|The First Art Newspaper on the Net
||Established in 1996
|| Thursday, October 27, 2016
|Vermont Man's Vintage Snowflake Photos for Sale in New York City |
This undated photo provided by the Carl Hammer Gallery shows one of the snowflakes recorded by Wilson A. Bentley, a Vermont farmer fascinated with snowflakes. Bentley was known as "The Snowflake Man" or "Snowman Bentley" for his pioneering photography of more than 5,000 illusive jewel-like snow crystals - no two alike. AP Photo/Carl Hammer Gallery, Wilson A. Bentley.
By: Ula Ilnytzky, Associated Press Writer
NEW YORK, NY (AP).- Vermont farmer Wilson A. Bentley was known as Snowflake Bentley for his pioneering 19th-century photography of more than 5,000 jewel-like snowflakes no two alike.
Bentley, also known as The Snowflake Man, was fascinated with snowflakes, and his observations and experimentation made him the first person to capture a single snowflake with a camera.
Starting Thursday, 26 of his images are for sale at the four-day American Antiques Show presented by the American Folk Art Museum in New York. Ten of the images are of snowflakes, which he called snow crystals, and are priced at $4,800 each. The others show winter scenes.
They are being offered by Carl Hammer, whose Chicago art gallery is showing 20 other Bentley photographs.
"They're remarkably beautiful," Hammer said. "There are imperfections on the outer edges of the image itself and on the paper, but the images themselves are quite spectacular."
The technology Bentley used became known as photomicrography.
The year was 1885. By jury-rigging a microscope with a bellows camera, Bentley was able to capture for the first time the exquisite delicacy of a snowflake. His groundbreaking 1931 book, "Snow Crystals," recorded for posterity the beauty, fragility and lacy designs of 2,500 snowflakes.
"Under the microscope, I found that snowflakes were miracles of beauty; and it seemed a shame that this beauty should not be seen and appreciated by others," Bentley said in 1925. "Every crystal was a masterpiece of design, and no one design was ever repeated. When a snowflake melted, that design was forever lost."
Weeks after the book's publication, Bentley, walking through a blizzard, caught pneumonia and died. Despite his groundbreaking work, which led to significant contributions to photography and science, Bentley's name remains largely unknown to the public.
His images don't often come on the market. The international Paris Photo show last year had a few pieces, said Hammer, "but they're fairly rare."
Bentley's photos don't meet modern standards because he was "working with crude equipment," said Kenneth G. Libbrecht, who has written seven books on snowflakes and grows snow crystals in a laboratory.
"But he did it so well that hardly anybody bothered to photograph snowflakes for almost 100 years," said Libbrecht, a physics professor at the California Institute of Technology.
When Libbrecht became interested in snowflakes, he said, Bentley was still the standard. The method of singling out a crystal to photograph hasn't changed in all that time.
"You basically let the crystal fall on something, black or dark-colored, and then you have to pick it up with a toothpick or brush and put it on a glass slide," Libbrecht said.
The American Folk Art Museum's senior curator, Stacy Hollander, said she learned of Bentley only last year while mounting an exhibition of American quilts by Paula Nadelstern, who has produced a series of quilts inspired by Bentley's microphotographs. The museum borrowed six Bentley photographs from a New York gallery to complement the exhibition.
"There was a real sense of discovery on my part when Paula introduced me to the images and on the part of the museum visitors who were discovering these images for the first time," Hollander said.
But in Bentley's hometown, Jericho, Vt., about 30 miles northwest of Montpelier, he's a household name. A museum is dedicated to his life's work at an old mill that houses about 2,000 of his vintage images.
Hollander said Bentley's images possess a folk-like quality, which she described as "idiosyncratic, self-motivated and innovative."
Bentley was a self-taught scientist and artist whose singular obsession with the snowflake's infinite variety extended to how it was formed, she said. It was Bentley who suggested that ice crystals were formed depending upon temperature and location in a snowstorm, she said, calling his contribution to science "truly significant."
"Everyone's fascinated by snow," Hollander said. "It's just magical, and he captured that magic in these beautiful photomicrographs."
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.
January 22, 2010
Cars by Warhol, Fleury, Longo, Szarek from the Chrysler Collection Opens at Albertina
A Cabinet of Curiosities: Selections from the Peter Tillou Collections at Christie's
New Paintings and Sculpture by Damien Hirst Announced at Gagosian
Moderna Museet Director, Lars Nittve, to Retire in October
Works by More than 70 Artists to be Auctioned for Charity at Gagosian
Exceptional Frank Lloyd Wright Archive to Highlight Bonhams Sale
Exhibit in Philadelphia Explores Legacy of Women in Pop
Artist Tony Fitzpatrick Holds Third Solo Exhibition at Pierogi
Two Video Works by Omer Fast on View at Postmasters Gallery
Indianapolis Museum of Art Announces 2009 Acquisitions
Friedrich Petzel Gallery Shows Interim in Three Rounds, Round 3
Peabody Essex Museum Appoints Anne Munsch as New CFO
Infamous (and Anonymous) Banksy's "Exit" to Premiere at Sundance
MCA Sydney Unveils New Series of Artist's Impressions of the New Building
New York Public Library Unveils Provocative Approach to Experiencing Voltaire's Candide
Vermont Man's Vintage Snowflake Photos for Sale in New York City
Stolen Auschwitz Sign Returns to Museum
Georgia Art Museums Collaborate to Share Resources and Collections Across the State
Special Installation Showcases Unique "Visual Language" Depicting Timeless Philosophical Messages
Dr. Ydessa Hendeles Makes AGO History with Contemporary Art Donation
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- New light shines on Sandro Botticelli masterpieces at Florence's Uffizi Gallery
2.- Cincinnati Art Museum's Van Gogh exhibition brings guests Into the Undergrowth
3.- Degas retrospective debuts in the U.S. at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
4.- Special exhibition features large-scale photography by Richard Mosse & Edward Burtynsky
5.- Nobel panel gives up knockin' on Dylan's door
6.- An unprecedented, international-loan exhibition of works by Claude Monet is at the Kimbell Art Museum this fall
7.- Exhibition at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek explores Rousseau's landscapes
8.- Yoko Ono unveils her first permanent US art installation
9.- ArtReview's annual Power 100 names Hans Ulrich Obrist as the artworld's most powerful figure
10.- British artist David Hockney makes a splash at Frankfurt fair with 2,000-euro book
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.