Our last newsletter was sent to you in 2015. The intervening years were full of photographic activity although there were occasions when Michael’s health was not optimum, and many things, by necessity, began to fall behind—such as this newsletter.
As many of you know, Michael passed away from a massive brain hemorrhage on November 16, 2018, following a series of small strokes throughout the year. November 16 was the saddest and worst day of my life. During all of 2018 I had begun to manage all of the details of our professional and personal lives so that Michael could rest and rehabilitate. Fortunately, his mind remained sound and he could give me information and advice about the many things that he had always managed alone so that I could be working in my studio. His generosity in that regard has always been a godsend for my own work, and a tribute to his generous spirit and understanding of how an artist needs both time and peace of mind in order to create.
There will be a memorial event to celebrate Michael’s life and work at the Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, PA on Sunday afternoon, 2–4, April 14. If you are able to attend, I would be so happy to see you there.
Even though we always made our photographs quite separately, Michael and I did everything else together. We supported whatever time and expense was involved with each other’s work, and we worked together on every book project, exhibition, travel plans, building projects at home, and teaching. The one thing we never shared was working in the darkroom together. We preferred to stay married.
In the spirit of “life is for the living,” and as Michael would have wanted, I am working to recover from this trauma and continue with work on his biggest dream—our 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Arts of Our Time, which is dedicated to creativity and scholarship in the arts. Please take a look at www.artsofourtime.org for a look at our mission and a few pictures of the buildings.
The administrative details since Michael’s passing have been overwhelming, yet I am committed to continuing with Michael’s legacy in both photographs and publishing. I hope to have his INMATES book published before the end of this year. He was able to complete his writing for the Preface, select the 98 portraits he made of the inmates, and organize the transcriptions of his interviews with 65 of the inmates. A curator friend is actively assisting me on this huge project, as we believe so strongly in the unique and important material that Michael achieved with this project. Please see more on that below under “Other Publications.”
Hopefully, I will be able to resume my own photographic and multi-media artworks during this year.
For your records, please note the addendum at the end with updated prices and availability of our photographs, books, and portfolios.
Photographing: I, Paula, have made a large series of still life photographs in the studio over a multi-year period. Individual prints from this series, From the Field, are printed in various sizes up to 50" wide and are made from 8x10-inch color negatives that have been drum scanned to highest resolution. I have continued to make drawings with sumi ink, watercolor, flower pigment stain, gouache, oil sticks, to name a few, also several large collages incorporating fragments of my drawings with photographs. The works on paper can be seen at www.michaelandpaula.com. Go to Photographs, then under my name, select “Works on Paper.”
Exhibitions and Catalogs:
There was a solo exhibition in 2018 at the Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Pennsylvania in the summer that compared and contrasted 45 of my works—photographs, drawings, collages, assemblages, and my one-of-a-kind hand-made book.
The same exhibition featured a solo exhibition of 42 of Michael’s portraits, a mere sampling that he has made over a 50-year period. Since we have never published a book exclusively of his portraits, it was quite revealing and inspiring to many.
Our photographs have appeared in various group exhibitions and have been donated to various museums over the last few years.
Book Publishing—Lodima Press:
The Portfolios of Brett Weston—The nineteen-volume series is finally complete. If you are one of those who had subscribed to either the hardcover or the softcover and did not complete your set, please let me know. I have tried to follow through with many of you over the past year. There are some gaps where addresses and other contact information have been lost, so I hope you will contact me so that we can complete your collection of these remarkable books.
If you did not pre-subscribe to this extraordinary set of books and would like to own a complete set, please contact me for pricing and availability. There are 18 bindings—volumes 18 and 19 are bound as one in order to accommodate both the biography and reproductions of the 17 prints that comprised Brett’s last portfolio. See pricing for the books individually, plus a sale price for the complete set at www.lodima.org.
