IMAGES offers a broad selection of fine vintage photographs for purchase.
IMAGES expansive collection of fine photography grew from Joan Murray's lifelong passion for taking and collecting photographs. She had an infatuation with the early artistry of daguerreotypes and ambrotypes. Joan, an artist in her own right, was known for her photographs of male nudes and photojournalism of the 60's and 70's. In recent years, Liz Murray Reynolds has expanded the collection to include vernacular photography with unique and often quirky examples of early paper photographs by amateur and unknown photographers. We hope you enjoy the photographs in this collection and please contact us if you are interested in purchasing any of the images that catch your eye.
Joan Fell Murray (1927-2011)
Joan Fell Murray
Joan Fell Murray (1927-2011) was a noted American photographer, one of the first Art Critics of photography in California, and a collector of daguerreotypes and black and white photography.
Born in 1927 in Annapolis, Maryland, Joan was given her first camera at age 9 which was her introduction to a multi-faceted career in photography that spanned five decades. As a photographer, she was particularly proud of her late 1960s series on the Black Panthers, her male nudes, and a series of portraits of California photographers that includes a signature image of Ruth Bernhard. Joan's work is featured in several photographic anthologies and is in the collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Oakland Museum, Berkeley Art Museum, and the International Museum of Photography, George Eastman House.
Joan was a major voice in promoting photography as Fine Art and in supporting the West Coast photography community. In 1967, Joan began writing for West Art and in 1969, she was appointed photography editor of Artweek and thus began a nearly two-decade career as an art writer. As an ongoing contributor to Artweek and Popular Photography, Joan was instrumental in focusing national attention on the Bay Area's flourishing photography scene.
Photography Instructor/ASUC Berkeley Art Studio Manager
During the 70's and 80's Joan taught photography at City College of San Francisco and UC Extension. In 1987, she embarked on a new phase of her career as manager of the ASUC Studio at UC Berkeley. Joan had a wise matriarchal quality that her students gravitated towards. She retired 2004 after 18 years at the studio.
Joan's interest in daguerreotypes culminated in her creating a significant collection of these early photographic images and becoming a recognized authority on the subject. In this capacity she served as a research consultant to the J. Paul Getty Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Oakland Museum. Her last published article, "Backgrounds in Daguerreotypes," appeared in The Daguerreian Annual 2009/10.
"I was always fascinated with beautiful portraits. I looked for portraits with some unusual sense of interaction between the people. You feel that the artist had really been concerned with bringing these people to life. I have a very personal feeling about my daguerreotypes. They're all individual people to me" (Interview with Joan Murray, 1992, Photo Metro)
Joan Murray Photographs: Series
Portraits of California Photographers 1969-92 - (Exhibition 1972, Photography/Film Center West)
Brother and Sister - (Exhibition 1969, Focus Gallery, SF and Mind's Eye, Vancouver) Images of her children
Man - (Exhibition 1969, Focus Gallery, SF) Images of male nudes
Black Panthers - Images of Oakland City Hall "Free Huey Newton" protests
Power to the People - Images of Berkeley peace protests 1970
Female nudes - Selected individual images
Emergence (Exhibition 1992) - Self-portrait series of her breast cancer recovery, 1990
"Joan Murray photographed the male figure as a way of demonstrating that, in Murray's words, 'men were as sensual to women, as women are to men.' Murray's 1969 exhibition in San Francisco, entitled Man, is thought to have been the first and largest show of such images by a woman." (Naomi Rosenblum, A History of Women Photographers)
"My camera has always been a way for me to connect with people or emotions, often connections I could not make without my camera. Because I have always been a shy person, the camera becomes my passage to reach another person or express an emotion." (Joan Murray, Photographer)
"In the end, all of my photographs are perhaps best described as visual letters describing experiences which are meaningful to me." (Joan Murray, Photographer)