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Sunday, 16 November 2014


Interesting, thanks. Judy's photo has a very well composed look to it, with a depth and life that Mazer's shot lacks. I imagine this happens often in workshops with photographers gathered around at various angles, snapping away while watching a demonstration.

"There are nudes past the break, so fair warning."

Works for people reading the home page of the blog but not for other methods of accessing the blog.

You should also tag the title of the piece with NSFW (as is the internet custom) so that people following the previous/next post links or finding the article in a Google Search will notice the warning before stumbling into the article.

Or if looking at the title of the post in an RSS reader that doesn't grab the whole text (a good idea in a work environment).

By the time people have read sentence in the main post then they've already loaded the page (and for some IT departments that's enough!).

Better still, read this stuff on your own device ...

[Thanks Kevin. I added "NSFW" to the title. Hopefully that should help people on Monday morning. --Mike]

Dear Mike,

In a massive topic thread derail...

The old pictures of Imogen and Judy sent me off to look for my signed Imogen Cunningham Baseball Photographer Trading Card.*

I can't find it! I found all the others, even the duplicates (I have two Judy Daters and enough Alan Colemans to choke a horse**), even my dupe Imogen.

But not the one signed to me, "Comrade Imogen."

I have a recollection of putting it in a safe place.

That is a bad thing.

Never did complete my full set of 134-- four players short. Anybody wanna trade?***

pax / Ctein


*Now we'll see how many readers even know what I'm talking about.

** Now we'll see how many TOP readers were photographed for these cards.

*** Now we'll see how many TOP readers collected these cards.

To put it frankly, the photo by Ms. Dater is infinitely more beautiful, more subtle and powerful than the painting by Benton. And so much more erotic too. At the same time Mrs. Dater seems a little annoyed by this photo. As the masterpiece emancipates itself from its author, the author is appalled by such boldness.

What a great metaphor about the ambiguity of art, because everything is already in the photo itself, from the start. Imogen's revenge in some way...

The two photos show what stepping a couple of feet either side can really change the image.
A good teaching lesson.
But as a former news photographer, we often saw this. What I shot versus the competition.


A gem of historiography of photography, art (or the history of anything for that matter).

I'd love to read a compilation of such gems (from TOP) in book form. It doesn't have to be a tome.

Great post, thanks for digging.

Just a heads up that you have different dates ('76/'74) for the two portraits, but you say that they were taken the same year. My guess is that Imogen and Twinka should be dated '74?

[Yup, sorry, fixed now. Imogen died in '76, picture was taken '74. --Mike]

Very interesting article and pictures. I'm glad you did a Paul Harvey and took the extra step to bring us the rest of the story.

Ctein- Think I didn't collect them because they didn't come with gum (least, I don't think they did).

* +1
** not me
*** good luck on your search to complete the collection -- wanna show your favorites?


Is art pretentious?

Thanks for that interesting post Mike. Cunningham's pose, as well as the angle from which the picture was taken, manages to make Dater's picture a more gentle and life-affirming photo than Mazer's.

C'mon how can you say Dater's photo is better. Mazer's looks much sharper!


Now that you've established contact with Judy Dater, how about a print sale?


I think you know what you need to do next: find Imogen Cunningham's photo from that shoot!

I'm afraid this image always makes me laugh -- it's one of the dafter photographs to enter the canon, a true pictorialist throwback, and I'm not surprised Judy Dater is leaving it out of her retrospective.

Ah, 1974, you had to be there...


This is one of my all-time favorite photographs, and for a longer list of reasons than I will include here. One thing that is rarely mentioned but which seems obvious is the powerful statement on mortality and beauty and aging, made more powerful by the different sorts of beauty of both women and by their gazes at one another.

The more I think about this photograph, the more I love it.

There is good humored comedy in this.

I bought Imogen and Twinka as a greeting card so many years ago it hurts. I probably still have it.

Dear Stan and Scott,

The way this crazy place works, I'm expecting to see an article in a couple of days titled “We Hear from Mike Mandel…”

Yes, the cards did come with gum. Official Topp baseball card chewing gum, in fact. Mike Mandel cut a deal with them.

A Google search turns up quite a bit of information about these, including the fact that they're fairly heavily traded these days, which, not surprisingly, amuses Mike–– it is humorous that what was a satirical commentary on collectibles becomes, after four decades, collectible itself.

Turns out the average selling price for the cards (actual selling price, not asking price) has been 10-$15 a card of late, with lows several bucks below $10 and highs above $50.

Seeing as I have about 200 duplicates, maybe I should think about doing something about that. It's not like the dupes are of any use to me (except maybe to trade for the four cards I'm missing).

pax \ Ctein
[ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com

Here's a pretty good view on Flickr of the Baseball Photographer Trading Cards that Ctein has been talking about: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikemandel/sets/72157608071445589/

Great post and discussion. I want to add, though, a shout out to the lovely portrait of Ms Dater by Ms Cunningham. Love it!

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