Palace of the Governors Photo Archives
Photographic treasures from the Palace of the Governors Photo Archives; Harpist Calvin Arsenia explores the avant-garde; Art installations along Houston’s Buffalo Bayou connect visitors to a forgotten place.
Frederick Hammersley Foundation...and Viewers Like
>>THIS TIME, ON COLORES!
>>We are all caretakers of history on one level or another.
PHOTOGRAPHIC TREASURES FROM THE PALACE OF THE
GOVERNORS PHOTO ARCHIVES.
>>HARPIST CALVIN ARSENIA EXPLORES THE AVANTE GARDE.
>>ART INSTALLATIONS ALONG HOUSTON'S BUFFALO BAYOU
CONNECT VISITORS TO A FORGOTTEN PLACE.
IT'S ALL AHEAD ON COLORES!
>>A PHOTO IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS.
>>Lopez: Of all the photos you brought here today,
why is this image of Geronimo important?
>>Kosharek: Well, any image of Geronimo would be
important, because he was such a pivotal figure in
history of the West.
Ben Whittick was a very interesting guy.
He came from Illinois, came out here to work for
the railroads, documenting trains, you know,
railroads being built.
That was his entrÃ©e.
And, Geronimo, at that point in time, was like
the most famous man in the West, probably.
And Geronimo was not shy about having his
In fact, he charged people...
>>Lopez: I did not know that...
>>Kosharek: He would charge them...
and there is a story about how, depending on how he
got along, or how he felt about people, he'd charge
them more, or less. (Laughter)
>>Lopez: The John Gaw Meem photographs
are some of the earliest photos taken here in New Mexico.
Can you tell us the story behind these photos?
>>Kosharek: Well, it's interesting.
They're not photographs by John Gaw Meem.
John Gaw Meem is, you know, the famous New
He actually bought the album in New York City in
the 1930s and brought it back to New Mexico, where
it sort of gained a lot of notoriety.
Because, it does represent some of the earliest
photography in New Mexico and documents The Long Walk...
>>Lopez: Tell us about the Redondo picture.
Can you kind of unpack what we see in this image?
>>Kosharek: Well, this particular one, there's no
annotation for any of these images.
These are glass plate negatives which have been
lost to time.
So, there's no documentation on who's
All we know is that these are the Navajo captives
and Apache captives too at Bosque Redondo.
We know that the military was there.
Beyond that, there really isn't any context for
what's in the photographs other than we know what
happened at that point in time.
>>Lopez: And so, did the Navajo thieves image come
from this era?
>>Kosharek: These photographs were taken at
Bosque Redondo and if you do a little analysis of the album...
you look at...
you can see the backdrops, even props like blankets
over, you know, like a stool or something, they
show up repeatedly in these photographs.
So, at some point in time, probably an army
photographer showed up at Bosque Redondo with his
little traveling studio set up, put up a chair,
throws up a couple of blankets and then would
grab people and put them in the setup.
So, like this particular image that we're looking at here...
the same kind of thing.
You can see those blankets reoccur from time to time.
>>Lopez: Tell us a little bit about the image that
was taken on the plaza in Santa Fe.
>>Kosharek: That's a photograph of the west
side of the plaza and there's corn growing on the plaza.
Very pragmatic approach to, you know, urban
farming, I guess.
But those photographs, early photographs of Santa Fe...
kind of like time travel.
You look at this, you think, "That is so strange."
It doesn't look anything like that now.
>>Lopez: Tell us a little bit about the stereo image
that was taken in Santa Fe, from the west side.
>>Kosharek: We think it's taken from the top of
St. Michael's College.
I don't know if you know that building, today in
Santa Fe, but the top floor burned.
It used to be a three story building.
So, from up there, you could take a photograph
overlooking the city of Santa Fe.
And when you look at this, what do you see?
You see there's a lot of agriculture going on here.
All these plots.
Not like today where its second homes, condominiums...
this was, it was a practical environment.
I like bird's-eye views, because they sort of
transcend, kind of an idea of taking a standard
photograph, where you're standing on the ground.
So that perspective of looking out over the
rooftops is something that was really...
You know, the very first photograph ever taken,
looks out over the rooftops of France, of Paris.
<right> You know, so it's a same kind of mentality.
You look out your window, this is what you see.
>>Lopez: Can you tell us a little bit about Gardner's
photo and why this image is important to you?
>>Kosharek: Number one, you have probably one of
the most famous Civil War photographers, all of a
sudden transports himself from the battlefields of
Virginia and Pennsylvania to El Morro out by Zuni.
Now this is a wet plate process.
So, here he is...
you've got this, probably some sort of wagon, some
sort of device.
