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PHSNEMeetings / 2008-04

Exploring the Hows and Whys of Collecting Images

Image- Madonna and Two Children
“Madonna and Two Children”[1]

For April’s program, a collector talks about his approach to what he collects

Gunter Mueller is one of PHSNE’s most active collectors of images, and in his program for the April 6 meeting he’ll share the story of how his collection got started, and how it grew.

Gunter has drawn on his collection for PHSNE programs before — In September 2005 he presented an historically important collection of hand-colored lantern slides of the Middle East created by the American Colony Photographers, an organization headquartered in Jerusalem.

But even historically unimportant images can be important to a collector, and Mueller’s April program will explore the reasons, the hows and whys of collecting, as well as the whats.

Gunter will talk about how a collection takes on shape and significance based not only on what is in it, but on what the collector brings to it. His reflections are colored by his own interest in researching the items in his collection, and the ways his interests and his collection have interacted to affect each other over time.

-From snap shots, April 2008.


Video Excerpts of Show and Tell

Video of the Show and tell session is presented below in two parts of about 7 minutes each. The video was generously produced and provided by George Champine.

Part 1 presents Ruth Thomasian with family photos speaking about collection photos for a family archive; particularly building trust with extended family members so that one can borrow original photos. Then Ralph Johnston shows his digital stereo rig using P&S cameras that have been reprogramed with StereoData Maker to slave and synchronize the cameras for stereo photography.


Show & Tell April 6, 2008 Part 1 (at YouTube, video by George Champine.)

Part 2 Presents Ed Shaw with literature from the 20s and 30s and an early Plaubel rangefinder with a roll film back which will be part of a future PHSNE auction. Next Paul Nisula shows his most recent find; the now discontinued Nikkor 45mm f2.8 pancake lens. Then John Wojtowicz displays cyanotype and salt prints he made. John used "new cyanotype" chemistry from Photographers Formulary. The video ends with the introduction of Gunter Mueller's talk.


Show & Tell April 6, 2008 Part 2 (at YouTube, video by George Champine.)

If you have problems playing these videos using the YouTube viewer, help is available at Using This Site.


[1] 1864 albumen print by Julia Margaret Cameron. Collecting historical photographs like this one is an increasingly popular way of exploring the significance of photography, but not the only one. A collection, even of historically unimportant images, can take on significance for what it teaches the collector. (The Lee Gallery, Winchester, MA)


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