Iceland: A Personal View, Volume I and Volume II—These books were published in the spring of 2015 and have been very popular. There are only 500 copies, and all are signed and numbered. Volume I, by Paula is a 9"x11" book, 142 pages with 83 reproductions, a long Preface, The Poetry of Earth by Paula, which includes her journal entries while traveling in Iceland, a Foreword by Omar Ragnarsson, Iceland’s most famous private citizen and foremost defender of the environment, and an essay by Jens Erdman Rasmussen, former Curator of Photography at the National Museum of Photography in Copenhagen. In addition, there is a DVD with a film consisting of examples of the video captures Paula made in 2006 and in 2010.
Michael’s 108-page book is 9"x17" and has 54 black and white reproductions and 24 reproductions of his photographs in color. After photographing for forty years, in 2006 Michael began photographing in color for the first time in Iceland. The writing includes Michael’s Preface and the essays mentioned above by Ragnarsson and Rasmussen. The text in both books is in English and Icelandic.
The photographs can be seen here: www.michaelandpaula.com. Go to Books, then select the Iceland books to see all of the photographs. Prices are available upon request. Some are no longer available.
Ocean Variations: This special book of Michael’s was also published in 2015 at the same time as the Iceland books. There are 29 reproductions of black and white 8"x20" photographs in 52 pages. The edition is 500 copies, all signed and numbered. There is no text. Michael said this was his favorite book because it required slow, meditative looking. He liked any photograph or book that demanded contemplative, careful looking. The published price is $125, and is currently on sale for $95. www.lodima.org
San Francisco: Twenty Corner Markets and One in the Middle of the Block was published back in 1996 in an edition of only 550 copies. It quickly sold out and it has been seen for sale on the Internet occasionally for over $400.
I have two pristine copies that are Artist Proofs and in perfect condition. $350. Let me know if you are interested, as they are just now re-listed on the web site. www.lodima.org
I am hard at work on Michael’s last book project, which he and I, along with a curator/writer were able to finalize in conception and gather all relevant materials before he passed away. INMATES: At Sheriff Joe’s Maricopa County 4th Avenue Jail is forthcoming. We hope to have it published before the end of the year. As Michael intended, it will not be a Lodima Press book since it requires a very large publisher with a broad distribution network, though I will be collaborating closely with all aspects of the book at all times.
Workshops: Michael and I taught two Vision and Technique Workshops this year. Though he was partially disabled, he was still a great teacher, and the workshops energized him, albeit temporarily. I will continue teaching occasionally, and will be teaching a few workshops in China in this fall.
We do not ask for feedback about our workshops, but here are a few of the many comments we have received.
“I have been a commercial photographer since I was 17, I went to college, I assisted the top photographers in London, worked on global international advertising accounts for the last twenty five years, and last year I went back to collage to get a Masters Degree. Not once in all that time have I ever had such an interesting and informative photographic experience.
Just a note of thanks to you both for having me at your wonderful workshop. There are events that occur in one's life that you consider a milestone for growth for who you are or become. I can honestly say that your workshop is one of my milestone events. You have renewed my photographic vision. You have reaffirmed my love of photography. Jeffrey Zeitlin
I truly enjoyed your workshop. The experience expanded my perspective and I have not felt this level of excitement since I started in photography. The best workshop of the dozen that I have attended. Mark Roh
Lodima Photographic Paper: www.lodima.org
I continue to sell Lodima silver chloride paper that we had manufactured as a replacement for Kodak Azo contact printing paper. Pricing and availability is on our web site www.lodima.org. A comment about our paper, typical of those we have received:
“I have been out shooting as much as I can and have been printing on Lodima. In fact, I have been revisiting negatives I had originally contact printed on enlarging paper and I am now achieving the tones and depth that I had been looking for but could never get.”
Expos, Trade Shows, and Other Travels:
Michael and I participated in AIPAD (Association of International Photography Art Dealers) in New York for the last two years with a publisher’s booth, also the book fair event during Atlanta Celebrates Photography month of October. For many years, Michael and I participated in Paris Photo in November, and then attended as visitors to stay in the loop and connect with photography friends from around the world. We continue to have photographs displayed in two charming restaurants in Paris.
