Over seven years ago I stumbled upon The Pri-Or PhotoHouse in Tel-Aviv on Allenby Street. I walked in out of curiosity, attracted by the amazing black and white images in the window display, but upon talking with Miriam Weissenstein about her life, and the photo studio she founded with her husband Rudi in 1940, I started coming back to film her. Miriam's dream was to create a book of the many faces that were photographed in their studio, and for the last few years I have been engaged in the process of scanning portraits with the goal of creating a book, a digital book that will include the video footage I have shot, and travelling exhibitions.
To date I have scanned over 3,000 negatives, and In order to realize both mine and Miriam's dream, I have turned to Kickstarter to help us fund this incredible undertaking.
Ian Sternthal, Founder of Sternthal Books
Examples Of The Portraits:
Support The Project And Get Valuable Souvenirs:
We are happy to share copies of the printed edition for anyone who contributes over 50 dollars to the campaign, and the E-Book for people who give a minimum contribution of 30 dollars. For a contribution of over 100 dollars, the book will be accompanied by the digital edition, which will include exclusive materials such as behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with Miriam Weisenstein. Our incentives for contributors also include:
- Invitations to the New York, Tel-Aviv, and Montreal launches of the book and EBOOK.
- Museum Quality Black and White Prints
- Posters, postcards.
- Copies of other art books and limited edition box sets from Sternthal Books.
- Personal “With support of” credit at the opening of the book + logo of supporting organization at the end of the book film.
- Producer credit for the project.
See the full list of rewards on the left >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
MUSEUM QUALITY PRINTS..
AS WELL AS ART EDITIONS FROM STERNTHAL BOOKS :)!!!!
POSTCARDS + POSTERS
Why Is This Such An Important Project?
The Pri-Or PhotoHouse was founded in 1940 by Miriam and Rudi Weissenstein, one of Israel's most prolific documentary and portrait photographers. They worked tirelessly documenting Israel's people and its rapidly changing culture until his passing in 1992. Miriam continued to open their studio every day of her life until she passed away at 97 two years ago. Over a span of seventy years everyone from prolific celebrities, to people needing passport photos, and blushing brides, sat on the same wooden bench to be photographed by Rudi. The portraits democratize on celluloid the many social inequalities of their time; he photographed each person with the same care and attention regardless of their rank or status. He and Miriam left us with a valuable anthropological documentation of Tel-Aviv and its rapidly changing culture that is in need of preservation.
Today people come to The Pri-Or PhotoHouse looking for images from their pasts. It is a living archive, woven into the fabric of the city, deeply embedded in many peoples lives. Miriam used to receive people who would return searching for images from their pasts, housed within the shop. I have captured many of those moving and comedic meetings on film, and they will be included in the ebook.
With your help we will be able to finish documenting the many images that make up this important collection of images, so that we can preserve, celebrate, and learn from this important historical imprint of ourselves. This book should serve as a reminder the beneath each national identity, are thousands of faces - each one unique, and yet inextricably connected to our own.
What We Need:
After years of working on my own, to go through this massive collection of portraits, film the shop, interview Miriam and her grandson, as well as many people who have come back over the years to search for images from their pasts, we must now hire a team to complete the process.
Once we have completed the task of going through the archive, I will begin curating and designing the print and digital editions of the book, including editing the over 30 hours of footage that I have shot over the past several years. Once the final edit of portraits has been selected, each frame will have to be professionally scanned and re-touched. I will also be writing an essay about Miriam and the shop for both editions.
We are also planning to apply for grants, and seek out additional private investments in order to complete this project, and preserve this valuable piece of cultural heritage. If however, these fundraising efforts do not pan out, we will just release a more scaled down version of the project.
If we reach 25,000:
We will be able to complete the printed edition and digital book, going through a limited portion of the portraits in the shop.
If we reach 30,000:
We will be able to do a more thorough investigation of the collection, and include more images in the book.
If we reach 40,000:
We will be able to create a travelling exhibition of the portraits, complete with a video footage installed as part of the show.
If we reach 50,000:
We will be able to do all of the above, and in addition, begin doing research about the various people we uncover, as well as start a program to bring this project to schools, and donate editions to libraries across the world.
How Kickstarter Works:
BECOME A PART OF THIS IMPORTANT PROJECT AND IN EXCHANGE, GET A SPECIAL SOUVENIR OR ATTEND ONE OF THE LAUNCH EVENTS>
IF WE DON’T REACH OUR GOAL, WE GET NOTHING - Kickstarter campaign is an all-or-nothing deal. If we don’t meet our goal, we get none of the contributions and backers don't get charged and get none of the rewards. So please, if you like this project, and want to help us finish it - SPREAD THE WORD!
Risks and challenges
Our goal is to pay tribute to the Pri-Or PhotoHouse and to the incredible collection of portraits that Miriam & Rudi left for us.
All of the incentives - aside from the finished book and digital EBOOK, will be sent immediately upon the end of the campaign. Thus far we have unearthed an incredible array of images - that document many of Tel-Aviv's leading cultural figures, politicians, and celebrities, as well as a variety of regular people. We will be working around the clock to create a special and thoughtful edition that will capture the magic of the PhotoHouse, this unique living archive, which continues to serve the thousands of people who were photographed there.
That said, there are many challenges along the way. Because of the sheer size of the archive - it will take time to go through it. However, the more money we raise, the more people we can hire to help us out, and broaden the scope of the negatives that we digitize. Once the book is printed, it will also be a challenge to place it in shops, promote it, and create interesting and engaging cultural events throughout the world - but we are passionate, committed, and excited about making this happen, and with your help, we will!!!
The scale and impact of the project depends on your support - and the amount of money we fundraise. We could for instance research the different people photographed, we could create an app, and an entire website to house the project. Rest assured however that every bit counts; so long as this project gets funded, we guarantee that we will have the means to create a meaningful multimedia project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (60 days)