Publications

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CIRCUS POSTERS: Historic Posters Come to Light

Historic Circus Posters from the early 20th century, neglected and forgotten, come to light in this richly illustrated book.

From the introduction, “Most dramatic was the crumbling remains of The Lion Poster. In some spots the posters were glued one atop the other. In one small corner the posters were many layers deep.”

I photographed this in black and white in 1972. Years later I returned and recovered a remarkable cashe of posters that had been languishing in the attic.

This is the story.

51 pages, soft cover, 8×9.5 inch, Blurb book, released September 2016

This is a print-on-demand book from Blurb.  There are discount coupons here. Find the best one for you and apply when prompted toward the end of the order.

 

Wheels of Progress: The New Bedford Waterfront , ca. 1980

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHEELS of PROGRESS: The New Bedford Waterfront, circa 1980

A book of 65 photographs of the New Bedford waterfront and historic district at a time of transition.

From the introduction:

“Meanwhile, down at the docks, piers were rebuilt in the efficient spirit of the highway to which they now connected directly. Buildings, boats and piers of wood were replaced with steel. Steel-stern trawlers superseded wooden-side trawlers. Longer range and technical innovations (such as improved electronics) meant bigger catches. Cod, haddock, flat-fish and scallops were the catch. Fish were auctioned, off-loaded, processed, and sent up Route 18 to market. The industry boomed.

Aftershocks continued to reverberate from the 60s highway construction. While the working waterfront was severed from the city by the highway, in the historic district buildings were jockeyed around to reconstruct the mauled 19th century city into a place good people dearly hoped would attract tourists. Hangouts like the Pequot Bar, which had colonized the ornate Citizens National Bank building, were sent packing and sanitized into fancy restaurants. Streets and sidewalks were rebuilt to look old again.”

This book is not your standard waterfront pablum.

69 pages, soft cover, 8×9.5 inch, Blurb book, released spring 2015

This is a print-on-demand book from Blurb.  There are discount coupons here. Find the best one for you and apply when prompted toward the end of the order.

 

 

 

 

Shore Views book cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SHORE  VIEWS

A book of little (4×4) inch square photographs.  Detailed shoreline subjects are paired with reflections on the water.  A very visual open ended series. Printed on nice heavy stock for an intimate flipping experience. Let you imagination wander.

43 pages, soft cover, 6.5×6.5 inch, Blurb book, released spring 2013

This is a print-on-demand book from Blurb.  There are discount coupons here. Find the best one for you and apply when prompted toward the end of the order.

 

 

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SQUARES from NATURE

A book of little (4×4) inch square photographs.  Upland nature vignettes.  A very visual open ended series. Printed on nice heavy stock for an intimate flipping experience.  Let you imagination wander.

41 pages, soft cover, 6.5×6.5 inch, Blurb book, released spring 2013

This is a print-on-demand book from Blurb.  There are discount coupons here. Find the best one for you and apply when prompted toward the end of the order.

 

 

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The Stutz Stash of A. K. Miller

Photographs by Nicholas Whitman, Text by Dave Brownell

“In the end, all of A.K.’s buying and selling and chasing of Stutz automobiles came down to a no reserve public auction conducted on site by Christie’s. 

As word spread among collectors, the village besieged by thousands of the serious and the curious who trampled through Miller’s property on the days of the preview and sale.  Every one had their own reason for being there but there was an intimate understanding that they were witnessing the scattering of one of the great surviving collections of high quality barn fresh automobiles-cars as fantastic as the character who brought them together in East Orange, Vermont. 

They knew they were witnessing a small bit of automotive history.”  Dave Brownell

I photographed this collection in situ.  Not only are there cars aplenty there are so many little other things in Miller’s barns the viewer is well rewarded for pouring over every page. The Stutz Stash of A. K. Miller also contains vintage photographs from Miller family album.

111 pages, soft cover, 8×9.5 inch, Blurb book, released 2013

This is a print-on-demand book from Blurb.  There are discount coupons here. Find the best one for you and apply when prompted toward the end of the order.

 

 

After Sprague Electric _ Before MASS MoCA book cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After Sprague Electric / Before MASS MoCA

Photographs of an Idle New England Mill  

by  Nicholas Whitman

When the Sprague Electric Company left its flagship plant an uncertain future settled upon the idled complex of former mill buildings. That was in the late 1980s.  This book of photographs focuses on the place which would, in 1999 become MASS MoCA.

81 pages, soft cover, 8×9.5 inch, Blurb Book, released spring 2013

This is a print-on-demand book from Blurb.  There are discount coupons here. Find the best one for you and apply when prompted toward the end of the order.

 

 

 

Sea, Shore, Sky & Ice book cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SEA, SHORE, SKY & ICE

Photographs by Nicholas Whitman

“I find the waterfront endlessly fascinating. Whether ocean, stream, lake or puddle there is always something of interest in the interaction between water and earth.  At the ocean the intertidal zone is twice daily revealed and covered by the tides’ ebb and flow. Up shore, the bedrock is exposed and weathered.  The water’s action peels back the skin of soil to expose and polish the bedrock.

Within the interplay of water, earth, sky and ice I make photographs.”

A book of landscape photographs drawn from 40 years of field work.  Many of these photographs were shown at Dedee Shattuck Gallery summer 2012.

