National Museum of American History Adds Nash Editions Digital Photography Equipment, Prints to Collections

Aug 12, 2005, 01:00 ET from Graham Nash

    LOS ANGELES, Aug. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- In a ceremony today at the National
 Museum of American History, Graham Nash and partner R. Mac Holbert, on behalf
 of Nash Editions, donated an IRIS printer to the museum's photographic history
 collection, an early example of how new technology was adapted by Nash
 Editions to produce not only fine art prints, but a new business model.
     The museum also received an Apple II fx computer; a 1989 IRIS print of
 David Crosby (the first print created at Nash Editions) from a negative
 created by Nash in 1969; and eight black-and-white images from a digitally
 produced portfolio by Horace Bristol, one of the original Time/LIFE
     Nash Editions, founded by Nash and Holbert in 1989, was born when Tokyo's
 Parco Gallery approached Nash about exhibiting 35 of his personal photos in
 groups of 50 34-by-46-inch prints.  Although the IRIS printer was designed as
 a color-proofing device for commercial printing, Nash decided to experiment
 with the printer in order to produce the 1,750 large-scale photos.  Located in
 Manhattan Beach, Calif., the company focuses on digital imaging and printing
 and is recognized as the world's first fine art digital printmaking studio.
     Douglas Kirkland, Richard Ehrlich, Peter Ralston and Joshua Greene of
 Milton H. Greene Archives Inc., clients of Nash Editions, are also donating
 various prints produced by the IRIS printer.
     Nash Editions purchased the IRIS 3047 in 1989 from IRIS Graphics in
 Bedford, Mass., and used it until Dec. 31, 2004.  By the 1990s, IRIS printers
 were capable of accommodating various grades of inks, cloth and paper.  The
 printers use ink-jet technology and can produce a range of works, including
 posters, textiles and fine art photography.
     "The IRIS printer will stand as a symbol of change within the world of
 professional digital photography," said the museum's director Brent D. Glass.
 "Nash Editions' contributions, as well as an earlier acquisition from
 photographer John Paul Caponigro, are excellent examples of where art, science
 and technology meet to produce wonderful objects and influence a whole
 medium," he added.
     Nash, one of the founding members of the rock group Crosby, Stills, Nash
 and Young, sold a collection of more than 2,000 prints in 1990 and used much
 of the proceeds to create Nash Editions.  Under the creative eye of long time
 friend Holbert, a team of artists and technicians spent a year of research and
 development before Nash Editions opened to the public in July of 1991.  In
 addition to digital imaging and collecting, Nash has been a serious
 photographer since the age of 11.  In 1994, Steidl published a collection of
 Nash's photographs entitled "Eye to Eye: Photographs by Graham Nash."
     The photographic history collection, begun by the Smithsonian in 1896, is
 the first collection of photography in a U.S. museum and holds 12,000 pieces
 of photographic equipment and 200,000 images that capture the history, art and
 science of photography.  Nineteenth-century photography is especially well
 represented and includes paper photographs, as well as equipment and studio
 set-ups.  The history of amateur photography and photojournalism are also
 preserved in the collection, along with cameras used by Eadweard Muybridge and
 the work of 20th-century masters such as Richard Avedon and Edward Weston.
     The collection began to focus on digital photography following the events
 of Sept. 11, when many of the initial images were captured and transmitted by
 digital technology.  In addition to Nash Editions' contribution, the museum
 has acquired John Paul Caponigro's collection that shows one photographer's
 move from conventional photography to digital, including his equipment,
 software and printers.  The digital photo history collection also includes the
 first consumer color digital camera (for less than $1,000) that connected to a
 computer, the Apple Quick Take 100; photographs of Shanksville, Pa., that were
 transmitted by cell phone; and a digital camera used by a Pentagon employee on
 Sept. 11.
     The National Museum of American History collects, preserves and displays
 American heritage through exhibitions and public programs about social,
 political, cultural, scientific and military history.  Documenting the
 American experience from Colonial times to the present, the museum looks at
 growth and change in the United States.  The museum is located at 14th Street
 and Constitution Avenue, N.W., and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
 For more information, visit the museum's Web site at

SOURCE Graham Nash