interests. Taken from 1919 through 1984, the images chiefly feature street scenes from Paris (1920-1984), and several each from Budapest and New York City. There are also two female nude studies from his 1930s series "Distortions," two still lifes, and several landscapes. The majority of the gelatin silver prints are sized 8x10 inches, with four measuring 11x14 inches. On the backs are various markings, including dates and identifying marks by Kertész and others, with many bearing a Kertész estate stamp. Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.

Collection of 31 black-and-white prints by noted photographer André Kertész provides a portfolio representing the full range of his compositional styles and topical interests. Taken from 1919 through the 1980s, the end years of his career, the images chiefly feature street scenes from Paris in the 1920s and 1930s and 1980s, with a few street scenes from Budapest (1919 and 1920), and a handful from New York City from his later years in that city, with one from 1939. There are two photographs from the 1930s series "Distortions," featuring female nudes with distortion effects. Several images include cats and dogs. There are a handful of landscapes with no known location, and two still lifes.

The majority of the prints are sized 8x10 inches, with four measuring 11x14 inches. They bear various markings on the backs, including crop marks, dates, and identifying marks by Kertész and others. All but five are marked with the Kertész estate stamp; several bear the photographer's stamp.

Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.

Collection

Ben Alper photographs, 2013-2014 4.0 Linear Feet — 4 flat boxes (309 color photographs)

Ben Alper is an artist based in North Carolina. His series, An Index of Walking, won the 2015 Archive of Documentary Arts Award for Documentarians Working in North Carolina. An Index of Walking is a yearlong photographic project that explores the enigmatic intersection of memory, place, geography, and perception. Taken along the same daily walk in his neighborhood, the photographs depict the commonplace objects and spaces that comprise what could be any typical suburban area. Alper writes that "My walks have been a vehicle for exploration, contemplation, and looking; they have provided a structure in which to engage with the place in which I currently live." Collection acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts (Duke University).

The Ben Alper Photographs contain his series, An Index of Walking, which won the 2015 Archive of Documentary Arts Award for Documentations Working in North Carolina. This series consists of 309 9x6” color photographs printed on 8 ½ x 11” sheets of Hahnemühle Final Art Pearl paper. Alper included the following abstract about this project:

"An Index of Walking is a yearlong photographic project that explores the enigmatic intersection of memory, place, geography, and perception. Taken along the same daily walk in my neighborhood, the photographs depict the commonplace objects and spaces that comprise what could be any typical suburban area. My walks have been a vehicle for exploration, contemplation, and looking; they have provided a structure in which to engage with the place in which I currently live. Georges Perec coined the term infra-ordinary to characterize the mundane features of everyday life – glass, concrete, utensils, our daily rhythms, the way we spend our time. He advocated for an anthropology of the banal, a method of sorts in which the habitual is scrutinized with intensity. Perec wrote, “We sleep through our lives in a dreamless sleep. But where is our life? Where is our body? Where is our space?”

Time spent with the everyday spaces, objects, and rhythms of daily life reveals a wealth of information, most of which hides in plain sight. What is gleaned is often fragmentary and discrete; however, even the most ostensibly ordinary landscape is imprinted with so much – time, history, growth, decay, politics, and wonder. Caught somewhere between art and life, private and social experience, and repetition and chance, this project exists in the lineage of Happenings. Everyday I take the same walk and restrict myself to photographing one object or space which captivates me. These constraints delineate my route and process, but within these strictures lie opportunities for spontaneity, drifting, and subversion. As Rebecca Solnit avows in her book Wanderlust: A History of Walking, “exploring the world is one of the best ways of exploring the mind, and walking travels both terrains.” It is this hybridized and indeterminate space, at once physical and mental, that interests me. This fascination derives from my own tenuous relationship to memory and place. Many of the homes, neighborhoods, and towns that I’ve lived in are unsettlingly absent from my consciousness. More often than not what remains is an abstracted still image, devoid of meaningful context. Sometimes, I realize that memories of disparate places have fused into one another, blurring the distinction between separate locations. A composite memory of place is born – temporally and spatially incongruous, but nevertheless united.

