Dorothea Lange's photos of Clare people and places

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Paddy Casey
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Dorothea Lange's photos of Clare people and places

Post by Paddy Casey » Sun Apr 01, 2007 9:21 am

In 1954 the famous Californian photographer Dorothea Lange travelled to Ireland and took numerous photographs in Clare. They were published in the book "Dorothea Lange's Ireland" (text by Gerry Mullins, essay by Daniel Dixon, ISBN 1 85410 411 X).

The book is no longer available from conventional bookshops and can only be found in libraries, second-hand bookshops or, e.g. ebay. I purchased a copy some time back on ebay for around €60.

If you are interested in Clare people and Clare history you should go to great lengths to obtain or borrow a copy of this book. Some of the photos are of unnamed people in Clare places but many are captioned with the names of the people. I'm listing these names in random order in the hope that they might be picked up by a search engine one day and thereby come to the attention of someone looking for a Clare antecedent. Here they are:

Cattlemen at Sixmilebridge
O'Halloran – lots of photos of the family and their farm at Mount Callan
Michael Kineally and his mother Nora at their farm near Cloonahaha (several photos)
People at Mass in Cloonahaha
Bridie O'Halloran, 10 years old
John & Annie O'Halloran
Catherine & Anne O'Halloran
Annie, John, Seán, Maureen, Anne and Bernadette O'Halloran
John O'Halloran of Rannagh, Tulla
A farmer in Bartrra near Lahinch (Michael Patsy Flanagan, drummer with the Tulla Ceili Band)
Ennis: numerous photos, some with names of people, e.g.
- Michael Kelly the bootmaker
- James Kelly's cobblers business
- Bridget Wylde in her shop
- Father Carthage, a Franciscan friar of St Flannan's school
- Clem Ryan's fruit and vegetable shop
- Ellen Shannon
Bunratty farmers
Bunratty creamery
Tottenham family at Mount Callan, Robert Tottenham
Woods family at Mount Callan
Cratloe Moyle castle (last resident: John McNamara, d. 1780)
Glan Castle, near Ennistymon
Ennistymon Church Street on market day
Ennistymon: Jimmy Tobin and John Bane
Tubber fair – Paddy Flanagan
Kilfenora – Paddy Reynolds ("....known as a hard-living man.....popular with the local ladies in his day.....")
Knockature, Inagh: Mrs Devitt
Tulla: Clune's shop on the hill
The Dunne brothers (buskers) of Limerick
Newmarket-on-Fergus: spectators at a hurling match

Don't be put off by the fact that the captions on many of the photos do not give the names of the people. I found one such photo from Tubber fair and an elderly person from Tubber identified one of the people in the photo for me.

Anyway, there it is. Enjoy !

Paddy

M. McNamara
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Re: Dorothea Lange's photos of Clare people and places

Post by M. McNamara » Fri Apr 25, 2008 11:41 pm

In or about 2003, a Ms. Dierdre [sic] Lynch directed a film called "Photos to Send". The subject matter was D. Lange's photo journey through Ireland in 1954. I am looking for a copy of this film. I emailed Ms. Lynch via the website http://www.photostosend.com/ but got no reply. Does anybody know whether the film is available to buy and how I might get a copy?

Paddy Casey
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Re: Dorothea Lange's photos of Clare people and places

Post by Paddy Casey » Sat Apr 26, 2008 7:24 am

Thank you very much for flagging this film. I'd love to see it.

Did you try phoning Dierdre Lynch at (603) 635 9429 ? Alternatively, the Oakland Museum might be able to give further information. They are very responsive to emails. I had some correspondence with them some time back about Dorothea Lange photos and they were a great help.

http://www.oslofilmfestival.com/2002/mo ... movieID=23 lists another phone number For Dierdre Lynch under "Sales" (+415 512-8053).

http://www.911media.org/events/irishree ... mlist.html refers to an "86 min Beta SP", suggesting that there is a videocassette of the film in existence.

Paddy

smcarberry
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Re: Dorothea Lange's photos of Clare people and places

Post by smcarberry » Sat Apr 26, 2008 5:10 pm

Here are some more ways to go on getting to see this film or obtain a copy. East Clare fiddler Martin Hays has had a home in Seattle for several years but is likely on tour frequently. The film apparently was sold to a distribution company. I haven't heard of the film, but now I am very interested. Like Paddy, I contacted the Oakland Museum a few years ago regarding access to the Lange collection (although the reply was disappointing since there have been no plans to do anything more than archive it). Keep us informed on any success in gaining more info, o.k. ?

Sharon Carberry (USA)



Descriptions of the film with mention of Clare men associated with the film:
"In 1954, world-renowned photographer Dorothea Lange traveled to County Clare, Ireland on assignment for LIFE magazine. Using what Dennis Wylde, a local photographer in Clare who assisted Lange, describes as “God’s light,” she took more than 2400 photographs, creating a lasting record of a rural life that would soon disappear. Nearly a half century later, using the photographs and notes gathered from Lange’s archive, Irish-American director Dierdre Lynch retraced Lange’s steps, traveling country roads, searching. She found many of Lange’s original subjects, and they welcomed her into their houses—and their lives, just as they had welcomed Lange forty-four years earlier.
Original musical score by Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill"
http://www.911media.org/events/irishree ... mlist.html

