Archive for March, 2008

New Book and Exhibit on Lytle’s Photographs

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

A new book and exhibition entitled Andrew D. Lytle’s Baton Rouge: Photographs, 1863-1910 showcase the life and work of photographer Andrew D. Lytle. The exhibition in Hill Memorial Library is based on Mark Martin’s newly released book on Lytle, published by LSU Press.

On Sunday, April 6, two events will mark the opening of the exhibition, which runs through June 28. At 3 p.m., Martin will give an illustrated lecture, followed by a reception and book signing. At 2 p.m., preceding the talk, photographer Bruce Schultz will demonstrate the wet-plate collodion photographic technology that Lytle used during in his career. Both events are free and will take place at Hill Memorial Library.

With his roving camera, Lytle captured the city’s history in all its facets, from formal portraits of leading citizens to hilarious group shots of amateur theatricals. The Federal occupation of Baton Rouge during the Civil War is chronicled, as well the annual spring Fireman’s parade. Lytle photographed the cadets at LSU, as well as inmates of the state penitentiary. The exhibition offers views of the evolving landscape of Louisiana’s capital city through more than sixty years. Lytle’s photographs are, according to Martin, “the only visual record of that period of the life and times of Baton Rouge and its people.” Martin is the Photographic Processing Archivist in the LSU Libraries’ Special Collections division.

Bruce Schultz got involved with photography while a student at LSU, and went on to work as a photographer, reporter, and bureau chief for various newspapers in Louisiana, before joining the LSU AgCenter’s Communications Department. In April 2007, he took a workshop under expert wet-plate photographer Robert Szabo. After the workshop, Schultz says, “I was hooked. I haven’t shot any film since that fateful weekend in April 2007.” He often photographs Civil War reenactments and gives demonstrations of the wet-plate process for schools, libraries, and other similar institutions.

The demonstration, lecture, and exhibition are all free and open to the public. Hill Memorial Library, which houses the exhibition and extensive historical archives, is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. When classes are in session, the library is open Tuesday evenings until 8 p.m. For more information about the library, visit the Special Collections’ Web site.

Andrew D. Lytle’s Baton Rouge

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

Andrew Lytle photographed many facets of life in Baton Rouge between the 1860s and 1910, including the city’s occupation by Union forces during the Civil War. Special Collections’ own Mark E. Martin has edited a collection of Lytle’s photos, released this month by LSU Press. Andrew D. Lytle’s Baton Rouge begins with Martin’s overview of the life and work of the photographer and contains 120 of Lytle’s photographs. Many of Lytle’s photographs were lost when his heirs tossed the glass negatives down a well after his death. Prints of each of the photos had to be created for publication, and this task was undertaken by Sissy Albertine who made use of the surviving glass plate negatives as well as duplicate negatives to make the prints. Sissy and Mark then worked together on the sequencing of the images for publication.

You can read more about the book in <a href=”the LSU Press Catalog and 225 Magazine‘s review.

Mark Martin will be on hand to sign copies of his book on April 12, 2008 at 1:00 pm at the Barnes and Noble store at Perkins Rowe on Bluebonnet Blvd.

An exhibition at Hill Memorial Library showcasing the work of Andrew D. Lytle is also in the works. Watch this blog for more details.

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