A. Aubrey Bodine, Baltimore Pictorialist, 1906-1970
For nearly fifty years, A. Aubrey Bodine was a Maryland institution, the photographer for the Baltimore Sunday Sun. Surveying the entire range of his work (there are ten thousand Bodine negatives in Baltimore's Peale Museum alone) Kathleen Ewing has selected sixty-eight photographs to show the photographer at his representative--and sometimes surprising--best. In her accompanying text, Ewing places Bodine's work in the romantic pictorial tradition, alongside the early work of Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Westen, Laura Gilpin, and others.
Bodine is perhaps best remembered for his photographs of the Chesapeake Bay and its watermen, but he was also a portrait photographer of consummate skill, capturing subjects as diverse as a group of Amish children and H. L. Mencken by his woodpile on his seventy-fifth birthday. His images of blazing Bessemer steel furnaces and shining barn roofs are equally striking. While Bodine's camera focused mainly on Maryland, he occasionally ventured beyond to show misty rooftops in Nuremberg or championship boxers. A. Aubrey Bodine, Baltimore Pictorialist is a book to be treasured by Marylanders rediscovering an old friend as well as by admirers of photography seeing for the first time the work of a fine American artist.