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  1. #31
    Alex Hawley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Mitchell View Post
    On one extended photography trip, Edward and Charis Weston spent some time with the Goldwaters. Read all about it in her book "Through Another Lens."
    That's interersting Bill. It appears to me that he was friends with Adams and Weston before he became a "name" political figure.

    As far as his photography is concerned, and from his own words, he wanted to capture the essence of the land he loved, Arizona. I think he succeeded in that. No, he was not quite on the level of Adams or Weston, but I don't understand why being on that level should be a necessary criteria for success. On the contrary, I think its highly to his credit that Adams and Weston became friends. The connection of those friendships would have surely been photography. And again, his photography preceeds his political career by a good amount.
    Semper Fi & God Bless America
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  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Mitchell View Post
    On one extended photography trip, Edward and Charis Weston spent some time with the Goldwaters. Read all about it in her book "Through Another Lens."
    The Goldwaters (i.e. Barry and before him, his parents) were a prominent family in AZ arising from the wealth they'd made as merchants.

    They were also sophisiticated and educated people in a land that at the time, was still characterized as a "rough and tumble" society. At the time of the Weston's; AZ was defined by the 4"C's": Copper, Cotton, Cattle and Climate.

    It was a mining state; with a nascent agriculture based on the Hoover and Roosevelt Dams that began to harness water resources; as well as a dry ranching location (requiring large spreads - see the story of Sandra Day O'Connor's family for this aspect); and ,finally, a location where well-off people who'd contracted tuberculosis went "for the cure".

    It is unsurprising that the Westons would have called on the Goldwater's - who were prospering by merchanting these industries.

    Thus, I'm not sure what the point is here - except, perhaps, to underscore the point I noted about dilletantism.

    Maybe I should have said that Barry Goldwater was an amateur photographer, as he was also an amateur radio operator, who leveraged his position as a prominent scion of a wealthy merchant family to rise to political prominence.

    But as I look at the photos on the website, I see ordinary compositions that are more "reportorial" than inspired. They provide an interesting historical chronicle of a time and place (AZ from the 1930's to 1960 or so). But so what? If they didn't have his name on them - would anyone today consider them noteworthy?

    I doubt it.
    Last edited by copake_ham; 02-03-2007 at 10:36 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #33
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    If they didn't borrow theri pedigree from a completely separate field, they'd be entirely forgotten. My point exactly.

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  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjorke View Post
    Thanks Roger, good thoughts. I'm in the middle of writing a short essay on war photography and some of the paradoxes outlined in Sontag's Regarding the Pain of Others (caution: ugly images) and evaluating it in the light of the sorts of cognitive-evolutionary analysis done by researchers such as Marc Hauser at Harvard.

    Basically, I think that Sontag over-interprets the failures and frustrations of war photography in its apparent inability to halt war altogether. Researchers like Hauser et al, while not studying photography directly, reveal the crucial connection for human morality (which functions at a low level with strong universality, regardless of culture) and the importance of seeing people. Sight, and by extension photography, is (to my delight) a strong moralizing, humanizing force - far stronger than words.

    Conservative/liberal left/right politics aside, I personally cannot think of many (any?) visual artists of any merit who are pro-war, even in the presence of great direct threat (Goya and Picasso come to mind as artists who were clearly threatened but whose images did not advocate violence against their self-declared enemies).
    Just a thought - I don't know any photographers who are or were actively pro-war, but there are vast differences in attitudes to soldiers and soldiering. Consider if you will David Douglas Duncan (a former Marine combat photographer), who I find is much more sympathetic to military personnel in contrast to, say, the virtually neutral approach of Larry Burrows, or Don McCullin with his very hard-edged approach, or Philip Jones-Griffiths with his out-and-out anti-American polemic. One thing is for sure - I very much doubt if you will obtain much enlightment from Susan Sontag!

  5. #35

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    The reaction of Charis and Edward to the Goldwater brand of "not our brother's keeper" Western Republicansm was a VERY negative response. Apparently they had to bite their tongues a lot. (Charis, of course, was eventually married to a California Union Organizer.)
    My favorite story about Goldwater was when asked about what he and his wife did in retirement, he said, "We just sit on the front porch a lot, looking at the sunset, and hum Hail to the Chiel."
    As a photographer, Goldwater was at least as good as most of those professional landscapers who contributed to "Arizona Highways."

  6. #36
    Alex Hawley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Mitchell View Post
    As a photographer, Goldwater was at least as good as most of those professional landscapers who contributed to "Arizona Highways."
    I certainly agree with that Bill.

    Perhaps his association with Weston/Adams et al started by his patronage of them. Nothing is said about this that I have found, but Goldwater did have the financial means to by their art in those early days, which would coincide with the Great Depression to a degree.
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