Saturday, February 14, 2015

Saturdays Online: Some Thoughts on Legacy

For me there are two aspects of Legacy:

  1. Who are we as artist and who cares?
  2. What happens to the work of those who never become famous?

We can contemplate the first item ad nauseum.  And some people spend a lot of time on that.  But from time to time I actually wonder, WHAT will happen to all of my negatives and prints when I am gone?

I have two cases in point:

First, the recent death of one of my Photo Friends Richard Knepp.  Whose website for now still persists, probably until the domain name expires, etc.  But for now His Legacy is still visible.  He was fairly well known amongst the practitioners and followers of old school Monterey style View Camera Photography.  One of those continuing the Legacy of Ansel Adams and Edward Weston.

Another case, someone without reputation, and totally unknown: Vivian Maier, whose work went unprinted until discovered by....several photographers/collectors in Chicago.  She was a nanny who took street photos around Chicago on her days off.  Who knew?

Most of us, if we are lucky, may be "rediscovered" after our passing by interested collectors.  Or our photographs, if printed, may turn up on some future version of "Forgotten Old Photos".  Sorry "digital and never printed types", your work will not be around for anyone to rediscover.


So I leave you with those thoughts near the summit of Pikes Peak:


  1. Have you been to the summit?

    Interesting questions on what happens to our photos. Perhaps packed away and then discovered by future generations who will make us famous if they like the works. Perhaps thrown in the trash by well meaning relatives cleaning out the house.

    I wonder if those web sites were ever archived on the Wayback Machine?

  2. Yes I have been to the top of Pikes Peak, probably 4 times. The year I took this photo the roads were blocked by snow, so we were just below the summit. But they do try to keep the road open to the top (or nearly so) in the winter.