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Friday, 17 July 2009


Thank you for those. Bassman made some wonderful photographs. Both interesting characters.

Another unknown-to-me (and quite eccentric) photographer was small town portraitist Mike Disfarmer, unknown at least until guitarist Bill Frisell produced an album inspired by his work, as noted on NPR's photo blog:



Thanks for highlighting Jimmy Forsyth. I'll definitely check that book out.

A friend of mine was a big fan of Lillian Bassman's and used to visit her, back in the '90s. In a word, feisty!

Jimmy Forsyth has been an inspiration to me since I first saw his work at the Side Gallery in Newcastle back in the 80’s. If ever there was a photographer who proved that it is not about the camera, he was it. Whenever I get new equipment lust, or start pixel peeping, my antidote is to take out my copy of ‘Scotland Road’, admire the photographs, and read his account of how he got started in photography (‘I wasn’t looking for fancy shades, I was just taking what was there, the things I was interested in and the things I liked, and tried to make them look real’). Only one eye, but what an eye!

Since this blog is a virtual rats' nest of intellectuals, we'll have a test: in which other-worldly movie, made in the last ten years, was the Stahl House featured? No Googling.


I'd add Marjorie Content to the list. She died in 1984, and Jill Quasha retrieved many of her images and produced a lovely small book. Her work is simple but well seen and crafted, somewhat like Stieglitz, whom she knew along with O'Keeffe.


great to read about Jimmy Forsyth in your column, but a slight correction is due - it's 'Tyneside' or 'Tyne and Wear'. The BBC local news ran his obituary the other day, with footage of him as an old man, shuffling through Newcastle with a compact 35mm of some sort in his hand. I must order that book now.

Jeff (in North Shields, Tyne and Wear)

A minor point. In the introduction to Jimmy Forsyth you mentioned the "Geordies" of Tyneside & Wear. The people from around the river Wear would be very unhappy to be referred to as "Geordies" they are "Maccams". I lived for awhile when a student just to the North of the Scotswood road, by then they area was so scarred by unemployment and "improvement" that crime and violence were rife and I found little sense of community but when I got a job in the local hospital (as a part time records clerk) the humor, sense of fun and spirit of the Geordies were revealed and I had a wonderful time. Thanks for the pointer for the book

Thanks for the heads up on Jimmy Forsyth. I love good documentary style photography, especially from the early-mid 1900s.

After my first comment I searched around for Jimmy Forsyth and found the amber films site


Which has 33 of the photographs from the "Scotswood Road" show.

Mike you might like no. 12 along with Jimmys comment.


One answer, at least, is GalaxyQuest.

A wild guess for JC: Galaxy Quest?

I seem to recall seeing the Stahl House, or at least houses a lot like it, in several movies. (btw, is it correct to pronounced it to rhyme with "doll house"?)

Lillian Bassman's work blows me away.

It should be noted that while Lillian Bassman was working as a designer with Brodovitch, she laid out many of the designs which he laid claim to. Her role in magazine design and art direction is not as well known because she worked under such a domineering figure like Brodovitch, then switched to photography, and then left it all.

A quarter-million negatives? Did I hear you right? Easy enough in digital, but in film....

The Getty Museum had a great Julius Shulman exhibition a few years ago. There's an interesting audio sample where he describes the making of the famous photo of Koenig's Case Study House #22.

I'll take a shot at that JC. the movie was "Galaxyquest".

I enjoyed reading and viewing the material on Julius Shulman. Thanks!

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