He has to pour his emulsion on glass.
Smooth it around.
Take the image.
Go back and develop it right away.
So, you're doing that.
If you've ever been over at El Morro, it can be
kind of a harsh environment.
So, you have to give these early pioneer
photographers a lot of credit, because the
process was difficult.
And, you know, it just...
it took a lot of patience.
So, the fact that Andrew Gardner ended up here and
takes this photograph of El Morro, I think is interesting.
We don't think of people in the 1870s, of being that fluid.
But it shows a lot of perseverance, this
determination to capture that image.
>>Lopez: So, speaking of early photographs, can you
tell us a little bit about this Hillers photograph?
>>Kosharek: If you look at this photograph, you
wonder where is this?
And then you realize, it's where we're at right now.
This is a view of the Sandias from Sandia Pueblo.
Hillers was an amazing photographer, very prolific.
We have hundreds of landscape photographs by Hillers.
And what would drive people like this, to go out?
Why would you go take this photograph?
First, you'd have to go to the Pueblo, get permission
to climb up on top of somebody's house and take
this photograph, in a medium that, you know,
people weren't familiar with.
So, it's... I find people
like Hillers really interesting.
Nussbaum, Parkerhurst were also photographers like that.
They made a point of going out and capturing these
everyday scenes which are just incredibly valuable
in terms of studying the history of New Mexico today.
>>Lopez: Tell me about the history of the
photographic method, especially that of the
>>Kosharek: Well, the daguerreotype was unveiled
in 1839 by Louis Daguerre in France.
And, he actually sold it to the French government
for a lifetime annuity.
Within a matter of like ten years, New York City
had 51 daguerreotype studios, in like 1850.
So, at that point in time that'd be the equivalent
of today, Albuquerque, if you could imagine
Albuquerque having 51 portrait studios, it'd be
the same kind of saturation.
Because, it was so new and it supplanted painting.
The clarity, the crispness, the tonal
scales in it are just phenomenal.
And this is a one of a kind.
You know, there's only one.
>>Lopez: Tell us a little bit more about these
plates and how they were cared for by the individual.
>>Kosharek: Well, because it is on a plate, it's a
burnished metal plate, it will corrode.
So, the way that you kept that from doing that is,
you put them in these little cases.
So, they're essentially hermetically sealed cases...
but had two purposes, one to preserve the photograph
and two to make them portable.
So, some of the smaller photographs like this
would be of a husband, of a wife, of children.
And they would carry them around.
Particularly during the Civil War, this was a
really big deal.
When Dad goes off to the war, you go down to the
daguerreotype studio and you get a photograph of
him with the wife cap.
You take a picture of the wife.
And the husband would take that with him.
So some of the cased images we have in the
>>Lopez: Like this one here, correct?
These small daguerreotypes would end up in somebody's
pocket during the battle.
>>Lopez: Now this is a daguerreotype, here?
>>Kosharek: This is a daguerreotype.
<Okay> You can usually tell daguerreotype because
there's almost always a little bit of corrosion
around the edges.
They're almost like Holograms.
You have to kind of look at them like this, in
light, and you get the light in just the right
direction, and it just sort of magically appears.
>>Lopez: How long do you think people have spent
creating the pinhole photography?
>>Kosharek: Well, pinhole photography goes back to
like 4000 BC or something...
like 400 BC...
the Chinese, there's a Chinese philosopher who
talked about capturing images in caves and things
So, pinhole photography is a really interesting process.
One of the most famous pinhole photographs is the
one taken by Julian Mack at the first atomic bomb
explosion at White Sands.
Now, this fellow Julian Mack was the guy that was
in charge of all sorts of spectrometers, kind of
light reading, so very highly technical
equipment, at the site.
So, when the bomb goes off, what does he do?
He pulls out a pinhole camera and takes, like,
the most untechnical photograph you could
imagine of the first atomic bomb explosion.
>>Lopez: This is the Palace of the Governors.
How was this image created?
>>Kosharek: Well, there's a little backstory to this.
The largest collection of pinhole photography lives
right here in New Mexico at the Palace of the
Governors photo archive...
>>Lopez: Right, and this is a pinhole photograph?
>>Kosharek: This is a pinhole photo.
So this photograph was taken when the "Poetics of
Light" pinhole exhibit was up.
And Heather from, Heather Oelklaus, from Colorado
has a box truck that's basically a portable
pinhole photo studio.
So we pulled this van.
It's probably a 16 foot van or box truck in front
of the Palace.
There was a tiny pinhole on the north side of it
and on the opposing wall were 84, 8 by 10 sheets of
photo paper that we put on the wall with little magnets.
