Friday, May 30, 2014

State of the Kingston Lounge Address

Have you missed me?  I've certainly missed you, dear readers.  It's been just over a year since I posted my last proper blog post here on the Lounge, although I've sporadically been updating the Kingston Lounge Facebook page with images from trips recent and old, and information on some of my ongoing work.

The blog certainly is not dead!  And I will most definitely be making a new post as soon as time allows.  But it's been a busy year.  What have I been busy with, you may be asking... let me give you a few highlights!  First and foremost...

I'm publishing my first photo book this year!

I was contacted last year by People Inc. Press, a Buffalo-based publisher, to write a monograph on my absolute favorite building in America, H. H. Richardson's Buffalo State Hospital, which I have previously written a short blog post about.  But there's so much more to see inside this architectural treasure...



I made about a dozen trips to visit this asylum between 2003 and 2008.  The blog post I made in 2008 consisted only of digital images from recent trips inside the complex; in preparing this book, I had to locate and scan negatives going back a decade - some of which I hadn't seen in nearly as long!  So expect a ton of new images of Richardson's greatest commission.

In addition to the photography, the book will provide a comprehensive history of the hospital - from its planning, site location, and construction onwards.  It will explore the moral treatment philosophies of Thomas Story Kirkbride, the mental health pioneer responsible for the layout of the hospital, and the landscape design of Frederick Law Olmstead.  The groundbreaking nursing school will be brought to light, as well as the daily operation and eventual downfall of the building.  I'm extremely excited about this work; it's been a labor of love, and has significantly impacted both my time to photograph and - as you've probably noticed - any time I have to write new photoessays on The Kingston Lounge.

But I hope when it comes out, hopefully late this year, you will enjoy reading and exploring it as much as I've enjoyed creating it, and it will more than make up for the lack of posts recently.

I've also recently launched...

Three new, very large, limited-edition prints!



Focused on an exploration of the forms of various staircases I love, these are the largest limited editions ever offered by the Lounge, at 24"x36", and offered in editions of 10.  Printed on Kodak Endura paper, they are archival to over a century with proper care, and each is signed and numbered on verso with acid-free ink.  As always, this will be the only opportunity to own the print at this size - all future offerings will be printed at smaller sizes and unsigned.  The list price for these editions is $1,000.  However, if you are reading this, then the first impression of each edition (numbered 1/10) is still currently available on eBay in an attempt to allow my readers an opportunity to try to win one for far less than list price.  The auctions end on Thursday, June 5th.  The information on the three prints:

(1) Second-story landing of the floating staircase in the Administration Building (Clocktower) at Worcester State Hospital, 2012.  This image is very near and dear to my heart - I'd been trying to get a perfect capture of this scene since 2006, but there was always something missing.  Finally, in a 10-minute exposure on my final trip - shortly before demolition - I caught it just as I wanted it at sunrise.  Click here to see a much larger version.

(2) Second-floor landing of the grand staircase in the Administrative Pavilion at Hudson River State Hospital, 2014.  This 15-minute exposure was taken during the end of the "blue hour" - the end of civil twilight, and the visible portions of nautical twilight.  But the main light source was the full moon shining through the window on the rear wall of the landing.  Of the many photos I've taken of this staircase over the past decade, this one stands out to me.  See the full-sized version here.

(3) Cast-iron spiral staircase inside the Nurses' Building in Riverside Hospital on North Brother Island, 2011.  Taken after my blog post on the quarantine island went live, on my final trip out there, it is also my favorite photograph of the stairs.  This was my only summer trip to the island, and the color cast into the room by the foliage that had overgrown the windows really made it pop.  To see the full-sized version, click here!

And finally...

I've been working on a number of unrelated personal projects.

Some of these are top-secret at present, but I promise you they will come to light at some point.  Others - such as my project photographing prominent art models inside abandoned structures - are highlighted on my new personal Tumblr page, along with more abandoned building photography (of course).  Please be advised that this site contains some images that may be deemed "not suitable for work", if you work in an office that does not condone artistic nudity.  And please note that this is a personal Tumblr page, unaffiliated with The Kingston Lounge.  It contains my own personal thoughts, biased commentary on the state of modern ruins photography, too many Leonard Cohen quotes, and so on - if you just want the history and photographs, stick to this page and the Facebook page!

But I assure you The Kingston Lounge is alive and kicking!

So fret not.  When the book goes to press, expect me to get down to work researching and writing on the dozens - perhaps hundreds - of locations that I have visited and not yet written about.  Several people have sent me emails asking if the blog is done - and it is most certainly not.  Or if I may quote Mark Twain: "Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated."  I've been busy.  Hopefully, soon I will not be.  But keep coming back - because there will be many more posts on this blog in the years to come!

6 comments:

senormedia said...

Good news.

senormedia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Frank Lynch said...

I was this close to trimming my RSS feeds...

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Anonymous said...

Great, missed the blog