These compound memories, when not unified by place, find continuity in shared emotional states or physical attributes. Analogous experiences, whether joyful, upsetting, comforting, or tedious, bond to one another somewhat inexplicably. Psychological correspondences always seem to prevail over geographical ones. With An Index of Walking, I hope to speak about place as a series of discrete and fragmentary components, akin to a puzzle that is missing pieces. This is also how I archive and recall places in my mind – not as unified wholes, but as fractional and lacking continuity. It has become clear to me that this project is more than merely a durational exercise indexing a series of walks in my neighborhood; it is also a visual metaphor for my own idiosyncratic relationship to memory and place. In her wonderful essay “On Keeping A Notebook,” Joan Didion writes, “the point of my keeping a notebook has never been, nor is it now, to have an accurate factual record of what I have been doing or thinking. That would be a different impulse entirely, an instinct for reality which I sometimes envy but do not possess.” This sentiment resonates deeply with me as I think about my current relationship with photography. When I began An Index of Walking, I envisioned the project as one rooted in recording, mapping, and descriptive representation. In reality, what I’ve created is an illusory portrait of a place over time, as much fiction as it is fact. It extends beyond the evidentiary impulse simply to catalog my surroundings. Ultimately, the work represents my desire to fabricate a space that is singularly my own and to liberate the photograph from the confines of factual depiction. If memory perpetually betrays those who call upon it, then initiating this project from a place of invention and abstraction may be a way of subverting the anxiety of forgetting."

The Ben Alper Photographs were acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts (Duke University).

Collection
The Center for Documentary Studies was established at Duke University in Durham, N.C. for the study of the documentary process. The collection contains 51 black-and-white and color photographs, chiefly 11x14 and 16x20 inches, that were selected by CDS staff from portfolios published in DoubleTake magazine or by DoubleTake books from 1995 to 1997, and were exhibited at the CDS galleries. Many of the images were taken in the southern United States, but there are also scenes from California, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, and from countries such as Mexico, Vietnam and Ireland. Some images are dated as early as 1906 and 1940. Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.

The collection contains 51 black-and-white and color photographs that were selected by Center for Documentary Studies staff from portfolios published in DoubleTake magazine or by DoubleTake books from 1995 to 1997; they were were exhibited at the Center for Documentary Studies, Duke University galleries.

Many of the images were taken in the southern United States, but there are also scenes from California, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, and from countries such as Mexico, Vietnam and Ireland.

The prints range widely in size from 8x10 to 20x24 inches, but the most typical sizes are 11x14 and 16x20 inches. Black-and-white gelatin silver prints predominate, with some color prints present.

Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.

Collection

Danny Wilcox Frazier photographs, 2003-2006 3 Linear Feet — 2 boxes; 25 items

Collection comprises twenty-five black and white gelatin silver 16x20 inch exhibit prints, representing a larger body of work on contemporary Iowa rural culture. The images portray a changing Midwest of vanishing towns and transformed landscapes. Scenes include cemeteries, slaughterhouses, farms, abandoned grain elevators, and fields. Individuals inhabiting the scenes include young people at leisure, fishermen on the Mississippi, hunters in fields, veterans on Memorial Day, Amish families, as well as more recent arrivals to Iowa, Lubavitcher Hasidic Jews at prayer and migrant workers in the fields and at home. The prints are housed in exhibit mats. Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.

Collection comprises twenty-five black-and-white gelatin silver 16x20 inch exhibit prints, representing a larger body of work by Danny Wilcox Frazier on contemporary Iowa rural culture. The images portray a changing Midwest of vanishing towns and transformed landscapes. Scenes include cemeteries, slaughterhouses, farms, abandoned grain elevators, and fields. Individuals inhapbiting the scenes include young people at leisure, fishermen on the Mississippi, hunters in fields, veterans on Memorial Day, Amish families, as well as more recent arrivals to Iowa, Lubavitcher Hasidic Jews at prayer and migrant workers in the fields and at home. The prints are arranged in exhibit number order, and are housed in hinged window mats.

The prints were featured in an exhibit entitled "Driftless: Photographs from Iowa" at Duke University in 2007. The term "Driftless" refers to a geological area of the Midwest untouched by glaciers. A recording of the artist's talk is available through the online exhibit.

Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.

Collection

David Gatten film and ephemera, 2010-2012 0.2 Linear Feet — 1 film; 1 pam binder

David Edward Gatten is an American experimental filmmaker and moving image artist. Collection consists of one film reel: "Film for Invisible Ink case no. 323: ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST" (dated 2010; 20 minutes, black-and-white, sound, 16mm). Also includes two copies of the catalog from Gatten's 2012 travelling retrospective of his career: "Ex Libris: Texts of Light," as well as an announcement for the 2012 premiere of his first digital film "The Extravagant Shadows". Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.

Collection consists of one film reel: "Film for Invisible Ink case no. 323: ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST" (dated 2010; 20 minutes, black-and-white, sound, 16mm), created specifically for his wedding to fellow filmmaker Erin Espelie.

Also includes two copies of the catalog from Gatten's 2012 travelling retrospective of his career: "Ex Libris: Texts of Light," as well as an announcement for the 2012 premiere of his first digital film The Extravagant Shadows.

Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.