And you can see those in there.
So, this is about a three hour exposure of the front
of the Palace of the Governors.
And because it's direct onto photo paper, you get
the negative result.
>>Lopez: Why are you so fascinated by the magic
that is photography?
>>Kosharek: I'm by nature a visual person.
I relate to things visually, more than I do
any other way.
So, for me to look at photographs like we were
talking about earlier, what would compel someone
to take a photograph?
Like, other than the backstory I just gave you,
why would somebody do this?
Why would they capture this?
For a number of reasons: A, it's the center of Santa Fe.
B, because of the Palace of the Governors.
C, because they're just showing off, you know.
So, that whole idea, why did Hillers go down and
take that photograph of Sandia Pueblo?
What was in it for him?
How many people in New Mexico at that point in
time wanted to buy a photograph of Sandia Pueblo?
So, while there may have been a commercial intent,
I think it's just the sheer joy of creating
photographs that makes a lot of people do what they do.
>>Lopez: How do these images help tell our history?
>>Kosharek: A picture is worth a thousand words.
So, if that's the case...
if you look at a typical photo archive, you've got
a few billion words worth of stuff lying around in
there, but photography provides a sort of a
really crucial role in society.
They, historically speaking, would have been
the storytellers who carry on tradition and documents
historical myths, whatever it would be.
Photography now does that, with the, everybody now is
photographer with a cell phone.
Everybody has, their data is full, because there's
photographs in there, so many photographs.
And some of them are quite good.
>>Lopez: Why is that so important, that these
photos exists for us today?
>>Kosharek: Here we are today sitting here talking about it.
It's like the old saying goes, if your name is
spoken a thousand years after you're dead, you still live.
So, it's the same thing with photography.
You look at a photograph like this daguerreotype here.
She's still alive because we can see her.
So, photography has that kind of element too.. its
magic <right> Quite simply, its magic.
>>Lopez: And poetic magic, right?
It's so poetic in the sense that it keeps
>>Kosharek: Even in the pinhole photograph of the
Palace, it takes a while to figure out what's going
on there, you know.
So you look at it.
You stare at it and you spend some time with it.
And all of a sudden it kind of comes into focus,
so to speak.
>>Lopez: And so these images kind of make you
think, therefore connect you to those individuals
or those places.
>>Kosharek: It's an artifact, you know.
It's photographs, are artifacts...
they're artifacts of another place and time, or
another person, somebody who's long gone.
We are all caretakers of history at one level or another.
Everybody plays a role in creating our history.
So, family photographs, even though you think that
they're just family photographs, would have a
historical importance, if they were in an archive
where they could be preserved and created
access for people.
>>DEFYING MUSICAL EXPECTATIONS.
>>The summer of 2016 saw a unique birthday
celebration for a unique landmark.
And in fitting fashion, the party was just as unorthodox.
Arts of all kinds were put on display for the huge
crowds that filtered in throughout the day.
From dance to opera, culinary to an array of music.
Ranging from familiar KC faces to someone who has
been quietly shaking up the scene with a very new take.
At 26, multi-instrumentalist
Calvin Arsenia isn't merely looking to sound
good; that would be too simple.
No, he's looking to change the atmosphere by creating
moments of transcendence.
>>I have a very high expectation for music and
live music, in particular.
To influence and transform a space and an audience
and the way that they feel that room in that time, to
create these moments where people leave inspired and
refreshed and, you know, there's a little bit of pressure.
I love playing with tension in music.
But that pressure turns into release, you know.
It's like a massage where there's, you know, you're
kneading the knots through distant chords and then
all of a sudden, you go into this very serene and,
you know, major chords.
And because of that, it's really hard for me to go
into a room and have already determined what
songs I want to play or how I'm going to play them
because I really want to meet an audience where
they are and invite them into my space, and then we
go somewhere together.
>>Calvin began his relationship with the harp in 2010.
After sensing the possibilities via Florence
+ the Machine...
And Joanna Newsom...
>>And I've always been a little bit more ambitious
than I ought to be, and so I went on a hunt around
Kansas City to look for a harpist that would play
What I found was a whole bunch of people who were
very classically trained and were beautiful people,
but to play, you know, original compositions, to
do the rehearsal time, to move the harp, like, it
was gonna be quite a task to ask of anybody.
So I found a harp studio that let me rent a harp,
and I couldn't afford to rent the harp and to take
lessons, so I just took the harp, and I learned
from YouTube for about a year, and it was horrible.
>>It's really hard to make actually, like, bad sounds
on the harp.
And so I would take it, you know, everywhere.
>>But everywhere doesn't include international travel.
