Film and Photography on the Front Range

Material Information

Film and Photography on the Front Range
Series Title:
Film and Photography on the Front Range
Mason, Erik
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
Center for Colorado and the West
Publication Date:

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Source Institution:
Auraria Library
Holding Location:
Auraria Library
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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Film and Photography on the Front Range | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library[12/8/2015 9:41:14 AM] Home Film and Photography on the Front RangeFilm and Photography on the Front RangeSubmitted by nwharton on 9-27-2012 11:23 AMAuthor: Edited by Tim Blevins, Dennis Daily, Sydne Dean, Chris Nicholl, Michael L. Olsen and Katie Rudolph Publishing: Colorado Springs, CO: Pikes Peak Library District, 2012. 433 pages. Black-and-white photographs, maps, index, bibliography, notes. 5 x 8. $24.95 paperback. Reviewer: Erik Mason Photographs and film provide an immediacy and a depth of information that has long made them the most popular of historical records. Film and Photography on the Front Range takes a fresh look at Colorados storied photographic history and provides new insights on the less well known history of motion pictures in Colorado. Published by the Pikes Peak Library District, many of the essays focus on Colorado Springs, but they include useful information for students of photography and film throughout Colorado. The book is divided roughly into three sections, covering nineteenth-century photography in Colorado; the early motion picture industry in the state; and twentiethcentury photographers and filmmakers. Reprinted essays on photographic history by the most famous of all Colorado photographers, William Henry Jackson, and an 1869 recipe for wet-plate photography by William A. Bell give an appreciation of the challenges faced by early wet-plate photographers, who transported an entire photographic lab with them into the field to create their images. Jacksons essay, Who First Photographed the Rockies, records the work of Solomon Nunez Carvalho, a daguerreotype photographer with the 1853 Frmont expedition, whose photograph of a Cheyenne village at Big Timbers is the earliest surviving photograph taken in Colorado. The fame of William Henry Jackson sometimes obscures the fact that he was just one of many photographers working in Colorado during the nineteenth century. Some photographers may have left little behind in the historical record except a few surviving prints with their studio mark. Nancy Bathke and Brenda Hawleys Searching for Early Women Photographers of the Pikes Peak Region locates no fewer than eighteen women who spent at least a little time as professional photographers in the Colorado Springs vicinity prior to 1920. Eleven of these women appear only briefly in the historical record, but perhaps with the publication of this book additional examples of their work may come to light. The Colorado film industry has been somewhat neglected by previous scholars, but the essays in this volume show that this inattention may have been an injustice. Joe Tarabinos On the Road to Hollywood and two essays by Kenneth Paul Fletcher about early Colorado filmmakers Romaine Fielding and Otis B. Thayer, while overlapping significantly, explore the motion picture industry in its infancy, before Hollywood came to dominate film production. Although much of the work of these early filmmakers has been lost, the authors use newspaper accounts to reconstruct their work. One is struck by the controversial nature of the EXPLORE BY MEDIABook Reviews Photographs Video Biographies New Publications Resource Guides County Newspaper HistoriesEXPLORE BY TOPICLand & Natural Resources Government & Law Agriculture Mining Commerce & Industry Transportation People & Places Communication Healthcare & Medicine Education & Libraries Cultural Communities Recreation & Entertainment Tourism ReligionEXPLORE BY CULTUREHispanic Native AmericanCasimiro Barela, state senator for over 37 years, fought to ensure Colorados first constitution was published in English, Spanish and German.


Film and Photography on the Front Range | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library[12/8/2015 9:41:14 AM] Auraria Library 303-556-4587 1100 Lawrence Street Denver, Colorado 80204 In the News Partners & Donations About Us Contact Us issues addressedfilms on interracial marriage and even abortion were filmed in Colorado in the 1910s. By the standards of the time, however, the most subversive film made in Colorado apparently was Romaine Fieldings The Golden God a futurist epic about conflict between labor and corporations, which was banned from theaters by the National Board of Censorship. Several other essays cover more recent Colorado filmmakers. Steven Antonuccio relates the history of the Alexander Film Company, Colorado Springsbased maker of theatrical and television advertising. How Colorado landed a role as a location in films as diverse as True Grit and National Lampoons Vacation is explained in Doris McCraws essay on Karol Smith, first commissioner of the Colorado Film Commission. A series of essays on prominent photographers from the Pikes Peak area shows that this region has long been a center of photographic excellence in Colorado. The most significant photographers, such as Laura Gilpin, Robert Adams, and Myron Wood, receive longer articles, while shorter snapshots cover photographers whose influence was more local. The historical background on each photographer will be helpful to curators and photo collectors, although one wishes for a higher quality of photo reproduction to truly represent the work. Film and Photography on the Front Range will be a useful resource for archivists, curators, and film historians. The coverage of less well-known Colorado photographers and filmmakers, the exploration of the role that photography and film played in publicizing Colorado, and the examples of work by many Colorado photographers make this a handy reference for anyone interested in film or photography in Colorado. With the large number of authors participating, the quality of the writing is mixed, and the roughly chronological arrangement of the articles can be confusing as the book frequently switches back and forth between photography and film. However, these are minor annoyances in an overall solid work. Reviewer Info: Erik Mason is the curator of research at the Longmont Museum, responsible for preserving the museums 450-cubic-foot archival collection. As curator, he has overseen the preservation and digitization of over 3,000 photographs, from nineteenth-century ambrotypes to large glass negatives, conventional prints, and color transparencies, as well as many types of archival documents. He has an MA degree in history museum studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program of the State University of New York and sixteen years of experience in museum and archival collections.