The 2020 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is happening April 23 through May 3rd! The Historic New Orleans Collection will have their tent set up with Michael P. Smith reproductions available for purchase. We print hundreds of reproductions each year for this event. If you’re in New Orleans, stop by the tent to browse the beautiful and historic pieces by Michael P. Smith. Can’t go to the festival? Visit us online at RequestAPrint to browse our galleries, order pieces you love and have them shipped to you directly. Every sale financially benefits the museum! https://www.requestaprint.net/thnoc/index.php
Who was Michael P. Smith? During his nearly forty-year career, photographer Michael P. Smith (1937-2008) immersed himself in the larger world of New Orleans’s musical culture. At public events, from music festivals and concerts to street parades both mournful and celebratory, Smith was there with his Nikon cameras and, in later years, a tape recorder. Beyond his public presence, Smith earned the trust of musicians and churchgoers who let him into their private lives. These relationships allowed him to create a photographic record bearing witness to often elusive cultural and spiritual events. Though documentary in style, his photographs transcend the mere description of their subjects, pushing viewers to consider the cultural diversity of the world around them.
“Draper was commissioned as a Lieutenant JG in the Naval Reserve in June 1942. His first assignment was with the Anti-Submarine Warfare Unit in Boston. He transferred to the Art Section in Washington DC and shortly thereafter was sent to Alaska where he spent over five months in the Aleutian Island Chain Painting a series of 42 oils including Kodiak, Dutch Harbor, Umnak, Adak and Amchitka. He was present at the initial occupation and also the Japanese attack on Amchitka Island. He depicted the attack with bombs bursting and shells flying within close range of his foxhole. In making this series of paintings he ran into difficulties peculiar to the climate of the Aleutian such as eccentric winds blowing his canvas into the air like a kite and conditions of arctic weather that made painting only possible by wearing gloves to keep his hands from freezing.”
“In 1837, at the age of fourteen, Cropsey won a diploma at the Mechanics Institute Fair of the City of New York for a model house that he built. That same year he was apprenticed to the architect Joseph Trench for a five year period. After eighteen months, Cropsey, who had shown an early proficiency in drawing, found himself responsible for nearly all of the office’s finished renderings. Impressed with his talents, his employer provided him with paints, canvas, and a space in which to study and perfect his artistic skills. During this period Cropsey took lessons in watercolor from an Englishman, Edward Maury, and was encouraged and advised by American genre painters William T. Ranney (1813-1857) and William Sidney Mount (1807-1868).”
“Hiroshige’s artistic life may be characterized in several stages. The first was his student period, from about 1811 to 1830, when he largely followed the work of his elders in the field of figure prints—girls, actors, and samurai, or warriors. The second was his first landscape period, from 1830 to about 1844, when he created his own romantic ideal of landscape design and bird-and-flower prints and brought them to full fruition with his famed Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō and other series of prints depicting landscape vistas in Japan. His last stage was his later period of landscape and figure-with-landscape designs, from 1844 to 1858, during which overpopularity and overproduction tended to diminish the quality of his work.”
Born in 1913, Jerome Biederman was a nationally recognized illustrator of transportation. Whether his subject was an automobile, aircraft, or locomotive, his renderings were technically accurate and highly detailed. His medium of choice was tempera paint on illustration board.
The above image is from the Detroit Historical Society’s collection of Biederman prints. They are all available for custom reproduction through RequestAPrint.
After graduating from the American Academy of Art in Chicago, he entered the advertising world where he did almost everything except illustration. By 1940, he chose to leave the corporate advertising world and return to the creative atmosphere of a studio.
For many years, Biederman’s steadiest assignments and commissions came from calendar companies. His work appeared regularly in Automobile Quarterly, Horseless Carriage Gazette and other magazines.
Before Biederman passed away in 1996, he donated many of his illustrations to the Detroit Historical Society’s collection.