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img744 Ann Porter, the poet was also the wife (1911-2011) of the realist painter, print maker and writer Fairfield Porter (1907-1975), and as is usually the case, she willingly took a creative back seat to her more famous partner. I liked some of the poetry when I saw her book, Living Things Collected Poems, but did not immediately read the back cover. After doing so, I realized who Fairfield Porter was, and that Eliot Porter was his brother, a photographer well known for his sublime nature photography. So this post is about all these individuals put together.

img743On the back cover of this book, it mentions the cover design was by the graphic artist Louise Fili. We covered Fili in an earlier post, and perhaps the cover is a bit overdone, too sweet for my personal taste that is. Interestingly, I found that Ann Porter was a religious poet, and when I read the piece below it somehow clicked.

img745On the Lady of Czestochowa, also called the Black Madonna, you will find more information here and here. No, we are not attempting to convert you or anyone else. So take it for what it can mean for you: religion, art, folklore or anything else.

PRIVATE30 029Eliot Porter (1901-1990), started photographing in Maine where his family owned the Great Spruce Head Island in Penobscot Bay. Early on, he met the photographer Ansel Adams, and his brother Fairfield Porter, a realist painter, introduced him to photographer Alfred Stieglitz who gave him a solo show in 1938. The success led him to abandon his teaching at Harvard University where he earned two degrees.

Eliot Porter was one of the first photographers to use the Kodak Dye transfer process. His reputation as one of the best nature photographers led to a number of photography books for the Sierra Club and others, like the large 1986 one on Maine featured here with astonishing color photographs. His work is in every major institutional photography collection or has been seen there. The Amon Carter Museum holds his archives.