Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Grandpa's Slides, 1953-68

(Above: LoraDell Baker in Atlantic City, 1966. Click on image to enlarge.)

In March 2012 while I was at an art residency in Key West, Steve took digital photographs of slides taken and organized by my grandpa, Connel A. Baker, Jr. I've finally uploaded them to Flickr!, a public site. Using Photoshop, I've "played around" with the two photos in this blog post in order to minimize the look from the slide projector screen.

Suitcase # 1 is HERE or as a slideshow HERE. Total 1,613 images ... all with Grandpa's captions.
Suitecase # 2 is HERE or as a slideshow HERE. Total 1,786 images ... all with Grandpa's captions.

(Above: The seven grandchildren, 1967. Click on image to enlarge.)

Steve's blog post from March 8 reads:

The head mouse, Susan, is spending the whole month of March at The Studios of Key West as one of their artist-in-residence. Today she is teaching her famously "Hot" class to 12 eager students (a class that had 8-10 people on a waiting list). She is spending this month creating faux stain glass fiber pieces and more InBox pieces for an upcoming show in Fredericksburg, VA in June. Needless to say she is having a great time away from me and the business. I will join her on March 29 and we will return on April 2.

One of my duties ( it is actually my pleasure and honor) in her absence is to record and document the hundreds of photographic slides that Susan's grandfather, Connel Baker, created during the years from 1954-1968. I never had the pleasure to meet him because of his untimely death in 1978. The slides contain photographs of his trips (with the love of his life, LoraDell, still alive and kicking at 93) all over the United States and Europe, family photos of his children, grandchildren, immediate family members and friends, and everything else in between. He even took slides of President Lyndon Johnson's Inauguration in 1965. There are no fewer than 95 boxes of slides with 36 slides per box. Every slide was named and dated, and each one was enclosed in a metal case. The metal slides were placed in a Airequipt automatic slide magazine and viewed using a Argus 300 Slide Projector. This was cutting edge technology before the invention of the Carousel projector that most people of my generation would remember.

The vast majority of the slides are in incredibly good shape with crisp colors and clarity. Many have not been seen in 50 years or more, and many of them have never been seen by Susan's family. Before Susan left for Florida, she set up a tripod with my digital camera and movie screen borrowed from her sister, Sonya, in our living room upstairs. We set up the Argus Projector, and I began taking digital photos of each slide as projected on the movie screen. Each container and slide is named using Connel's descriptions and stored on the computer. Although the quality is not as good as the slide itself, one can get a reasonable idea of which ones may need to be scanned for better reproduction (and believe me, there are many that warrant this!).

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Lyric Pieces ... a photo I found on-line

(Above: Members of Birmingham Royal Ballet dancing in Lyric Pieces, a new work by choreographer Jessica Lang. I saw this work during my spring trip to England. It is WONDERFUL and Mathias was wonderful in it! Here's a video of Ms. Lang talking about her commission.