Thursday, October 11, 2012

A portrait photographer's sensitivity


 At the Dwek Gallery in Jerusalem this summer  I took this photo of a photograph by  Bern Schwartz (1914-1978).

 A Californian who turned to photography only  in his 60s, Schwartz (pictured in the poster above) shot many wonderful portraits of many famous people.
What I enjoyed most of this exhibit of faces and friends of Israel was the written explanation given about the  Archbishop's sitting:
Metropolitan of Caesaria
Vasilios Blastsos
born 1923

In 1962 Blastsos was elected Archbishop of Jordan and in 1975 was elevated to Metropolitan of the First Throne Metropolis of Caesaria of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem. 
'Towards the latter half of the sitting, one of the nuns appeared,'  Schwartz recalled. I noticed how the Archbishop's eyes lighted up when she came by, so I gave her a cable release and told her to snap it when she felt the Archbishop looked the best.'


Hels said...

Very cool. For the last 10 years, I have appreciated photography as an art form in its own right. But alas I don't remember Schwartz's name being mentioned.

Dina said...

Helen, I had never heard of him and apparently his name was not well known. The article I linked to says "While Schwartz may not be a household name, many of his images now in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery are among the most famous portraits of the late twentieth century. Several were selected by their subjects for use as book jackets, official photographs or record-album covers."

cieldequimper said...

I don't think I'd heard his name but as you say, I've probably seen his work!

VP said...

She actually did his work!

crystal said...

Portrait photography must be a real art. He does look very animated in the photo.