Henry Holmes Smith and Cameraless Photography

Uncle Henry

Henry Holmes Smith, Bloomington, Indiana, 1973

Henry Holmes Smith taught photography at Indiana University, where he founded the first MFA program in Photography in the country. Henry had a unique way of making images, no doubt influenced by his former career as a cartoonist. He would use a thick, pitted and scratched piece of plate glass and draw on it with light and dark Caro Syrup. Under darkroom safe lights, he would place a piece of photographic paper behind the glass, stand the glass upright, causing the syrup to run, and then flash the sensitized paper with light. He would develop the print, and if he liked the results, would have it copied onto 4×5 film, which he could reproduce. He called these images Refraction Prints.

Below are ten of Henry’s Refraction Prints that are from Portfolio II: The Work of Henry Holmes Smith, produced and published by the Center for Photographic Studies, 1973.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Anne Noggle: A Unique Talent

The Effortless Honesty of Anne Noggle


 Anne Noggle, ca. 1943 and ca. 1987

Anne Noggle was irascible, willful and tough. During WWII, Anne was a WASP (Women’s Air Service Pilot), towing targets that were used for artillery practice behind her plane. After the war, she worked as a crop duster before taking up photography. She was a student of Van Deren Coke’s at the University of New Mexico and later served as Photography Curator at the Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe.

Her photographs, specifically, her self-portraits, are among the most significant photographic art of the late 20th Century. Using herself as the subject, they address aging, self-image and emotional vulnerability in women. Noggle’s work, in my opinion, relates well to Cindy Sherman’s “Film Stills,” self-portraits commenting on stereotypical roles of women in 1950s films. Together, the photographs of Sherman and Noggle would make a splendid show. Below is a selection of Anne’s photographs.