Calvin joined a mission trip to Edinburgh,
Scotland in 2014, and man and harp would have to part.
But that didn't last for long.
>>I made it about one or two weeks before I was,
like, craving a harp, and I was like, "I have to play.
I have to--have to play." And so I rented another
one and I took it to every, kind of, jam
session or open mic that I could.
And I remember, sometimes I would be playing if
there was open mics, and my hands would just
tremble and tremor.
And my voice-- I was just so nervous, and...
[chuckles] because with the guitar and the piano,
like, I've been confident on those for a long time
before I was actually playing and the
expectation, you know, for me to be able to deliver
what I wanted to do on an instrument, like, I had
that expectation of myself, and I had made
that expectation for my audience.
And so, yeah, I would just shake.
And then, you know, three years later, here I am.
And it's what I do for a living, and it's kinda cool.
>>A lot of times, I'm able to be the first harpist
that people have seen, and I feel really-- it's
really cool to me.
It's also kinda scary because I don't play
conventionally, so it's cool because I get-- I
love to take the harp in places that it's never
But sometimes I do get booked and asked to play,
like, banjo or guitars something, and sometimes I
And I show up at a venue, like, with a harp and
nothing else, and they're like, "Wait, we thought
you were gonna play guitar." I'm like, "But I
brought a harp." (laughing)
>>Besides having several albums under his belt and a
packed performance schedule, Calvin also
makes time for a handful of exceptional students.
- Yeah, I'm getting ready to go in to teach one of
His name is Reno.
And he plays piano.
And Reno plays by ear really, really well.
Loves to improvise, but I just try to give him some
more vocabulary in what he's doing.
And some different kinds of ways to approach melody
and chords and as well as technique.
I think my job is to help people fall in love with
the process of learning and learning how to be
And kind of unveiling these different kinds of
concepts and nuances rather than trying to
teach them how to memorize a piece.
It's more important to me that they're able to
express their own ideas and to be able to hear and
communicate and understand the ideas that other
people make so that they can communicate their own stories.
And I'm really excited to see where my students go
in the years to come.
>>It's a journey that holds much promise for
both student and teacher.
As Calvin continues to push the bounds, taking
the harp where it's never gone before.
And taking us along for the ride.
>>I love getting to do what I love for a living.
And then expose people to the idea that anything's
possible if you're willing to get messy with it and
you might embarrass yourself, but you just
gotta pick yourself up and keep going for it.
You write--you are the only one who gets to write
the story that you want to tell.
>>CONNECTING COMMUNITIES WITH ART.
>>Anne Olson: Buffalo Bayou Park is really an
unbelievable green space.
It consists of hike and bike trails.
We have two visitor's centers.
We have public art.
And now we're turning our sights east of downtown.
>>Cheryl Beckett: This project is called
"Encounter: Meeting Points in the Buffalo Bayou."
And it's essentially six site installations.
Each student team had to research the history of
that site and try to develop an installation
that would create an engagement that was very
specific to that location >>Nadia Tran: The
Encounter project is a collaboration between the
University of Houston graphic design program and
the creative writing program.
First we had to think of what we could create that
could live in the environment that would
Allen's Landing is referred to as the
original port of Houston.
So we have six different graphic cubes.
So on these cubes is text heavy.
But it gives visitor an opportunity to reflect, to
investigate these site and understand its
significance within the community.
>>Alwyn Brownewell: We wanted to highlight the
narratives that Buffalo Bayou has.
It's community, its ecology and its history.
The gravel silos site they stored concrete, shells,
gravel and sand.
>>Beckett: The student team there actually uh
used or reused oil barrels and they recreated to some
extent some silos.
But there's also again public engagement.
At Japhet Creek it had some features there were
So the students used that shipping container to put
graphics and kind of enliven that space, but
they also added tables for that idea of conversation.
And people got to write what they thought should
happen as they worked on the future plans on these
pieces of neon construction tape and
these were tied to the trestle.
There's also the Yolanda Black Navarro Buffalo Bend Park.
They put a series of frames throughout the park
and asked a number of questions, so that when
the visitor came to the site, they could sort of
look through this and maybe notice a detail or
maybe a moment or experience that they might
not have thought about before.
The North York boat launch - they put 'crossing
horizons' and 'setting courses.' So, it kind of
really has you looking at that bayou and thinking
about its future opportunities.
One of the really interesting parts about
this project is that it moves beyond what we
typically think about as graphic design...
but is one of those really kind of growing areas in
design which is place making and experiential
They met with the public to try to get some ideas
The students interviewed...
All in an effort to really develop something that
made sense and could engage the public in an
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