Blog - Barbara Levine

Meet Sideshow Star, Koo Koo The Bird Girl!

Koo Koo The Bird Girl,c.1930, from Sideshow Stars CollectionLike many vintage photo and ephemera collectors, I am fascinated with images of the 'other' such as circus performers and 'freaks'. Above is a rare 1930 photograph of Koo Koo The Bird Girl. Her real name was 'Minnie Woolsey and she was born in Georgia in 1880. She was born with Virchow-Seckel syndrome, a condition also known as bird-headed dwarfism. In addition to her unusual face, she was blind, mentally handicapped, toothless, and practically hairless. The story goes that she was rescued from a a Georgia insane asylum by an huckster showman and began her stage career as "Minnie Ha-Ha". She was dressed in a phony American Indian costume and spoke jibberish to sideshow audiences. In 1932, Minnie landed a... Read more 3 comments Barbara Levine, freaks, koo koo the bird girl, vintage circus photos

CAMERA ERA Exhibition

CAMERA ERACherryhurst HouseMarch 29 - November 10, 2014Organized by Project B from the Collection of Barbara LevineCatalogue available CAMERA ERA features photographs that reveal a special relationship with the camera. It may be a sitter striking an iconic pose, or hiding her face… or it may be camera or printing errors or maybe the photographer altering the photo by hand—the kind of photographic 'mistakes' that can now be instantly corrected, but which we love for their very human texture. In today’s digital reality, where every device is a camera and every blip, click and ping contains a picture, it is easy to forget the charisma and mystique of the physical printed photograph. This exhibition is a collusion between... Read more Barbara Levine, Camera Era, Cherryhurst House, vernacular photography

Ansel Adams on a Coffee Can

Imagine my surprise seeing Ansel Adams' Yosemite Valley, Winter (1959) on an old coffee can. I had to find out how this famous photograph came to be on an everyday object. In 1969, Hills Brothers Coffee in San Francisco with Adams' permission reproduced the photo on its coffee cans as a wraparound image toned in sepia. Critics and fellow photographers criticized Adams for being a crass marketer. Thousands of the three-pound cans sold nationwide in grocery stores for $2.35 each. Recently at auction, the Ansel Adams Hills Bros. Coffee Can (empty) sold for over $1,000.  And now, time for another cup of coffee!Questions? Want to add to your collection?  email me: Read more Ansel Adams, Barbara Levine, photography

New Book: CAMERA ERA by Barbara Levine & Martin Venezky

Get it now! $25 + free shipping!This new limited edition book by collector, Barbara Levine and graphic designer, Martin Venezky, is a meditation on the camera and its complicated hold on our lives. Found and staged photos, ephemera, and all sorts of unexpected relationships are brought together and set in motion by design. The result is an expressive mysterious album and a document of our complex relationship to both the camera and the photographic images it leaves behind. Now Available. CAMERA ERA by Barbara Levine and Martin Venezky. First printing, limited edition of 500 copies.All images from: Barbara Levine, Save Read more barbara levine, camera era, martin venezky

Charlie Brown Would Have Made A Great Photographer!

Collection of Barbara Levine/ Since its invention nearly 175 years ago, photography has proven to be extraordinarily adaptable to popular uses. For centuries the photographer and the camera have been depicted in objects of material culture. One of my favorite examples is by cartoonist and Peanuts creator, Charles Schulz. On the cover of this 1962 Peanuts comic book, Charlie Brown tries to take a photograph of Snoopy. Good Grief Charlie Brown, you would have made a great photographer!Want to add to your collection? Email me: Read more Barbara Levine, Charlie Brown, Peanuts « Newer articles 1 2 3 4 9 Older articles »