Sunday, June 19, 2011

Todd Webb: Capturing the Ephemeral

(Above) Silver print, 1946
(Above) Silver print, 1946
(Above) Silver print, 1945
(Above) silver print, 1963
(Above) Silver print, 1945

TODD WEBB (1905-2000) WAS A FRIEND OF THE PHOTOGRAPHER HARRY CALLAHAN, and together they studied with Ansel Adams. Later Webb was befriended by Alfred Stieglitz, who introduced him to Georgia O’Keeffe. Webb photographed extensively in New York City in the mid-1940s. He worked for Roy Stryker after WWII, and received a Guggenheim in 1955 and 1956, where he walked across America with his camera. From 1955 to 1981, he made numerous photographs of Georgia O’Keeffe and her Abiquiu and Ghost Ranch houses, including the rugged Northern New Mexico landscapes that surround them.

Webb, who came to be a photographer late in life (he did not start taking pictures until 1939) was a great photographer, though not as well known (or appreciated) as his counterparts. One of my favorite Todd Webb series were these images of grafitti and torn billboards. Additionally, he did an amazing series of photographs of storefronts converted into churches. More on Todd Webb at a later date.

His wife just passed away in January of 2008. She was 101.

Webb’s work is available through Carl Mautz Gallery and at the web site which handles his estate: Evans Gallery.

An AM repost from 1/27/09.

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