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Parkie Publishes the "History of Photography in Pen and Ink"

Written by Meredith Farley

Illustration: Charles Woodard '09 from "The History of Photography in Pen and Ink"

IC senior Charles Woodard has just published his first book,The History of Photography in Pen and Ink. The book includes forty-three pen-and-ink drawings. The drawings are mostly comical, sometimes tragic, and consistently entertaining stick-figure representation of -- you guessed it -- the history of photography.

The book's origin is almost as interesting as its content. Woodard was taking the History of Photography with Professor Nick Muellner in the spring of 2007. Woodard drew flashcards to study for exams because he didn't have a printer.

"They [the flashcards] helped, since drawing them helped me remember the images better," says Wood. "By the end of the semester I had sixty flash cards. I knew Professor Muellner found them amusing, so I gave them to him -- never thinking I would see them again." 

Muellner took the cards and shared them with Ron Jude, another professor of photography at IC. A month later, Jude approached Wood about turning his History of Photography flashcards into a book. The rest is (photographic) history.

"The original idea was to publish the set of images exactly like the originals -- as flash cards," says Jude. "Over the course of a year or so, the idea slowly evolved into something that made more sense in book form. By turning the drawings into a chronological study guide, I think we were able to design a more interesting object."

Coincidentally, Prof. Muellner, whose creative and curatorial projects have been reviewed in Artforum, The New York Times and The New Yorker, has just published a book entitled The Photograph Commands Indifference, which features photographs and text. The book is a personal, historical, and philosophical inquiry into the relationship between photographs and monuments.

The History of Photography in Pen and Ink is published by A-Jump Books, Ithaca, NY.









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