77 pages, soft cover, 8×9.5 inch, Blurb Book, released spring 2013

This is a print-on-demand book from Blurb.  There are discount coupons here. Find the best one for you and apply when prompted toward the end of the order.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Window Back: Photography in a Whaling Port

Review

“Photographs provide historians with clues to a community’s past; and glimpses of the work and of the cultural and social history of New Bedford, Massachusetts, emerge from the excellent photographs selected for this book. Whitman, a photographer by trade, went to New Bedford to complete a short-tern project; after 15 years of organizing and cataloging ‘a treasure of prints,’ he has published A Window Back.To be outstanding, local histories must meet the criterion of reflecting national patterns; this book does so… [It] is beautifully done.” — Choice Magazine, Jan 1995“Selected from more than 20,000 photographs stored in the New Bedford Whaling Museum, this collection provides a delightful look at a bygone era – to the days of whaling ships, bustling textile mills, gas-lit streets and snowbound trolley cars.The book was not designed to be a history of New Bedford, but rather a dramatic reminder of life in the 19th and the early years of the 20th century.

It certainly must have been an arduous task, but at the same time it obviously was a labor of love because virtually every picture is a joy to behold… the Fairhaven ferry which linked Fairhaven and New Bedford for 100 years; an unusual life-saving rocket designed to send a lifeline to stricken vessels within the range of the shore; an 1831 Greek Revival building that housed two banks and which still can be seen on Water Street.

You won’t want to race through this book. Turn page after page and absorb a piece of history.” — Cape Codder, Oct. 14, 1994

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MASS MoCA: From Mill to Museum

Review

In a word–wow! If ever a project existed that bore proud witness to the vital link between our industrial past and our digital future and between art and community, it is MASS MoCA, the sprawling, ever-evolving modern-art complex carved out of a cluster of abandoned brick factories in the Berkshire-backdropped town of North Adams in western Massachusetts. Opened to international fanfare in 1999, the overnight cultural mecca was the result of a grueling, stop-and-go, 13-year collaboration among art-world principals, local and state leaders, and the architecture firm of Bruner/Cott & Associates. All those involved labored to find sufficient funds and the right design approach to retrofit the 27-building, 13-acre site, most of which was built in the 19th century, into a fluid facility for 21st century art, performance, and technology. This handsome volume of 100 color and black-and-white photographs, produced largely by the museum’s founders, is an exhilarating documentation of a uniquely inverted design process in which a tight budget, the site’s status as a national landmark, and the built-in abundance of existing light and space all demanded that the architects subtract more elements than they add. Thus, we’re treated to a profusion of before-and-after photos where we can see how a few of the lesser or more far-gone buildings were demolished to create pathways and sight lines for visitors; how others had whole floors knocked out to create cathedral-like, sun-soaked galleries; and how empty, asbestos-scarred former workrooms became light-as-air hosts for massive installations by such artists as Robert Rauschenberg and Mario Merz. The volume is also bookended with essays by MoCA director Joseph Thompson and principle architect Simeon Bruner that narrate the completion of this fascinating architectural jigsaw puzzle in greater detail.Several photos show the gleaming new galleries, performance spaces, and outdoor courtyards alive with museum-goers–but in so many places, the imposing, time-stained red brick and massive original posts and beams have been left untouched. Their hulking, workaday visibility makes it impossible to forget the site’s industrial roots or the thousands of local residents (mostly women) who once labored there–and whose children and grandchildren accounted, fittingly, for a vast majority of the first people to step through the doors of this truly forward-looking nexus of creative and technological potential. —Timothy Murphy
This book is out of print and it doesn’t appear likely it will be reprinted.  Used copies are out there.  AFTER SPRAGUE ELECTRIC / BEFORE MASS MoCA contains better reproductions of the “before” image set. 


 


Description
Publication Date: August 2002
When MASS MoCA (Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art) opened in 1999, it was hailed as the largest contemporary art center in the United States and also a symbol of economic revitalization in a blue-collar New England mill town. The story of how MASS MoCA came to be was eloquently told in MASS MoCA from Mill to Museum. Now, three essays about the transformation of a row of mill houses across the street from the museum, accompanied by over 100 color photographs, form the perfect companion to this earlier book and extend the story from the museum to the town itself.Porches: Art and Renewal on River Street is about the transformation from mill housing to guest housing, and more: it’s about the transformation of a city as it retools itself for the 21st century and about the marriage of art and commerce in an industrial mill town. It’s about innovative urban renewal, and sensitive architectural design that transforms a property while respecting the history of its place. And, in the words of photographer Nicholas Whitman, this book is about the “back and forth” through the windows: from the people in the early 1900’s who looked out the windows of their River Street apartments to the mill where they worked across the river to the entrepreneurs, architects, and museum visitors of the 21st century who looked through those same windows, from the museum to the inn, and from the inn to the museum, and saw a parallel sort of socio-economic interaction across River Street. It’s a way of viewing things.

“What a great body of work! It is astonishing to see how steadily present Whitman was through all the phases of the project—as if he set up a camera on site, put it in time-lapse mode, and left it turned on for years, seeming to catch every moment of the building’s recent history. I learned much from his essay about the photographic work, and appreciated the eloquence of the then-and-now shots, the backstage views, and the sense of decaying splendor. From start to finish, a marvelous, thoughtful and beautiful book.”
Bruce Kennett, book designer and photographer
“The work truly captures the rich history and beauty of the theatre”
Gov. Deval L. Patrick
“I love it . . . I am especially fond of the photos that were shot from the before and after locations.”
“WOW! . . . What a superb restoration story.”