For the first time I will be attending Paris Photo without Michael in November, 2019. My daughter, Wendy, is planning to go with me this year to share the experience of this important event in the photography world.
At www.lodima.org we have four sections: Lodima Press, Lodima Paper (the gelatin silver chloride contact printing paper made for us in Germany), Lodima Archival Materials, and our Digital Services.
Lodima Archival Materials: In 2000, Michael wrote an article for View Camera Magazine titled, “Advances in Archival Mounting and Storage.” The article can be read here:
The article is primarily an interview with Bill Hollinger, the inventor of MicroChamber™ technology. He invented a mat board called ArtCare™ that actively traps pollutants, thereby protecting photographs and other works on paper far better than conventional 100% acid-free all-rag materials. We became so interested in this material that it has been the only material we have used for our mat boards, negative folders, and storage boxes for nearly two decades. ArtCare™ materials are used by the National Archives and the Library of Congress, thus being the choice for archives requiring the highest standards.
Since we installed a 5,000 pound guillotine along with our computerized mat cutter, we can provide mat board, custom-cut overmats, archival storage boxes, and negative folders for those of you making photographs and other works on paper. www.lodima.org, go to “Archival Materials” to see Michael’s article “Advances in Archival Mounting and Storage.”
Lodima Digital: In order to make large prints from our black and white and color negatives we have high-end drum scanners and a large ink-jet printer as well as other equipment. We can make prints in the 8x10-inch format up to 40x50 inches and in the 8x20-inch format up to 40x100 inches. In addition to using this equipment for our own work, we do work for others—scanning negatives and making large prints. Though I am still committed to the darkroom and to making silver chloride contact prints, this digital development is an expansion of our work, not a replacement.
Arts of Our Time: In 2008 we formed a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization called Arts of Our Time dedicated to creativity and scholarship in the arts.
Because our buildings are artist-designed, and because we have a significant presence in the art world (between us, our photographs have been collected by over 150 art museums), it is appropriate that our place become a museum in the tradition of artists’ homes that are museums.
Our vision for Arts of Our Time
• The original impetus for the institution was to house our very extensive archive. Where an artist’s archive will be permanently and appropriately housed is always a concern to serious artists. It is unlikely that the Center for Creative Photography or another institution would take on the responsibility of storing and curating our archive, so the solution we came up with is to house our archive of photographs and other artworks, letters, books, and other published materials here. Proceeds from the sale of our work during our lifetime and after our deaths will help fund the institution.
• To hold photography lectures and symposia. For example: to annually invite curators, historians, critics, or photographers who have agreed on a topic of mutual interest. Each would write a paper and then come here for a weekend of discussion. The end result would be publication of the papers along with a video of the discussion, thus making a contribution to the important scholarly writings about photography.
• To hold regular exhibitions of our own, and occasionally, of others’ works.
• To host concerts of contemporary classical music and thereby to help support contemporary composers and performers.
• To conduct architectural tours. Our buildings are architecturally distinguished. An architect and photography collector who visited us was blown away by our buildings and interiors. The buildings were engineered and passive-solar designed by designer-builder John Ringel, whose company is known as Jersey Devil. (There are two published books about houses that John has designed and built.) Our buildings are works of art in themselves—most everything in the buildings is custom-made down to the door handles, which Michael designed. A recent visit by another architect friend confirmed that this would be a unique and exciting experience for many.
I continue working fervently to reach our goals for Arts of Our Time. We have a fine board, and together we continue to work toward a bright future for this non-profit.
I am seeking tax-deductible donations to Arts of Our Time for 2019. If you would be willing to make a donation in Michael’s memory, please give me a call or make your donation through our web site www.artsofourtime.org where you will see the opportunity to “Donate,” or you can send a check to Arts of Our Time, P.O. Box 400, Ottsville, PA 18942. Any amount will be most appreciated.
