About this project
ABOUT THE PROJECT
I will be printing a 100+ page hard cover large format photographic retrospective of Robert James Campbell's life's work. The book will contain an eclectic selection of commercial and personal images from his 20 year career as a freelance photographer.
THESE IMAGES HAVE NEVER BEEN PRINTED, OR VIEWED BY A PUBLIC AUDIENCE.
While photographing the New York City jazz scene in the 50′s and 60′s, Robert James Campbell documented the birth of a new era from behind the lens. Despite his arresting images of people who would shape the American landscape, Campbell passed away impoverished and alone. His photographic collection contains a prolific assortment of iconic images that span numerous genres including jazz, entertainment, civil rights activism, and the cultural renaissance of New York City. Some of his subjects include John Coltrane, The Modern Jazz Quartet, Art Blakey, Philly Joe Jones, Elvin Jones, Count Basie, Bud Powell, Mississippi John Hurt, Myrlie Evers and Chuck Berry to name a few.
After succumbing to the numerous challenges that plagued him throughout his life, including mental illness, financial hardships, and internal struggles as an artist, Campbell lost everything and returned to Burlington Vermont. He arrived with few personal belongings, but managed to carry his entire life's work on his back, literally. Until the day he died, he held out for the personal and artistic resolve he was unable to fully achieve in his living years.
Campbell passed away in 2001. Having never had the proper recognition for his astute artistic accomplishments, I am determined to usher his collection to its proper resting place, and make his photographs available to the public as educational and artistic resources.
The success of this project will ultimately benefit The Burlington City Schools' art and music programs.
For more information about this history of this project, please visit the 11/12/12 JAZZWAX blog post here:
And the 11/8/12 THE VILLAGE VOICE feature slideshow here:
And the 11/13/12 VERY OWN KICKSTARTER TUMBLR
SAVING JAZZ PHOTOGRAPHY:
This project has been entitled, "I SAVED JAZZ PHOTOGRAPHY" on the behalf of all of you, who will form the collective effort that will make this publication possible. I am touched by the profound support that has already presented itself, and carried the project to its current place.
I would like to extend my deepest thanks to: Richard Kozlowski of Lisman and Leckerling, P.C. in Burlington Vermont for his guidance and determination over the last several years. Ken Schatz for allowing me the opportunity to launch this Kickstarter campaign. Kirsten Neuhaus for the memorable publishing tour. Louanne Ponder and Ron Zisook of The Old Jodo Temple at Laupahoehoe Point HI for the production of my video. Travis Schreer for his ongoing support, encouragement, and the beautiful guitar piece at the end of my video.
HOW IT WILL ALL HAPPEN:
I will be collaborating with the master experts at Panopticon Imaging in Hingham MA to restore Campbell's collection to its original glory. They have decided to help fuel the cause by generously donating funds and services to the project. Each image will be scanned, color corrected, and spot treated resulting in the same brilliance as the moment Campbell snapped the shutter. From these final images I will work with designers to create reward gifts, limited edition gallery prints, and of course THE BOOK! Campbell's collection requires a touch of TLC. In search of the absolute best printer around, I found Panopticon, and they are going to make it all happen. http://www.panopticonimaging.com
THE FINER DETAILS OF YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS
Here is how your contributions will help the team:
From conception to completion this project will cost just under $30,000.
How is this number derived?
- prepping, cleaning, and editing of each selected image ($1,000)
- creating master scans of the 100+ images for the book ($3,000)
- printing limited edition archival gelatin prints ($1,500)
- design software and tech equipment ($3,500)
- design and creation of reward gifts including postcards, calendars, and t-shirts ($5,000)
- packaging and shipping backer rewards ($1,500)
- book layout, revisions, and final printing and binding ($9,000)
- sales and marketing ($1,500)
- 2013 gallery exhibition ($2,500)
The working title of the Retrospective is "OF A TIME." The content will include an eclectic variety of Robert James Campbell's iconic photography in an 11x11 square format.
We have been working on a t-shirt design that uniquely represents the project. The shirt will be available in men's and women's cuts and sizes.
For all rewards in the $35 and above reward brackets, please include an additional $15 for shipping overseas. Thank you!
Campbell's story and photography was the inspiration for the national bestseller, The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian (2007) While the main character, Bobby Crocker is entirely fictional, Chris Bohjalian has dedicated an honorable mention of Robert James Campbell in the section of The Double Bind on his website. For a more detailed outline of his life, please see "Bob's Story" at:
Risks and challenges
I am very excited to get started, and have a phenomenal team of talented people who will be supporting the project along side of me. I have carefully assessed each step of the process, and am aware of some challenges and obstacles that may arise along the way. My first concern surrounds the condition of the collection in its current state. While the majority of the original silver halide negatives I plan to use have been carefully preserved and archived, others will need some significant restoration and repair. Since Campbell physically carried his work with him throughout his life, there is evidence of exposure to dust, mold and physical damage. After discussions with Paul Sneyd at Panopticon Imaging I am confident that we will be able to work around these issues.
In addition, I share the same concern as all Kickstarter participants, which is the obvious; will I fall short of my monetary goal? I believe in using the highest quality materials and services throughout each phase of publication, and with that comes a price. The funding goal has been implemented to spare no detail, from the shirts, to the prints to the books I'm opting for the best.
As for the time line for final product delivery and reward incentive gifts, I have tried my best to assess how long each step of the project will take. Depending on how smoothly my production pipeline moves along, I plan on coming as close as possible to my target dates stated in the reward section. If my schedule shifts around, or things take longer than originally expected, I will provide that information in the updates. There is a chance that the book production in particular may take longer to complete.
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