Celebrating Palm Press

Also Arizona Landscapes

By: - Apr 18, 2024

Kayafas Gallery
37 Thayer @ 450 Harrison Avenue,
Boston, MA 02118, USA
Through May 11
First Friday, May 3rd, 2024 from 5:30-8pm
Gallery Hours: Wednesday - Saturday, 11-5:30pm

Celebrating Palm Press

We had moved to our home in Concord in 1975 where I was regularly struck by the tragedy of the demise of the elm tree; reading about the potential devastation of palm trees in Florida I became obsessed with them. Palm Press first came into being when I made an 8 day shooting trip to Miami in 1976, determined to photograph a place peopled with palm trees; at the time I was the founding photography department chair at MassArt and possessed by an obsession to make pictures unlike my earlier work, driven by curiosity with no specific expectation.

The Miami work was transformative for me, and I decided I should publish it (a very different prospect than today). My friend Lee Friedlander had Haywire Press, I imagined Palm Press. The desire for more description led to an exploration of larger cameras, frustration with them, and the ultimate development of 6x9cm and 6x12cm handheld cameras that I designed and manufactured (something useful from a couple years at MIT in mechanical engineering).

Then, in 1977 I produced a portfolio of Harold Edgerton’s photographs that became a harbinger of the future. After leaving MassArt, I incorporated Palm Press (1980) and began the photographic atelier and portfolio publishing. It’s been a terrifically interesting obsessive journey - my employees coming from internships, my need to teach continually fulfilled... in nearly 5 decades we’ve produced more than 60 portfolios, collaborated with thousands of artists, museums, galleries and other organizations in meaningful and fruitful ways. Palm Press has been dependent upon the skills, insight and commitment of its dedicated interns and workers. These exhibits explore some of Palm Press’ history, publications, projects, and current staff work.