Those who responded last year helped us make our goal for 2018, and those who donated in Michael’s memory after his passing helped me move forward with our goals for 2019. I and the board are endlessly grateful for that help.
Please remember that you are always welcome to visit here at our home and studios in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Although construction is still underway, we have a lovely and private guest suite.
I will be staying in touch with our many friends in photography around the world. Please know that I treasure the friendship and support I have received from so many of you during this difficult time of readjustment, and I look forward to reuniting with you at some point.
I am confident that I am speaking for Michael, too, in sending you warmest and best wishes for health, happiness, and many rewarding adventures for 2019 and beyond. As always, we are deeply grateful for your interest in and support of our work. As part of our audience, you complete a vital circle and make a valuable contribution to the creative process and the making of our art.
Many who receive this newsletter have requested updates on our print prices for your records and for appraisal. This addendum contains those updates and also provides information about our books, exhibition catalogues, portfolios, note cards, posters, and singular video converted to DVD.
Silver Chloride Contact Prints
Now that we are not printing from older negatives, prints from these negatives are now editioned. The edition number is different for every image: for some photographs it may be as few as 4 or 5; for others it could be 12, or 17, 26, or 33, or some other “odd” number. Although we did not originally edition our photographs, we have always assigned a unique number to each print following the negative number, and have kept exact records of how many prints of each image we have made.
We normally consider certain work “current” for two to five years. In general, the photographs that fall into the “older” category will change by one year, although that is not rigidly fixed.
Prices for prints that are very scarce are somewhat higher than listed here. All black and white photographs are gelatin silver chloride contact prints. All are vintage.
Current photographs (2014–2019):
B&W 8"x20" $5,000.–$6,000.
Color 8"x10" $2,500.
Color 16"x20" $3,000.
Color 20"x24" $4,500.
Color 30"x38" $7,500.
Color 40"x50" $9,000.
Mounted diptychs, triptychs, or quartets of 6x6cm and 6x7cm $1,250.–$4,000.
16"x20" combinations from Chicago: Lake $1,750 each panel Some examples can be seen in the book. Go to www.lodima.org
Color 8"x10" $2,500.
Color 16"x20" $3,000.
Color 20"x24" $4,500.
Color 30"x38" $7,500.
Color 40"x50" $9,000.
Singular unique color print 50"x65" (mounted on dibond) – $10,500.
Older photographs (pre-2014):
8"x20" $5,000.–$10,000. (most start at $6,000)
8"x10" $3,000.–$10,000. (most start at $4,000)
Our large platinum prints, made in editions of ten, and two artists’ proofs, begin at $12,000 for Paula’s prints, $10,000 for Michael’s prints.
Paula’s platinum prints are printed on translucent handmade Japanese Taizan paper 23"x29". Michael’s are printed on Arches Platine paper and are one meter wide—15"x39". To make these prints, our original negatives are scanned at the Salto Platinum Atelier in Belgium, then five enlarged film negatives were made from each scan and are then printed in register with multiple exposures—a lengthy, arduous, expensive process. These platinum prints are as beautiful as any we have ever seen.
As you know, seeing photographs on the Internet is nothing like seeing them “in the flesh,” especially with Paula’s platinum prints on the thin Taizan paper where the delicacy and luminescence does not translate well, but we hope you can get at least some idea of their quality and appearance. Go to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Books and Catalogues:
Please see our web site, www.lodima.org for book descriptions and example images from each of the following books:
Iceland: A Personal View, Vol. I and II: Photographs mostly of the natural landscape in Iceland. Vol. II (Michael’s book) includes his color photographs. This two-volume set was published in a Lodima Press edition of only 500 copies, all signed and numbered. Paula’s book is $95 and Michael’s is $125.
Purchased together–$150, a savings of $70.
