Nelson archive at Amherst: A one-of-a-kind trove reveals what rural 19th-century American boyhood was really like.

Nelson archive at Amherst: A one-of-a-kind trove reveals what rural 19th-century American boyhood was really like..


How about a two-fer?

unnamed (1)On Saturday, June 6, PHSNE will be holding a special meeting at EP Levine, on Bear Hill Rd. in Waltham. At the same time, there will be a wonderful exhibit of Allen Dines’ Rock and Roll photographs in the same building. Why not come see the work and listen to a fascinating talk by Mark Elson on Civil War reenactors? Admission is free and the public is welcome. EP Levine will be open for business.  


Mark Elson Presents Civil War Reenactors at PHSNE Meeting

Saturday, June 6, 2015, 1:00 P.M., EP Levine

219 Bear Hill Road, Waltham MA 02451

Some 150 years on, interest in the American Civil War (1861-1865) is at an all-time high, especially among the thousands of people in the United States and Europe who participate in reenactments. Battlefields of Honor: American Civil War Reenactors is a documentary essay book on the men and women who feel an intense, often personal connection to a monumental period in America’s past.

Mark Elson’s expressive images, done in wet plate and contemporary photographic techniques, evoke the look and style of the nineteenth-century and capture the painstaking detail that goes into such reenactments. His lifelong fascination with the Civil War led to his interest in wet plate collodion photography, which ultimately resulted in the book.

Mark’s presentation to PHSNE on June 6th will include photos from the book, as well as his contemporary work done in the American West. Like many Civil War photographers who migrated west to document the country’s expansion, Mark, too was attracted to the beauty, grandeur and pioneer spirit. Using silver-based film keeps him in touch with photography’s 19thcentury roots and timeless look.

A Boston-based photographer who specializes in the 19th century process wet plate collodion photography, Mark attended the College for Creative Studies in Detroit and the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. He has been a lifelong student of the American Civil War.  Battlefields of Honor (Merrell Publishers) was inspired by the photography of Civil War-era photographers Mathew Brady, Timothy O’Sullivan and Alexander Gardner, among others.  Mark learned the wet plate process, had equipment built and found period lenses. He fell in love with this demanding and beautiful process, with its rich tones, great detail and timeless look. You can view Mark’s work at

In his contemporary work, Mark finds what most people overlook. A fleeting moment becomes a small-scale drama, a vignette that takes on deeper meaning as that moment is isolated and elevated. He uses the camera to strip away the veneer to see the beauty in the everyday, telling stories of misfits, dreamers, romantics and the forgotten.

At the PHSNE presentation, Mark will have on display wet plate collodion equipment including a camera, lens, and field dark box, and he will do a “dry” demonstration of the wet plate process.

 Driving directions to EP Levine can be found at

Norway’s First Paparazzi – Carl M. Størmer (1874-1957)

This just came across my desk from Ernie Beers, who is writing an article about a more local photographer, Hattie Goodnow, for the upcoming PHSNE Journal.

Norway's first paparazzi IbsenEarly 1890’s: Famous playwright Henrik Ibsen photographed by Carl M. Størmer

“I was a young 19 year-old student at the time and had gotten hold of a funny detective camera.” This is how Carl M. Størmer describes his new and amusing hobby in the St. Hallvard Journal from 1942.

In his portfolio we find photographs of the most famous Norwegian, playwright Henrik Ibsen as he strutted down Karl Johan’s street in Oslo – most likely unaware of the shooting. At that time, Størmer was a mathematician and Aurora Borealis specialist.


Norway's first paparazzi self portraitLong before the professional paparazzi began to make life miserable for celebrities, Størmer was a pioneer in the rather dubious hobby of secret photography.

In the 1890’s, he walked around in Oslo – often along main street Karl Johan – with a hidden camera and took pictures of famous men and women.

Størmer called Henrik Ibsen “an excellent object”,

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‘The Bay State: A Multicultural Landscape’ Opens April 25 At Scandinavian Cultural Center In Newton

Inspirational portraits by nationally known professional photographer Mark Chester create a visual archive celebrating the diversity of Massachusetts‘ citizens from 165 countries 
around the globe
April 20, 2015 – Newton, MA – The Scandinavian Cultural Center in Newton is proud to host the opening exhibit of The Bay State: A Multicultural Landscape on April 25. The selection of inspirational portraits by nationally known professional photographer Mark Chester is a moving display of more than 300 newly naturalized U.S. citizens who are residents of the Commonwealth. The opening had originally been scheduled for March 5 but was postponed due to inclement weather.
The opening exhibit of A Multicultural Landscape will be held on Saturday, April 25, with a reception at 2:00 p.m. At 2:30, Chester(shown, left) will present an artist talk. At 3:00, Westy Egmont, director of the Immigrant Integration Lab at Boston College’s Graduate School of Social Work, will speak.

A selection of the Chester’s photographs will be on display during April and May in the Scandinavian Cultural Center’s Nordic Hall Gallery, for which hours vary. The Gallery is located at 206 Waltham St. in West Newton. The photographer and a number of the exhibit’s subjects will be at the opening.

Chesters cultural-diversity collection is featured in the Dreams of Freedom: Boston’s Immigrant Experience exhibit, which began on March 10 at Boston’s

Skywalk Observatory, located on the 50th floor of The Prudential Tower.

