Guide to the Jan Faul "Potomac : East and West portfolio of photoprints

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.0441
Creators:
Faul, Jan, 1945-
Dates:
1991
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
0.3 Cubic feet
1 box
Repository:
The collection is a set of twenty-four black-and-white silver gelatin prints entitled "Potomac: East and West," by Jan Faul, 1991. They include agricultural landscapes, cemeteries, industrial buildings commercial buildings in rural areas, etc., in the Potomac River region of Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia. Each image contains a small area hand-colored by the photographer, providing a subtly mysterious, often whimsical or humorous effect.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The collection is a set of twenty-four black-and-white silver gelatin prints entitled "Potomac: East and West," and is number six in an edition of forty five. The photographs all were taken in 1991 and the prints were made shortly thereafter. The photographs are basically somewhat romantic documentary images of locales in Washington, D.C., Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia, including landscapes and industrial settings, interiors and exteriors, some of which are apparently abandoned. Human figures are seen only incidentally in several images. Each print has a small area hand colored by the artist, usually adding subtle humor and/or a hint of mystery. The titles are brief and geographical, and the set is numbered I to XII and XIV to XXV; there is no number XIII, the artist was careful to point out.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged into one series. Sequence arranged by artist: numbered I-XII, XIV-XXV (no number XIII).

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Jan Faul was born in Port Chester, New York in 1945. His family moved frequently, living in Washington, D.C., New York, Boston, Denver, Toronto, Strasbourg, and Bern, Switzerland. In Bern he received his first camera as a gift for his fourteenth birthday. He returned to the United States and completed high school in Washington.
In his late teens Faul met Roy Stryker, legendary director of the Farm Security Administration documentary photography project, who suggested that he spend time looking at photographs in the Library of Congress which he did, concentrating on the F.S.A. files. Influenced by his artist parents, Faul studied art history and graphics in college, hoping to become a printmaker, but had begun to support himself with photography by the time he graduated from The George Washington University in 1969.
The "immediacy" of photography and other aesthetic considerations in addition to the financial ones finally led to Faul's abandonment of printmaking and commitment to photography. Since 1970 he has been a self employed photographer, working in landscape, still life, and portraiture. He documented the lives of poor people in the U.S. from July 1970 to March 1971 for the Office of Economic Opportunity. In summer 1971 he photographed scenes of rural poverty for the Appalachian Regional Commission. A grant from the Upjohn Institute for American Labor Studies in 1974 supported his photographic documentation of American workers and changing work habits. In the summer of 1975 he worked for the Smithsonian, portraying the locksmen and pilots of the St. Lawrence Seaway. Further grants and contracts for documentary photography followed, including the 1976 Smithsonian Festival of American Folklife.
Faul moved to Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1979, and there worked on commercial accounts for Esso, Polaroid, and others, while continuing to pursue a variety of personal photographic projects. He returned to the Washington, D.C., area a decade later.
The photographer's career has included commercial work and contractual documentary projects, as well as the sale of photographic prints as art to private collectors and sales and donations to institutions. Fourteen photographs were donated to the Division of Photographic History of this Museum in 1970, and his work is in the collections of the Royal Museum of Art in Denmark, The Library of Congress, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, George Eastman House, the Toledo Museum of Art, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Oakland Museum, and others. He has received a number of awards, and has been included in a number of group and solo exhibitions. He has received an artist's residency at Yaddo for 1992 1993. Additional biographical information, including a bibliography, is on file in the Archives Center.

Administration
Existence and Location of Originals
Original negatives with Jan Faul.
Processing Information
Collection processed by David Haberstich, 1992.
Author
David Haberstich
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Collection donated by Jan Faul, November 13, 1991.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Jan Faul "Potomac East and West" Portfolio, 1991, Archives Center, National Museum of American History. Gift of the artist.
Conditions Governing Use
Use and copyright restrictions: all rights retained by the artist. The Museum may exhibit and reproduce photographs in its publications, but cannot make copies or authorize reproduction by others. Contact artist for reproduction arrangements.
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research.

Custodial History
Custodial History
The photographs were taken and the prints were made in 1991. This portfolio, number 6 in an edition of 45, was printed especially for donation to the Archives Center.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Agricultural land -- 1990-2000 Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rivers -- 1990-2000 -- United States Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Commercial buildings -- 1990-2000 Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cemeteries -- 1990-2000 Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Washington (D.C.) -- 1990-2000 Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
West Virginia -- 1990-2000 Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Topographical views Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Virginia -- 1990-2000 Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Maryland -- 1980-2000 Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Manipulated photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin -- 1990-2000 Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painted photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Industrial complexes -- United States Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hand coloring Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Landscapes (representations) -- 1990-2000 -- United States Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Industrial towns -- 1990-2000 Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Portfolios (groups of works) -- 1990-2000 Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Potomac River -- 1990-2000 Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
archivescenter@si.edu
http://americanhistory.si.edu/archives