By William Carter

Photographer, Author, Jazz Musician

Fleeting Treasures

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By William Carter

I arrived in New York City in the summer of 1962. Toting two Leicas, I hunted for a job and an apartment. I gravitated to a part of the Lower East Side which was later re-christened the East Village.

Since I had begun my career in California doing informal photographs of children, my first self-assignment was to extend that practice to these fresh surroundings. I spent a day with a couple of kids at Coney Island. I traversed dim wells behind tenements that served as de facto playgrounds. I dropped in on friends of friends living with their daughter in an artistic shack on Staten Island.

Half a century later, those freshly seen scenes keyed off my retrospective book, Causes and Spirits. Below are examples, plus a couple of images omitted from the book. I only met the Staten Island girl for a few minutes, but she graces the book’s front cover, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. has requested the vintage original print. But what happened to that girl? By now she would be around 60.

The subsequent lives of the other kids remain just as mysterious. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, photography resembles jazz in that both art forms – like modern life in general – often express moments that are the most pungent when they are the most fleeting.

William Carter papers, © Stanford University Libraries. Click here for a detailed usage guide.

Staten Island, New York, 1962

Staten Island, New York, 1962, Causes & Spirits, jacket & pg. 29

Coney Island, New York, 1962

Coney Island, New York, 1962, Causes and Spirits, page 39

Lower East Side, New York, 1963

Lower East Side, New York, 1963, Causes and Spirits, page 31

Lower East Side, New York, 1963

Lower East Side, New York, 1963, Causes and Spirits, page 33

Lower East Side, New York, 1963

Lower East Side, New York, 1963. This photograph and the one below were made within moments of the one above.

Lower East Side, New York, 1963

Lower East Side, New York, 1963

 

Written by bywilliamcarter

August 17, 2016 at 3:10 pm

Living Spaces 10

with 3 comments


APARTMENTS-1 DSC_0215 - Version 2 copy1. Dusseldorf, Germany

DUSKWINDOWS DSC_1238 copy2. Weimar, Germany

MAILSLOTS-1 DSC_1486 copy3. Weimar, Germany

OFFICE DSC_0635 copy4. Dusseldorf, Germany

New York-3 300001 copy5. New York, N.Y.

Paris B002 copy6. Paris, France

SLEEPER DSC_0568 - Version 2 copy7. Dusseldorf, Germany

Copyright statement: William Carter papers, © Stanford University Libraries. Click here for a detailed usage guide.

Written by bywilliamcarter

June 25, 2016 at 12:00 pm

Living Spaces 9

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Response to this post:

Earlier this month I received Living Spaces 9. Thank you so very much for having the sequence sent to me. It is always a treat when I open my mail and see that there is something with your name attached, and then, well, it is a bit like unwrapping a gift, that moment of holding the breath a little, and then that involuntary first response in the first encounter. For example, # 7 (Southern California) had me chuckle, then pause, then hum… the photograph is such a feast of listening and speaking, and how much of that listening we do with our backs, a barely turned head, even the hat hears it and the ocean rolls in to listen along as words bop up and down the belly. Delightful — and loud!

There was also a picture that almost hurt — the last one, # 8, Salisbury, England. Perhaps some gestures ache us when we see them because they awake something we long for even as we might fear it? That gesture of reaching out, its vulnerability, — isn’t that always the most precarious and most dangerous first step in any reconciliation and also its grandeur de vivre? Yes, this picture has accompanied me, just like the Corconio Couple, through many nights. It will continue to challenge me, and that is a good thing.

Thank you again.

Sincerely,

Rahel Hahn

EXPLORER-2-DSC_0025-copy1. Alexandria, Virginia

EXPLORER-1 DSC_0024 copy2. Alexandria, Virginia

Illinois-leaves-OLD-SLIDES-A--4-copy3.   Illinois

SUSPICION DSC_1009 copy4.  Northern California

SLEEPER-2 2010-11-28 at 08-57-45 copy5.  Northern California

PHOTOGRAPHER DSC_0778 copy6. Northern California

SO. CALIF-1 004 - Version 2 copy7. Southern California

PARK BENCH DSC_0893.NEF copy8. Salisbury, England

Copyright statement: William Carter papers, © Stanford University Libraries. Click here for a detailed usage guide.