Chester’s powerful images create a visual archive that celebrates the diversity of Massachusetts’ citizens from 165 countries around the globe. The photographs of New Americans enrich the viewer by sharing the vast cultural resources and rich ethnic heritage of the Bay State’s 351 towns and cities.

Click here to view and download high-resolution, JPEG-format images in The Bay State: A Multicultural Landscape exhibit.

Click here to download a listing in Word format of the countries of all of the participants in The Bay State: A Multicultural Landscape traveling exhibit.


To schedule an interview or for further information, contact:

Susan Wagner

Strategic Partner

Susan Wagner PR + Best Rate of Climb


Steven Jones-D’Agostino
Strategic Partner
Susan Wagner PR + Best Rate of Climb

83rd Photograhica Show and Sale!


Americal Center, 467 Main Street, Wakefield MA 01880

Saturday 9AM to 4PM & Sunday 9AM to 3PM

April 11th & 12th

Photography Auction Saturday 4:30PM April 11th

Join us at the Americal Center in Wakefield MA for PHSNE’s Photographica 83. Buying and selling mostly film along with some digital cameras of every size and format, vintage photographs, studio and darkroom equipment, stereo equipment and photographic ephemera. Dealers and exhibitors from US, Canada, Europe & Asia offer hands-on inspection of items and expert advice. And the famous PHSNE dollar table returns with many small (and not so small!) miscellaneous items starting at rock bottom prices.

General admission is $5 – Seniors $4 – Students (with valid ID), active U.S. military (with valid ID), and Photographic Historical Society of New England members are admitted to Photographica free

Earlybirds ($20 admission) may enter during dealer setup starting at 7:30AM.

Please go to  for show page and auction page for directions and other details

Free 200 car lot parking is available on at the Galvin School ½ a block away.  Directions –  Rt 128 to Exit 39 – North Avenue –Reading- Wakefield Exit. Turn right at exit and continue past 4 traffic lights.  Turn left onto Armory Street and then turn right into the Galvin school parking lot (marked with sign). On-street parking is also available. Parking meters will not be enforced on Sunday ONLY.

This just in from the Office of Cultural Resources


The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA), and the Massachusetts State Archives are informing you of the public accessibility through the Digital Commonwealth web portal of 8,800 photographic images that document the Massachusetts Metropolitan Water Works (MWW) System between 1895 and 1926, the system which provides metropolitan Boston with its water.

The MWW photographs document the real estate takings for and construction and operations of the Wachusett Reservoir, Wachusett Dam, Wachusett Aqueduct, Sudbury Reservoir, Sudbury Dam, Weston Aqueduct, Weston Reservoir, and the expansion of a water supply distribution system throughout metropolitan Boston (pipe lines, pumping stations, reservoirs, standpipes).

The images of real estate takings include residential homes and buildings; businesses; mills; town buildings; schools; churches; cemeteries; and railroad stations. About 50 Massachusetts cities, towns, and Boston neighborhood districts are represented in this collection. These images represent the Metropolitan Water Works System prior to the 1926-1940 expansion of the system that included the construction of the Quabbin Reservoir, and mostly derive from 7,839 glass plate photographic negatives that survive today.

Additionally, the photograph collection includes photographic images of Boston Water Works facilities between 1876 and 1895, before they were taken over by the Commonwealth in 1898.

This collection includes the photographic documentation of the Boston Water Board’s construction between 1890 and 1895, representing the Hopkinton Reservoir and Dam, and Sudbury Reservoir and Dam. Additional major facilities in this collection include water supply and distribution reservoirs of Ashland Reservoir, Ashland Dam, Bear Hill Reservoir, Bellevue Reservoir (standpipe), Chestnut Hill Reservoir, Fells Reservoir, Forbes Hill Reservoir (standpipe), Framingham Reservoirs, Framingham Dams, Lake Cochituate, and Spot Pond; and the water supply aqueducts of Cochituate Aqueduct and Sudbury Aqueduct. Pumping stations represented in this collection include the Arlington Pumping Station, Chestnut Hill Pumping Stations, Hyde Park Pumping Station, and Spot Pond Pumping Station; and pumping engines within these facilities. Other documented facilities include Upper Mystic Lake, Mystic Reservoir, Mystic Pumping Station, Waban Hill Reservoir, Chelsea Reservoir, pipe yards; and gatehouses associated with all MWW facilities.

Other subjects include forestry management around Wachusett Reservoir; sanitary improvement and protection of the watersheds, including Clinton sewerage treatment; brook and swamp drainage management; hydroelectric power plants and electrical transmission from MWW; pipe breaks along the distribution pipe lines; and railroad relocation.

This project is a collaborative inter-agency effort by DCR, MWRA and the Massachusetts State Archives. Free digital imaging of the collection was made by the Boston Public Library Digital Services, through its partnership with “Digital Commonwealth”, and funded by federal and state grants, including Institute of Museum and Library Services / Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) federal funds through the Massachusetts Board of Library of Commissioners.

An expanded Metropolitan Water Works continues to operate under the joint stewardship of the MWRA (water distribution system) and DCR (water supply reservoirs and their watershed management). DCR and MWRA share a common lineage and heritage back to the Metropolitan Water Works System that was established by the Massachusetts legislature in 1895. DCR and MWRA partnered with the Massachusetts State Archives to ensure that the original photographic negatives and prints of this archival collection are safely preserved for the Commonwealth at the Massachusetts Archives.

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