Friday, December 12, 2008

Mary Wright (Bath, Ohio): Beagle Violinist
Copyright ©2001 The American Photography Museum, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Menagerie reader Jay Resnick forwarded me this online gallery from The American Museum of Photography. The pictures, which date as far back as the 1850's, show that our interest in photographing animals is not a current trend.

I was particularly taken by these bizzare and highly creative photo collages by Mary Wright from the 1950's made with antique calling cards. This next passage is taken from the website:

"Mary Wright was a breeder of Boston Terriers, but she had another keen interest as well: photocollage. In the 1940s and 1950s, she gathered old photographs and carefully replaced the heads of the human subjects with dog's heads. Because the new heads are halftones, we can safely presume they were cut from magazines or dog show programs. Wright's collages are highly exacting-- the heads match the figures in position and scale, and also seem to have just the right expressions. They offer a wry twist to the old claim that people and their dogs tend to look alike."

Maybe we'll have to give this technique a try. Any volunteers?

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