Logan County Arts September show
to feature prints by 20th century photographer H.C. Tibbitts
A study in Americana recorded in the early
1900’s on glass negatives
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[September 07, 2018]
Members of the Logan County Arts, located at 112 S. McLean Street,
are pleased to announce they will host the premier opening of an
historic photographic exhibition from the early 1900’s. The event
will feature the work of Howard Clinton Tibbitts, a prominent San
Francisco based photographer, who traveled extensively throughout
the American West, Canada, and Mexico, documenting life and
landscape around the turn of the 20th Century.
“Much of his work has been published over the years in books,
magazines, and periodicals. However, many of the images which will
be on display have never been seen by the general public, as they
come from a long-time privately held collection; some of which were
Tibbitts’ own personal images.” says Patrick Moore, whose interest
in collecting and preserving the Tibbitts glass plate negatives has
grown from a “definite interest” to an outright obsession. “Just ask
my wife!” he lovingly adds. Tibbitts’ work is in the collections of
the California State Railroad Museum, University of California’s
Bancroft Library, California Historical Society, and many other
museums and institutions.
In order to produce a photograph, each glass plate is digitally
scanned and thoroughly scrutinized for signs of deterioration and
any damage caused by improper handling over the years. While making
sometimes extensive and painstaking restoration corrections to
digital versions of the files made from these 100 plus year old
images, Moore thinks about how much effort went into making each
individual original negative. “Just transporting a sufficient
quantity of these heavy glass plates, a camera and tripod,
chemicals, distilled water, and other pertinent supplies and
equipment alone, required a dedicated pack horse or mule.” comments
Moore. “The fact that these plates are still in existence over 100
years later is an absolute miracle.”
While digitally mastering and restoring the images from these
plates, Moore is humbled and honored to have the opportunity to
preserve these images for current and future generations, and
ponders what Tibbitts would say about the amazing leap in technology
employed today compared to when he created these images over 100
years ago. “The technology available today really makes successful
near–original quality restoration efforts possible, and gives
unprecedented life (and audience) to these original images.”
To further this effort, Moore, along with his wife Sharon, recently
founded Historic Shades of Gray; an enterprise dedicated to the
preservation, protection, and promotion of the work of pioneering
Western photographers, including Tibbitts.
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HC Tibbitts photographed Native Americans, Yosemite Valley, Redwood
forests, early Missions, agriculture, railroads, and early American
life during his travels throughout the west during and prior to the
early 1900’s, using large format view-type cameras producing roughly
7 x 9 inch glass plate negatives.
The Moore’s, along with Logan County Arts member Mitch Douglas, will
display vintage camera and photographic equipment and memorabilia,
as well as other period-specific items relevant to Tibbitts’ work.
Additional information about these items will be provided during the
opening day festivities.
The premier opening will be at the Lincoln Art Institute, 112 S.
McLean Street, Thursday, September 13, between the hours of 5:00 PM
and 8:00 PM, and will include a video presentation. Admission is
free and photographs and prints will be available for purchase. The
Tibbitts exhibit will remain on display at the gallery thru October
10th. Contact the Lincoln Art Institute at 217/651-8355 for
additional hours and information.
The Lincoln Art Institute will be open Saturday and Sunday, 1:00 PM
to 4:00 PM, during the entire run of the exhibit.
Refreshments will be provided the night of the opening.
[Text provided by Mitch Douglas, Logan
County Arts/Authored by Patrick Moore]