Monday, December 13, 2010

I was glad to see so many members represented and selling in today's photographs sale at Christie's. Hopefully, the prices realized were satisfactory to everyone. The auction included:
Tseng Kwong Chi, Ruth Orkin, Arthur Rothstein, George Tice and Wynn Bullock.

I just read about the the new Ansel Adams app for the iPad, which sounds interesting, and plan on checking it out shortly. Still getting used to everything the iPad can do, but it is already exciting! The maps especially are amazing, reading books is great and easy, and of course seeing and working with photos is terrific!


Friday, December 3, 2010

Sam Shaw Book Signing

APAG members are invited to a book signing with author Lorie Karnath and photo editors Sam Shaw Family Archives for Sam Shaw: A Personal Point of View, which was published this year.

Date: Friday, January 7, 2011
Time: 5:30pm - 7:00pm
Place: Rizzoli Bookstore, 31 W 57th Street, New York, NY 10019

We hope to see you there!

Friday, November 19, 2010

I had a lovely lunch today with Julie Grahame at Danal talking about the future of APAG. We discussed the Phillip and Edith Leonian Foundation that have committed to help sponsor APAG and the various projects we are planning in the coming years. It is a terrific opportunity for us, and I'm thrilled since the timing couldn't be better to help APAG grow and realize the goals the group has had since its inception in 2003. One is a group exhibition and book, (that was spearheaded by Grayson Dantzic) that we will hopefully get off the ground soon!

I went to the Annual Aperture Auction Benefit and Dinner at Chelsea Piers a few weeks ago, which is a great event. There were many people from the photo industry there including; Howard Greenberg and his wife Ellen, Nancy Lieberman, Bruce and Emily Davidson, Bruce Silverstein, Joel Meyerowitz and many others. I sat with photographer Lindsay McCrum and the collector Henry Buhl. Also, at the table were photographers Lynn Saville and Ellen Wallenstein, who both had photos in the auction.

Later in the week, I attended the Women in Arts Luncheon at the Brooklyn Museum. It featured a conversation with Catherine Morris, the curator of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, and the artist Kara Walker. It was a wonderful exchange, and the luncheon afterwards was full of energy and excitement. I had the pleasure of sitting at Dr. Elizabeth Sackler's table, next to Audrey Flack, and also with Linda Stein. I am donating several photographs to the Sackler Center, which is exciting as I hope they are able to show them at some point in the near future, and because I have now been a Brooklynite for 10 years!

On a different note, I read a very provocative article in this month's Vanity Fair about the artist Larry Rivers, and the controversy with his daughters and some videos he made of them in the 70's. It is a very complicated subject. However, as the daughter of two photographers, I have firsthand knowledge as to what it's like to be photographed my whole life, but never exploited, and have strong feelings about the subject which is too lengthy to write about here.

Mary Engel

Saturday, October 16, 2010

APAG email list updated

I just updated the email list for our blog. I'm sending this post as a test. Mary posted a real message yesterday, so check the blog even if you didn't get the email notification. -Jean Bubley
These past few weeks have been a whirlwind for me. We had a record price of Ruth Orkin's photograph (an oversized version) American Girl in Italy at Sotheby's, and I did a one hour radio interview yesterday on for a show called A Women's Perspective hosted by Virginia Reed. It is archived, so if you missed it, you can still listen to it. The most important news I want to share however is that the Phillip and Edith Leonian Foundation will be helping to support APAG's efforts, and some of the archives are in the group in the near future. They will be attending our upcoming meeting, so if you are a member, please come and meet them!

I don't think I've previously mentioned, but if you don't already know about it, The Photograph Collector is an excellent source of information for the photography industry, and worth a subsciption. You can go to the website for more info at

Photo Plus Expo is at the end of this month held at the Javits Center from 10/28-10/30. It will have all the latest information on the technical aspects of the industry. Always an interesting event to see what's going on, and what's new, and some good seminars too.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Its been too long since my last post, and in the future I will try for at least once a month. I've been reading many blogs, and one of my favorites is by the fashion designer Paul Smith, and he writes at least once a week. He is also a big photography fan as you can see if you take a look at some of his old posts.

The photo world will be gearing up again in the Fall, however, the last few weeks, the news has been covering the glass negatives that were found and claimed to be by Ansel Adams. However, most recently, there have been articles stating that not only are the negatives not necessarily by Adams, but that the dealer representing the whole thing has lets say, a very shady past. Today, I just read that the Ansel Adams Trust is suing the man who found the negatives, who seems to reproducing prints from them. There is definately more to come on this.

There have been some great shows this past summer that several of our members were able to attend, and there is more information in detail on the website news section. Ida Wyman travelled from Wisconsin to Connecticut to attend a one woman show at Joie De Livres. Irene Halsman went to Atlanta to attend the opening of the Dali show at the High Museum, and Victoria Haas said she had a wonderful time in Arles, France for 10 days for the solo show by her father, Ernst Haas. There are many more solo and group shows coming up this Fall that include our members. I'm excited by the upcoming show that Ruth Orkin, Ernst Haas and Inge Morath will be in at the Bruce Silverstein Gallery called BEYOND COLOR that opens on September 16.

I'm also thrilled that APAG continues to grow, and we now have over 50 members including 35 archives, 15 photographers, several foundations, and our newest category, archivists who have been very helpful for the group.

Enjoy the end of the summer!

