This summer, The Maine Media Workshops has organized a weeks worth of events to honor the memory of photographer Arnold Newman, who taught at MMW for many years. One event is a group photography exhibit of former assistants and students of his who also happen to have affiliations with the workshops.
I had the pleasure – others would say pain! – of assisting “Mr. Newman” (to you and me) while I was working one summer at MMW, and then during my very first weeks as an photographer’s assistant in New York. Arriving in New York back then, I was green. I could not plug in a Dyna-Light pack. Fortunately for me, neither could he! Mr. Newman was old school: tungsten hot lights and long, long exposures. And ties.
I arrived at his studio just off Lincoln Center early one September morning in 1990. I remember he did mention something about wearing a tie. I dressed for the day well enough, but really forgot about the whole tie thing. I mean, who the hell wears a tie anymore?
Well, he did. And he preferred his assistants to as well.
I was greeted by a slam of books on the table and “god dammed assistants, go get a tie.” Arnold’s dear wife, Augusta, kindly and calmly directed me to a vender in Lincoln Center.
And I still have that cheesy polyester tie in my closet.
In any event, I am proud to have been asked by Elizabeth Greenberg, the Director of Education at MMW, to participate in this show. The print I selected for the show (below) is from a project of mine in Scotland. I think it’s a proper homage to the portrait master. I am also pleased to have kept up my long association with the workshops over the years. After all, it’s really where it all started for me.