Old Prints

On Saturday, E and I were walking by The Old Print Shop. We entered and happened to catch the last day of a show of the shop’s photography collection, which includes prints of Berenice Abbott and Margaret Bourke-White. I was struck by a print of Minor White called Feet, Don Normark, particularly how White uses the silver-white of a large seashell to pull the viewer’s eye towards the bottom left corner.

We also saw the Leica Gallery, which was exhibiting prints from The New York Times collection. Quite a few well-known prints, but made virtually anonymous since quite a number were without the photographers’ names (the indignity). These are also the same prints that you can see in many of the city’s ordinary frame stores, since the Times makes the prints available for general sale. I was disappointed at the poor quality of the prints of one of the paper’s contemporary photographers. I have seen the digital files on the photographer’s web site, which are spectacular. Whoever printed them for the Leica gallery was very cavalier. One print in particular was nearly pixelated, seemingly made from a digital file size that was much too small for the ultimate print size that was chosen, and the colors were dull compared to the web versions I have seen.

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