Posted in 2003:
"Yesterday I saw the Photos to Send documentary revisiting the subjects of Dorothea Lange's photos. First of all, let me recommend this well-made, evocative and highly entertaining film to anyone who may have a chance to see it. From the list on martinhayes.com, it appears that there are screenings coming up in Minneapolis, Chicago and Boston within the next
month. If you live in or near any of those cities, you really ought to see this film. Not only is it quite well done, it's also the only film I've ever seen where every word of dialogue is spoken in English, yet there are subtitles, also in English. I guess the filmmaker, Deirdre Lynch, thought that the Clare farmer accents might be a bit hard to understand without them. I didn't have that problem myself, but then again I've been to Clare many times..."
https://listserv.heanet.ie/cgi-bin/wa?A ... =0&P=75398

Website of the company which did the sound design/production:
http://www.earwaxproductions.com

Company which apparently owns the copyright and likely does the
distribution of the film:
http://www.europa-cinemas.org/en/films/ ... %7CDeirdre

M. McNamara
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Re: Dorothea Lange's photos of Clare people and places

Post by M. McNamara » Sat Apr 26, 2008 6:25 pm

Thanks to Paddy and Sharon for their excellent advice.
Ms. Lange took photos at Bunratty creamery and are reproduced in her book. (Aurum press, pp. 50, 51, 52).

I also had been in contact with a Drew Johnson in the Oakland Library, who didn't have the film but gave me contact details for Ms. Lynch. I just emailed Ms. Lynch and when she didn't answer, I let it go but filed it for future reference.

I note that there have been 700+ views of this topic on the forum. If that indicates the level of interest in the subject, it may even be commercially viable to release the film.

Paddy Casey
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Re: Dorothea Lange's photos of Clare people and places

Post by Paddy Casey » Sat Apr 26, 2008 8:59 pm

I just called Diedre Lynch and left a message.

Watch this space.

Paddy

P.S. It's now May 1 2008 and I have had no response from Ms Lynch. P.
Last edited by Paddy Casey on Thu May 01, 2008 6:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

M. McNamara
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Location: Sixmilebridge, Co. Clare

Re: Dorothea Lange's photos of Clare people and places

Post by M. McNamara » Sun Apr 27, 2008 9:46 pm

Four of Ms. Lange's Bunratty photographs may be seen on the wall of The Creamery bar in Bunratty.

This bar is the former creamery. Some of the old creamery pipework and vessels were retained and incorporated into the bar's furniture.

Clare Admin
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Re: Dorothea Lange's photos of Clare people and places

Post by Clare Admin » Thu May 01, 2008 4:02 pm

Clare County Library's Local Studies Centre (The Manse) holds contact prints for c. 2,100 Dorothea Lange Irish photographs gathered in four volumes, the bulk of which are of County Clare. The centre also has a copy of "Life" Magazine, 21 March 1955 ("A rural world in Ireland. Dorothea Lange takes a sympathetic look at the parent stock of a far-flung race as it lives on calmly amid the culture of a bygone day") and the 1996 book "Dorothea Lange's Ireland" (London: Aurum Press).

Diane
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Re: Dorothea Lange's photos of Clare people and places

Post by Diane » Tue May 27, 2008 7:56 pm

All the photos Dorothea Lange took in Ireland in 1954 are at the Oakland Museum of California website:
http://content.cdlib.org/view?docId=ft3 ... &brand=oac

You can click on descriptions for all the photos to see the photos. My great grandmother is the Mrs. Devitt from Knockature, Inagh that is pictured in the book. Her daughter-in-law is in the doorway w/her granddaughter Mary Devitt.

My uncle was going to Ireland in about 1996 & he stopped at his uncle's in Springfield, Massachusetts before going over. Someone had just given my great uncle a book w/photos of County Clare where he was born. The first time the book was opened, it was at my great grandmother's picture - from the other side of the family. Needless to say, many copies of the book were purchased here in the US & in Ireland.

I had been in e-mail contact w/Deidre Lynch a few years ago to see about bringing her film to Buffalo, New York or obtaining copies of the film. I had given her the contact info for the Buffalo Irish Center who was willing to talk about sponsoring the film, but nothing came of it. She had e-mailed me a few times then stopped. My cousin saw the film in Seattle & loved it. Deidre stayed w/my great aunt and uncle Paddy & Nonie Devitt when she was making the film. If anyone knows how to obtain copies of the film, please let me know. I have a very large family who would love to see the film. Both my grandparents - James McGrath & Mary Devitt were from Knockature.

hartflock
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Re: Dorothea Lange's photos of Clare people and places

Post by hartflock » Sun Sep 13, 2009 2:57 am

I too have seen Photos to Send here in Boston some years back. Every year or so I try to contact Dierdre Lynch both by email and phone as I believe she lives right here in NH as I do, but to no avail. Phone messages were not returned.

Both my husband and I would dearly love to see the film again as would the many many people we have told about it.
Has anyone had any success in locating a contact who could tell if the film has been put out on DVD?
Netflix did not have it.

Someone mentioned the contact prints in the County Clare library. Is that the library in Ennis?

I would be happy to even have a lead that I could follow. I haven't tried Martin Hayes or Dennis Cahill yet.

thanks for any help at all.

sadhbh
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Location: Clare

Re: Dorothea Lange's photos of Clare people and places

Post by sadhbh » Thu Sep 17, 2009 10:03 am

I managed to contact Dierde Lynch last year to enquire about getting copies of the 'Photos to Send' DVD. She was surprised and horrified to hear that it was available on DVD as she has nothing to do with it. It seems that the DVD is a pirate which explains why it's so difficult to track one down.

Sadhbh

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