Ocean Variations: This was printed at the same time as our Iceland books and is limited to only 500 copies, all signed and numbered. $95.
Chicago: Loop/Chicago: Lake: Our first, and only, joint book. Two books in one with two front covers as revealed when flipping the book over, 41 reproductions from Michael's 8"x20" contact prints, and 79 reproductions of Paula's photographs, drawings, assemblages, and ephemeral constructions, which are presented as diptychs, triptychs, and quartets. Printed in an edition of 500, all signed. Published in 2008. $75.
Tuscany: Wandering the Back Roads, Vol. I: Published in 2004, Paula’s book of photographs of the countryside and small towns and villages of Tuscany. Essay by the late Robert Sobieszek, Curator of Photography at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Foreword by Ferenc Máté, author of The Hills of Tuscany, Preface by Michael and Paula. 70 reproductions printed in 600-line screen quadtone: $95. Signed and numbered, slipcased limited edition: $250.
Tuscany: Wandering the Back Roads, Vol. II: Published in 2004, Michael’s book of 8x20-inch photographs of the countryside and small towns and villages of Tuscany. 59 reproductions printed in 600-line screen quadtone. A few signed copies remain: $150. Signed and numbered, slipcased limited edition: $250.
Purchased together–$195, a savings of $50.
Madonnina: Paula’s book of photographs of the small shrines to the Madonna that can be found throughout the countryside in Tuscany. Foreword by Steven Maklansky, former Assistant Director for Art and Curator of Photographs at the New Orleans Museum of Art, Essay by Giuliana Bianchi Caleri, Italian scholar, Preface by Paula. 50 reproductions printed in 600-line screen quadtone: $60. Signed and numbered, slipcased limited edition: $200.
Landscapes 1975–1979: This award-winning set of books is sold out.
Michael A. Smith: A Visual Journey: Photographs from Twenty-Five Years: Published in 1992, this book accompanied Michael’s twenty-five year retrospective exhibition at the International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House. Foreword by Marianne Fulton, Essay by John Bratnober. 176 duotone reproductions: $125. Signed and numbered, slipcased limited edition: $250.
Princeton: An exhibition catalogue of Michael’s with five reproductions and an essay by Richard Trenner. Published in 1985. Rare; fewer than ten copies remain. $25.
Natural Connections: Photographs by Paula Chamlee: Published in 1994, a book of Paula’s photographs of the natural landscape accompanied by selected writings from her journals with an essay by the late Estelle Jussim. This was the first book ever printed in Dave Gardner’s Laser Silver-Lit Tones™ (Garner Lithograph), 42 tritone reproductions: $95. Signed and numbered, slipcased limited edition: $200.
High Plains Farm: Published in 1996, a book of Paula’s photographs and writing about the farm where she grew up on the High Plains of the Texas Panhandle. Foreword by George F. Thompson. 81 duotone reproductions: $95. Signed and numbered, slipcased limited edition: $200.
San Francisco: Twenty Corner Markets and One in the Middle of the Block: Paula’s third book, published in 1997. Original edition sold out. One Artist's Proof copy available: $350.
The Students of Deep Springs College: Michael’s book about the most unusual college in America, published in 2000. Essay by L. Jackson Newell, Afterword by William T. Vollmann, Preface by Michael, 53 reproductions printed in 600-line screen quadtone: $60. Signed and numbered, slipcased limited edition: $200.
A Field in Tuscany: An edition of ten portfolios self-published in 2000 containing eight 8"x10" photographs archivally mounted and overmatted, and two sheets of deckle-edged Arches paper printed letterpress. The portfolio comes in a handmade box covered in heavy linen. Please call or email for jpgs of the photographs in the portfolio and pricing.
San Francisco: Twenty Corner Markets and One in the Middle of the Block: An edition of three portfolios self-published in 1997 containing twenty-one 8"x10" photographs archivally mounted and overmatted, and three sheets of deckle-edged Arches paper printed letterpress. The portfolio comes in a handmade box covered in heavy Italian linen. One remains. Please call or email for jpgs of the photographs in the portfolio and pricing.
