Copenhagen: Tintypes and Poul Henningsen
So I've arrived in Copenhagen, and it's rather fancy.
I've captured my first portrait of a collector - Andrew Daneman and have discovered a few juicy revelations about one of albums.
Andrew Daneman has the most mind-blowing collection of Tintypes imaginable. Full of wit, weirdness and playfulness. Oh and his collection also happens to be the largest collection of tintypes in the world.
If you're wondering what Tintypes are, they are a direct positive on a thin sheet of metal coated with a dark lacquer or enamel and used as the support for the photographic emulsion. Generally they are a one off.
So back to Copenhagen. After homemade apple pie and meeting the household, boxes and ring-binders full of tintypes were brought out for me to riffle through and I was very much in Dawn heaven. We spoke for hours about what he searches for, why he started and what he's discovered.
In the 1970's Andrew was living in LA and was a bit of photographic maverick. At the time, piles of Tintypes could be picked up for next to nothing as no one wanted them.
Andrew Daneman Oct 18th 2017 Copenhagen. Dawn Parsonage.
Back in the day Tintypes where peddled by street trades, at carnivals or from wooden huts hastily erected overnight. They were quick to produce, almost like an early Polaroid, which meant they were cheap and plentiful. But, they were also very sharp and are full of detail.
“Those hideous, cheap-looking pictures…”
Helmut Gernsheim - Photography Historian
This rough beginning tainted it's reputation all the way through to the 1970's. They just didn't have the kudos of daguerreotypes or other processes. This snobbery will have lost many of these extraordinary images to time, but thankfully Andrew found and saves thousands of them.
ca. 1890, [a poet and a few enraptured fans] as part of Not on Your Tintype: Collection of American Tintypes, Vol. 1, Copyright - Andrew Daneman
During the day I took a series of portraits of Andrew holding a large Tintype of himself -mirroring early portraits where the sitter would hold and display items linked to their craft or interests.
As with all the portraits I'll take, I took a selection of more conventional images as we'll as more expressive. The master photographs will not be added here for now as they are intended to work as part of a series but for now here is Andrew in action. (Please excuse the terrible compression of the website)
I also recorded an interview with Andrew and will write up a full piece about him, but for now I highly recommend getting your hands on a copy of his book, 'Not on Your Tintype'
You can get it from his website here: http://www.nlg.dk/product-category/books/
SHAW DESMOND, KAREN EWALD AND POUL HENNINGSE
Copenhagen has always fascinated me, it appears multiple times in an album I've been researching which was created by the Spiritualist authors, Karen Ewald and Shaw Desmond. Karen was originally from Denmark so just to quench my geeky thirst I had a jolly old time retracing her footsteps around the city. This is mainly for geek reasons.
Da daaaaa. (Ok it's a little underwhelming I know)
Ok Dawn - So what is all this about Poul Henningse?
Well he is a very famous designer here in Denmark and all over the world. He was obsessed with light and is known as PH and for his iconic lamps. If you don't know him already, you'll recognize his work. While at Andrew's and as he speaks Danish we research the Ewald family a little more and discovered that Karens father, Carl Ewald, was also Pouls father.
After a series of elaborate calculations this means they are, at the least, half brother and sister.
I'm going to have a gander through the album again to see if I can find any images of him.
Interestingly, I then met a wonderful woman called Catherine while listening to some cracking buskers and she had just read a book about Poul's mother and how she was a strong, independent mother who mainly brought him up alone. A quick search says that Agnes Henningsen was Danish writer and an activist for sexual freedom. YESSS!!!! She sounds blooming great!
Also I've just had a revelation, I think I have images of her... AHHHHHH! Right, I shall leave you there and continue the research. Oh my word. Dawn is very thrilled.
Poul Henningse Foto: A E Andersen. Souce: https://www.b.dk/nationalt/50-aret-for-poul-henningsens-dod-markeres-med-auktion
And one of his lamps... Reconise it???