All American

Last New York photo from my father’s collection of Kodachrome slides (story in this earlier post). This one was a real treat for me and turns out not to have been taken by my father at all and not even to have been taken in the 1950s but in the mid-1940s and not to have been taken in NYC but in Carmel, New York where my maternal grandparents had a house. It is a picture of my grandparents when still way younger than I ever knew them, in front of the house, with their friend (or cousin?) Tilly (on the left) and her dog, Mr. Chips. Above them on the porch, my mother salutes the unknown photographer (Tilly’s husband?) beside the flag. There were a few versions of this and the slides were unbelievably schmutzig, requiring so much retouching that it slowed down my computer.

Carmel, New York

Park Portraits

Continuing with my father’s Kodachrome slides from 1957, New York (full story here), here are some portraits shot in Central Park, first of his sister, my late Aunt Ginger (her real name was Ella – guess why she was called Ginger) and 2 very different ones of my Mother, shot in different years, the bottom one, definitely 1957.

Ginger (Ella)

Central Park, New York



Continuing with the exploration of my father’s Kodachrome slides from the 1950s (see the original post here), we turn to Germany. Most of the upcoming images were taken in Bamberg, the town where my father was billeted in an apartment with my mother. They were there from approximately the summer of 1955 to the summer of 1956 with trips to England, Switzerland and around Germany in between.

We’ll start with a trio of images, I think all taken in the same spot, some kind of stone balcony overlooking the town, (perhaps at the Rose Garden?) with one portrait each of my mother, my father and my father with an army buddy my mother identified as Chet, “who came at the weekends and never left.”

Mom at Bamberg

Dad at Bamberg

Dad and Chet overlooking Bamberg

The bottom shot was a kind of monochrome greeny-yellow. I tried adding some warmth to it, not very successfully and made the sky bluish to add a little interest (winds up looking like one of those hand-tinted B&Ws). Needless to say, while I’ve been calling these “my fathers slides,” and it’s possible he set the camera up on a tripod, I think it unlikely he took at least 2 of these.

Brightening Brighton

And now a return to some of my father’s Kodachromes from the 1950s (see the full story here). Let’s finish off the UK with a couple of family shots from Brighton. In the first, my mother is perfectly radiant in prime blue and red while all about her is dreary, monochromatic gray (requiring absolutely no Photoshop fiddling on my part – this is virtually out of the camera). In the second shot, my father chomps on a piece of Brighton Rock, a bright pink log of pure sugar with the words Brighton Rock in red running right the way through from one end to the other so you see them wherever you are in the days-long it takes to get through it. Note that everyone at “the beach” is fully clothed.

Brighton, England

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye

But the highlight of the Chelsea gallery crawl has to have been seeing, for the first time, the brilliant work of Lynette Yiadom-Boakye at the Jack Shainman Gallery, In Lieu of a Louder Love. I can’t recommend this more highly. Unfortunately, it closed on the 16th, the day we were there, but if you can get to see her work somewhere, run, don’t walk. Here are just a couple of examples and the photographs don’t begin to do justice to the quality of the painting, the texture and the depth of feeling.

Jack Shainman Gallery, West 20th Street, New York