Mary Engel

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Last Wednesday I attended an interesting symposium given by the The American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) at The New York Times auditorium. It was titled Copyright and the New Economy: Issues and Trends facing Visual Artists. Eugene Mopsik, the Executive Director of ASMP started off the event by introducing Victor Perlman, who is their legal counsel. Perlman gave a history of copyright and also took some questions from the audience. He was followed by Brian Storm who gave an amazing presentation about his company Media Storm, and what they do. The question is what don't they do? He seemed to have the pulse on everything about the digital age in terms of creating media, getting it seen, monitoring who had seen it etc. I heard there was a lively afternoon session as well including many important people in the industry. Five members of APAG attended the event, including: Julie Grahame, Emma Winter, Elaine Schatt, Melissa Stevens, and Len Speier and his son Jonathan.

I also wanted to mention the work that Melissa Stevens and the Shaw Family Archives are doing to lobby against a bill that is currently pending in Albany. It would create a new law giving celebrities a retroactive right of publicity after death. They are working hard on behalf of all of us to try to make sure this doesn't happen, as it would curtail the ability of some archives to have the ability to exhibit and or license many of their photographs.

Also, Julie Grahame has started an online magazine titled a curator. It is definately worth taking a look at, and the latest feature on gay teens by M. Sharkey is very moving.
Go to

Mary Engel

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I spent most of the day today at the Museum of Modern Art, MOMA, as it is called, which is what I explained to my son Zac on our way there. I also told him about the long history our family has had with MOMA, beginning in the late 40's with Edward Steichen and the photography department, and later with curator, Anne Morra and the great film department who have helped restore three of my parent's films. In any event, Zac was off from school for Spring break, and we were going there to meet a friend and her teenage daughter. The draw was the Tim Burton show, however, as I was forewarned, it was mobbed, and really so much so that it was uncomfortable trying to even take a look at it. Luckily we started on the lower level by the theaters, which was not crowded at all. I think a lot of people missed out on this part entirely. There were posters of every film he has done, and some large Polaroids which were colorful, and the kids enjoyed trying to figure out what they were looking at in some of them, and how they were done. Afterwards, we went upstairs, which was a bust, except for the video shorts that lead to the exhibit, and the carousel sculpture in the black lit entrance, my son had had it. I led him to the Edward Scissorhands model, and we took a quick glance at the Batman masks and Planet of the Apes helmets, but quickly left to reunite with our friends. I was pleasantly surprised to end up in the photography galleries and saw at least four archives from APAG represented which included: Marion Post Wolcott, Philippe Halsman, Arthur Rothstein and John Vachon. The Avedon show was also impressive, and I'm looking forward to the women's photography exhibit that opens in May. However, what was wondeful was discovering all the other exhibits, most of them interactive including the Ernesto Neto, where Zac and his friend Zoe went into a sculptural environment made out of stretched fabric, or the bisected minivan by Yin Xiuzhen. We also had a chance to look at the Pop Art and Design galleries, and the interesting William Kentridge show full of drawings, and many video installations. We of course didn't miss the Marina Abramovic event on the 2nd floor with all eyes on her. It was such a pleasant day despite the crowds, which included a leisurely lunch in the 2nd floor cafe, and another rest in the sculpture garden, we left thoroughly satisfied, and thrilled to have been part of MOMA today!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

I was just thinking about how busy I was last weekend walking up and down the aisles of the annual photography show, AIPAD which was held at the Park Avenue Armory. It is a wonderful opportunity to see a lot of work in one place, and of course run into a lot of people I work with throughout the year who are in the industry. It is always good to see dealers from out of state such as Catherine Courtier from the John Cleary Gallery in Houston, or Burt and Missy Finger from Photographs Do Not Bend in Dallas, or Wendy Halsted from the Halsted Gallery in Franklin, MI. It was also great to run into photographers such as Lindsay McCrum, Jill Freedman and George Tice.

A highlight of the show for me was The Photo League panel that was held on Sunday, with many Photo League members participating including; Ida Wyman, Vivian Cherry, Rebecca Lepkopf, Erika Stone, Sonia Handelman Meyer, Marvin Newman, George Zimbel and Artie Leipzig. It is very exciting that there will finally be a major exhibit of The Photo League that will open at The Jewish Museum in NYC, in November 2011 and then will travel to the Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio and hopefully, other locations.
Mary Engel

Monday, February 8, 2010

It is already February, so a quick update...we will be having a meeting next month as always at ICP, and also a panel in April. More information on both to come shortly. I got an interesting phone call today from Flo Fox who had a great show called Fotoflo that was on TV in the late 70's/early 80's that showcased my mother, Ruth Orkin, Ralph Gibson, Peter B. Kaplan and many other photographers. Some of these now historic shows are available on You Tube. However, she also told me about a situation that happened sometime ago, when she literally saved a photographer's archive, by pulling it on a pulley strung from her motorized wheelchair from the studio to a storage space, where it still sits today. What a heroic act! I mention this because I have received several calls and emails recently from photographers trying to figure out what to do with their archives, when they are no longer here. This is a monumental problem, because there is a tremendous amount of history and incredible work that should be seen and preserved. The recent purchase of the Magnum Archive and the transfer to the Harry Ransom Center solved their problem for the time being, but what to do with all these other archives? The Film Foundation that Martin Scorsese chairs preserves films, and we must find a way to preserve photography as well. A continuing topic APAG is going to try to address. We continue to strive to help archives and photographers with the multitude of issues that we all must deal with in this everchanging digital world.
Mary Engel
President of APAG
Director Orkin/Engel Film and Photo Archive