Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Olsen House

My first week in Maine was not technically a photography workshop. It was with Jeff Rosenheim who is the curator of photography for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We spent the majority of our time looking at the work of historically significant photographers and trying to understand their work better while we focus on really seeing their photos. Even though that was the purpose of the workshop we still found ample opportunity to go out and photograph. One of our little field trips was to the Olsen House. This house was made famous by the painter Andrew Wyeth who was a friend to Christina & Alvaro Olsen. Wyeth painted many canvases at this house but the most famous I have included here. The name of the painting is Christina's World and show's Christina who suffered from muscular deterioration (likely polio) out in the field looking up at her house. I was actually a little surprised when I found out the house in this famous painting was in Cushing, Maine and not in some place like Kansas. The house was surrounded by the typical forests that are abundant in Maine, not the open vista of the painting. Considering the mystical nature of the painting, it seems appropriate that the location of Christina's world can not be found in ours.

The Olsen House is often photographed by workshop participants so I wouldn't even begin to think that these images are going to be strikingly unique or significant. That is not my purpose in photographing. My purpose is not rooted in being unique from everyone else so I felt free to simply look for the beauty of this magical place and then share what I found with anyone that can appreciate my attempt.


Mark Weinberg said...

Great post. I am gonna scrounge up some old 35mm b+w film I shot at the Olsen House. I remember shooting in the same area as your last two images on the post. Maine is wicked awesome!

Aubry T Jensen said...

I love this series. They are all so intriguing and beautiful.

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