Barbara Levine: People Kissing: A Century of Photographs
Tomorrow we celebrate love, and as the Valentine’s Lenscratch Exhibition is titled The Kiss, the timing is perfect to feature Barbara Levine and Paige Ramey’s new book by Princeton Architectural Press, People Kissing: A Century of Photographs. Barbara and Paige are artists who collect vintage found photographs and are archivists who curate. Their extensive archive, projectb.com, is dedicated to sharing and preserving vintage vernacular photography and is the foundation of their artwork, exhibitions, publications and collaborations with other artists. The artists state, “Our art and approach cross traditional boundaries and are inspired by the intersection of fine art, vernacular imagery and material culture with the unavoidable telling of personal stories. We are dedicated to collecting and preserving vintage vernacular photography, and equally fascinated by combining anonymous photos with contemporary artistic methods and technologies to reinterpret the experience of the photographic image.”
Barbara Levine is a photo collage artist, vernacular photography collector, curator and author. Barbara’s books, published by Princeton Architectural Press, include People Kissing: A Century of Photographs (2019 with Paige Ramey) People Fishing: A Century of Photographs (2018) People Knitting: A Century of Photographs (2016); Finding Frida Kahlo (2009), Around The World: The Grand Tour in Photo Albums (2007); and Snapshot Chronicles: Inventing the American Photo Album (2006). Her photographic collages with Martin Venezky were acknowledged with a 2017 LensCulture Exposure Award and she and Paige Ramey regularly organize exhibitions for Cherryhurst House in Houston, including the exhibition and self published photo book, CAMERA ERA (co authored by Venezky and named a 2014 best photobook by photo-eye). Barbara’s collection of early vernacular photograph albums was acquired by the International Center of Photography in New York. Trained as a photographer at the San Francisco Art Institute followed by a graduate degree in Museology, Ms. Levine served as deputy director of The Contemporary Jewish Museum, and as exhibitions director at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Paige Ramey came to PROJECT B with over twenty years experience running arts organizations following her career in dance and video art in NYC. Since 2014 she has been consulting and co-curating for Cherryhurst House, an artists residence and exhibition space in Houston, Texas. Paige also has an extensive background in the preservation of pre-digital and time-based media. During her 15 years as Programs Director at the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC), she directed a seminal program in the field of analog video preservation, working with museum conservators, archivists and the Library of Congress to establish conservation practice standards for video repositories throughout the world. She is the writer/director of Playback: Preserving Analog Video, an interactive DVD set funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. Her formative experience as both a performer and a videographer in New York’s alternative dance/performance heyday—working with influential artists such as Elizabeth Streb and Yvonne Rainer—has fueled her lifelong commitment to preserve and distribute unique cultural expressions of a pre-digital world.
People Kissing: A Century of Photography by Barbara Levine and Paige Ramey has been recently published by Princeton Architectural Press. Love is in the air as Barbara Levine and Paige Ramey take on humankind’s oldest pastime: kissing. In racy candids, humorous vintage postcards, and snapshots taken on the sly, couples from the Victorian era through the Swinging Sixties smooch, canoodle, neck, and spoon. The collected photographs are sweet, sincere, and saucy, occasionally awkward, and always intriguing: Who took these photos? And what lay in store for these amorous couples after the shutter clicked—true love or just a passing fancy?
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