Untouched: Minnie Griswold's Homeplace

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I look at this snapshot of Minnie, which was taken in 1923 when she was 49, just seven years older than I am now - and I know her. She speaks to me from her eyes and slight smile, a shyness around her mouth and sharp wit - I yearn to hear her voice. How do I know her? How do you get to know someone who died 30 years ago?
— Susanne Rappaport, 1986


Charlie Griswold, Minnie’s eighty­-five year old son, and his recent bride, Bea, chose to have their portrait made at Charlie’s boyhood home. After the picture, Charlie took us into the summer-warmed old house, where the dim light gradually gave way to an image of a past preserved: everything was in its place, untouched for years.
— Neil Rappaport, 1986
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Charlie cranked the victrola and we all sat on the overstuffed couch and rockers listening to John Maccormack sing “Over There,” smelling the sweet and sour aromas of age in the house. Animated beyond his usual shy reserve, Charlie led us through his Mother’s rooms, allowing us a glimpse of how she lived.
— Neil Rappaport, 1986
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The visible presence of the past in the rooms, on shelves and surfaces, and in drawers, gave witness to a way of life I had only heard about from people who could remember the century’s turn. So I innocently began to document that evidence as directly and richly as possible.
— Neil Rappaport, 1986


My part in the photographs was to discover the fragments of spirit in the house and to assemble them as an expressive entity. All were given up to Susanne’s process of breathing the life of color into them...
— Neil Rappaport, 1986
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I sought the stillness and quiet concentration of my long working days, the spring turning into summer, the light changing in the house, thinking all the time about how to more accurately bring Minnie’s colors to the photographs and how to improve my ability to see everything, every detail, in the pictures.
— Susanne Rappaport, 1986
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Who was Minnie Griswold and what was her life like? What about her might have led her sons to preserve her last home as a shrine?
— Neil
I hope these photographs extend her spirit and [Charlie’s] meaning and devotion, as I have given myself expression.
— Susanne

EXHIBIT SPECIFICATIONS

Exhibit Layout/Design

The exhibition will showcase 43 photographic images taken by Neil Rappaport and hand-coloured by Susanne Rappaport. The photographic prints are two sizes primarily - 20in x 24in and 16in x 20in - with some additional smaller format prints.

The main gallery will house the bulk of the collection, with the photographs framed and hung with modest titles assigned by Neil and Susanne.

In an adjoining smaller gallery, eight unique displays will give visitors an opportunity to learn more about Neil and Susanne's process, both photographically and coloring. Displays will include side by side comparisons of uncolored work prints and final colored prints, objects from the home alongside Susanne's color renderings of the same, Susanne and Neil's smaller format work prints, Susanne's coloring tools and dyes, and more.

Visitors will be invited to create their own colored photographs using B&W reproductions of the photographs and colored pencils provided on site.

Programming

Opening Reception / An opening reception for the exhibition will feature music, either live or played on a victrola, to be determined. Music will be drawn from song books and titles that appear in the photographs from Minnie's home. Lighting will be subdued giving visitors the opportunity to explore the space thoughtfully - with the more typical reception activities of socializing, food, and drinks being confined to the adjacent gallery spaces.

Hand-Coloring Workshop / A hand-coloring workshop will be offered in the gallery - instructor, duration, and timing still to be determined.


Photographic Collection To Be Exhibited

Click thumbnails to enlarge photographs for viewing.


Exhibit Budget

Untouched Exhibit Production                 $8,125

Exhibit Design/Production (VFC Staff) - $3,500                   

Framing - $3,000

Panel Printing (vinyl) - $250

Postcard Printing / Mailing - $675

Introduction / Outdoor Sign Printing - $275  

Install Costs (Misc, Paint, Hardware) - $50

Opening Reception Event                      $450

Locally Sourced Food/Drinks - $150

Live Music / Victrola Rental - $300

Photo-Coloring Workshop Event           $475

Instructor Honorarium - $350

Promotion (social media ads) - $125

Gallery Program Expenses                     $2,150

Audio Access – Call-In System - $375

Production Support / Gallery Reception Staff - $600  

Development Staff - $750

Building Costs (Electricity, heat, etc) - $500  

Mileage - $300