High Plains Farm: A Unique Portfolio: An edition of fifteen portfolios self-published in 1996. Sold out.
Portfolios: Michael and Paula
The Azo Portfolio: An edition of ten portfolios plus two artists’ proofs self-published in 2006 containing a selection of ten photographs, five 8"x20" contact prints by Michael and five 8"x10" contact prints by Paula, all archivally mounted and overmatted. The portfolio contains two sheets of deckle-edged BFK Rives paper printed letterpress and comes in a handmade box bound in heavy linen. This portfolio is produced for the purpose of helping finance the continuing production of the new silver chloride photographic paper, Lodima Fine Art. Please call or email for jpgs of the photographs in the portfolio and pricing. Only four remain.
Eight Landscape Photographs: An edition of twenty portfolios plus two artist’s proofs published by Regnis Press in 1983 containing eight 8"x20" photographs archivally mounted and overmatted, and two sheets of deckle-edged Arches paper printed letterpress. The portfolio comes in a handmade box covered in heavy linen. Upon completion of this portfolio, the negatives were retired; no further prints were made from them. Please call or email for jpgs of the photographs in the portfolio and pricing. Only one remains.
Twelve Photographs 1967–1969: An edition of twenty-five portfolios self-published in 1970, this portfolio contains a representative selection of twelve 8"x10" contact prints from this period. All are archivally mounted photographs with two sheets of Arches paper printed letterpress. Comes in a custom-made portfolio case covered in heavy linen. Please call or email for jpgs of the photographs in the portfolio and pricing. Only three remain.
Michael A. Smith: Note Card Set One and Paula Chamlee: Note Card Set One: Two boxed sets of note cards, one set from each of us. Printed in Belgium by Salto in 600-line screen quadtone. Each set has twelve cards and envelopes—three cards each of four photographs of the natural landscape. We chose a fine card stock that is coated on the outside for optimum reproduction and uncoated on the inside for quick-dry, non-smear writing. Both sets are limited to an edition of only 1,000. $19.95 for the first set, and $16.95 for each additional set.
The four High Plains Farm posters are exquisitely printed in 300 line-screen duotone on heavy cover stock and were run through the press an additional and fourth time for extra luster and brilliance. Size: 19"x26" for three of the posters and 19"x27" for the fourth (a vertical photograph): $25 each or $75 for all four. A limited edition of signed and numbered posters is also available at $40 each or $135 for all four.
The Portfolios of Brett Weston: San Francisco Portraits of My Father
White Sands Vintage
New York Twenty Photographs
Fifteen Photographs Alaska
Ten Photographs Hawaii
Baja California Abstractions No.1
Japan Abstractions No.2
Europe Special Edition 1951
Oregon Prints for Students
Lodima Press Portfolio Books:
Home by Nicholas Nixon Flights Through Time by Marilyn Bridges
Solitudes by Carl Chiarenza Stone Churches of Ireland by Paul Caponigro
Common Mementos by George Tice Still by Douglas Mellor
Opera Nuda by Keith Carter The Studios of Pietrasanta by Hans Bol
Heaven/Earth by Linda Connor Close at Hand by Robert Adams
Primal Elegance by Larry Fink Salt Grass by Eric Lindbloom
Planets by Arthur Tress Balanced/Equation by Arno Minkkinen
Edward Weston: Life Work
Los Crepúsculos de la Imaginación by Alejandro López de Haro R.
Stones and Marks by Peter Elliston
Passage: Europe by Richard Copeland Miller
Crash, Burn, Love: Demolition Derby by Bill Lowenburg
Ticetown by George Tice
Land of the Deer Stone by Elaine Ling
On My Mother’s Side by Emily Grimes
Whiteout by Nathan Lyons and Marvin Bell