Written by bywilliamcarter

June 11, 2016 at 12:00 pm

Living Spaces 8

with 2 comments


This series of posts elicited two particularly eloquent responses via email (other comments below):

“Dear Sir, Thank you for these photographs. In the clutter of my daily life your pictures invite me to living and living spaces that are clear, nuanced, simple, textured, and — especially when I look at the 4th one with that lovely gentle veiling and unveiling— not beholden to fear, the fear of peace or of dying. But lest I get too serious here: they also remind me of the sweet smell of laundry drying outside (I live in paradise, no pollution here). Best wishes and thank you again.” —Rahel Hahn

“Each picture is like a visual poem calling to mind Emily Dickenson in their spare and ambiguous content.” —Weston Naef, Founding Curator of Photographs, J. Paul Getty Museum

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA1.  Ameno (Lago di Orta), Italy, circa 2005

WALL PLUG 2010-11-28 at 10-13-462. Ameno (Lago di Orta),  Italy, circa 2005

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA3.  Ameno  (Lago di Orta), Italy, circa 2005

CURTAINS-3 DSC_0852 - Version 24.  Gualala, California, circa 2013

CURTAINS-3 CurtainSea3 17x22f5. Gualala, California, circa 2013

village walls-1 018 copy6.  Lago di Orta, Italy, circa 1989

village walls-2 011 - Version 2 copy7. Orta San Giulio, Italy, circa 1992

Copyright statement: William Carter papers, © Stanford University Libraries. Click here for a detailed usage guide.

Written by bywilliamcarter

May 28, 2016 at 12:00 pm

More William Carter Prints Held by SF MOMA

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105My previous post of May 8, 2016 brought you news about the sparkling exhibition celebrating the massive expansion and re-opening of the redesigned San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, a William Carter picture, “Near Jerome, Arizona, 1970″ hangs in the photography galleries.

This Arizona print is also reproduced in the large book cataloguing the exhibition: The Campaign for Art.

The official re-opening date of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the exhibitions, including my print, is May 14 and run until Sept. 5. Members have earlier admission dates.

Click here for more information on admission and tickets.

Here are more William Carter prints held in the SF MOMA’s permanent collection:

 

Near Jerome, Arizona, 1970

Near Jerome, Arizona, 1970

 

Geneseo, Illinois, 1973

Geneseo, Illinois, 1973

 

Detroit, 1973

Detroit, 1973

 

Mississippi River, Bellevue, Iowa, 1973

Mississippi River, Bellevue, Iowa, 1973

 

Atherton, California, 1972

Atherton, California, 1972

 

Concornio (Lake Orta) Italy, 1989

Concornio (Lake Orta) Italy, 1989

 

Sa'da, Yemen, 1964

Sa’da, Yemen, 1964

William Carter papers, © Stanford University Libraries. Click here for a detailed usage guide.

Written by bywilliamcarter

May 12, 2016 at 12:00 pm

William Carter Print Featured in San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Re-opening Gala

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As part of the sparkling exhibition celebrating the massive expansion and re-opening of the redesigned San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, a William Carter picture, “Near Jerome, Arizona, 1970″ hangs in the photography galleries.

105

Near Jerome, Arizona, 1970

This Arizona print is also reproduced in the large book cataloguing the exhibition: The Campaign for Art.

The official re-opening date of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the exhibitions, including my print, are from May 14 until Sept. 5. Members have earlier admission dates.

Click here for more information on admission and tickets.

Twenty-four Carters are held in SFMOMA’s permanent collections, including these:

Central City, Colorado 1970

Central City, Colorado 1970

 

Seattle, 1962

Seattle, 1962

 

Northern Minnesota, 1973

Northern Minnesota, 1973

 

Lower East Side, New York City, 1963

Lower East Side, New York City, 1963

 

San Francisco, 1969

San Francisco, 1969

 

Northern Minnesota, 1973

Northern Minnesota, 1973

William Carter papers, © Stanford University Libraries. Click here for a detailed usage guide.

Written by bywilliamcarter

May 8, 2016 at 3:45 pm

Living Spaces 7

with one comment


NEW ORLEANS pres hall0011.

RHYOLITE, NEVADA 1970 Rhyolite0012.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA3.

PERSEPOLIS PersFade600dpi4.

RIDER DSC_06955.

DSC_03216. Publisher Gerhard Steidl, Göttingen, Germany

DSC_0423 - Version 27.

DSC_04308.

Copyright statement: William Carter papers, © Stanford University Libraries. Click here for a detailed usage guide.

Written by bywilliamcarter

April 22, 2016 at 12:00 pm

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