|Rosemary & Alexandra - Los Bebederos, Arboledas, Estado de México - 1971|
When one reaches my age, the idea of legacy is an important one. On the other hand I am not too concerned about it. Particularly because in the blog cited below containing a link to an essay by a former Editor-in-Chief of Life Magazine, Bill Shapiro, who wrote in 2020 for the NY Times Sunday Magazine how after a couple of generations you might look at old family portraits and not know now their identity.
It was my mother, many years ago, who told me that a house could never be a home (and especially one you had just moved into) if there were no pictures hanging on the walls. All my life, since I can remember, the walls of all my homes and my present one, have been full of framed (well framed) photographs, paintings, and recently, my plant scanographs.
|Rosemary & Alexandra - Mexico City 1971|
What will happen when I am gone? Will my two daughters, and if my two granddaughters have their own home, want these framed photographs, etc?
And consider that today I have printed what I consider one of my most iconic (and never noticed until a few weeks ago when I was filing old negatives) portrait of my beautiful Rosemary and my two year-old daughter Alexandra. That would make the date 1971. That means that the photo is half a century old! My youngest daughter Hilary has told me that she has that powder-blue sweater dress of my Rosemary in her closet.
The photograph was taken half a block away from our first-owned house in Arboledas. The place was called Los Bebederos and it was built by famous Mexican architect Luís Barragán. In my internet searches I avoided Pinterest but found a fine site. It is a PDF but it is worth looking at it. The Bebederos had large mature eucaliptus trees. We would walk with our two daughters Alexandra and Hilary and our stray dog Mouche. It was here that I had the luck of taking a photograph of Hilary when she discovered her shadow
|Hilary - Los Bebederos 1972|
The other photograph that I am having framed, taken when Alexandra was one and a bit, has a special significance for me. In the early 70s I was taking photographs of wealthy families for extra money. Rosemary and I were teachers at the time in Mexico City. The business of shooting these family portraits was a good one even though I would process and print the pictures in my bathroom darkroom. But nobody was taking pictures in homes using Kodak Tri-X and a small 35mm camera. The significance of that photograph of my two is that it was part of my little lovely leather-bound portfolio. If you consider that I printed this picture in 1972 that makes it one year shy of half a century. And it looks perfect with no stains or fading. Even then I was careful to over-wash my prints to remove all traces of fixer.
While it is of no particular concern to me now, I am still a bit troubled by the recent “shows” at the Vancouver Convention Centre of the Van Gogh, then Picasso and soon The Sistine Chapel, projected video (and probably with sound) extravaganzas. At one time I was predicting that putting a valuable or not so valuable framed painting or poster on a wall was being replaced by large-screen TVs. Now I am wondering if the future of art exposure will circumvent going to local galleries or fine galleries in Italy, France, England and the US. Are the events of the Vancouver Convention Centre also undermining interest in our Vancouver Art Gallery? Will we soon have Emily Car projected as a show at the centre?
And as far as legacy is concerned is it worth it that I will have my framer at Magnum Frames use UV protection glass?