Every once in a while I decide that I’m going to plan a week or so of posts, trying to lay things out in a logical order. These attempts have been largely in vain so mostly I just ride the wave and hope not to crash. It generally works out pretty well and it surely allows me to make connections that I wouldn’t if I ran this in a more structured way. I’m telling you this because a comment from Grungy on yesterday’s post made me realize that I had something that I hadn’t really understood. Here’s what he wrote, talking about the first photo in yesterday’s post:
Polaroid cameras such as these are turning up regularly in medical surplus auctions in the area.
Prices are generally far lower than the original MSRP.
Film is once again available, courtesy of the Impossible Team
I clicked on the link and read a remarkable story about the creation ex nihilo of an entirely new film system for old Polaroid cameras. As I read, something was rolling around in the back of my head. I went and found it this morning.
This is a picture from the William Lukes (’71, ’74) collection in the Woodson. (See here for a biographical sketch and guide to the collection. It’s really a wonderful look at Houston in the early ’70s.) Taken with both the haunting quality of the image and the names of the movies on the marquee, I scanned it only about a week ago. It wasn’t until today that I realized he (Lukes himself is the subject) was holding a Polaroid and a Polaroid picture. Lukes very helpfully included notes with many of the photos and the one that goes with this explains exactly what was going on here:
Bonus: Since the above picture of Lukes was taken by Paul Hester, (’71) here’s a picture of Paul Hester, taken by Lukes. I love this.
Paul Hester, you should know, is a long-time instructor in the Department of Dramatic and Visual Arts and a great friend of the Woodson. He and my colleague Dara Flinn produced this beautiful video about another of our collections, the photographs of Vera Prasilova Scott. Hester also narrates it. I know that eight minutes is an eternity on the internet, but this is gorgeous and well worth a look.