Press ...Domestic Reviews
Acclaimed photographer Lynn H. Butler’s latest book Flames Against the Dark: Saving
America's Sacred Sites has been published by Hayriver Press ...details
LEICA GALLERY NEW YORK - A Gathering of Images ...details
SPARC trip to American Museum of Natural History in NYC
The Stewart Buffer Lands, also known as Stewart State Forest, will be the subject of an unusual event at the American Museum of Natural History on April 12.
...click to read
Santa Barbara News-Press
Shot from horseback
Lynn Butler blurs images, creating a dreamlike style
By Josef Woodard - News-press Correspondent
In the aftermath of Fiesta, visitors to the Patty Look Lewis Gallery might find their interest piqued by small shocks of recognition while looking at Lynn Butler's impressionistic images of fancy Spanish riders on horseback.
Alas, we're too Santa Barbara-centric at the moment, especially in a gallery across the street from the central Fiesta hub, De la Guerra Plaza. But these images are not from "old Spanish Days," but Old Spain itself.
Somehow, though we might find an intriguing and locally relevant resonance in the poetic horse-culture imagery of Butler's work. Butler is a photographer and horse person who has found a way to make her two interests meet shooting in Spain, around her home in Tarrytown, N.Y., and in the Camargue region of France, among other locales. Her photographs we rendered dreamlike through her technique of shooting from horseback and celebrating the resulting blur. Art about horses can usually be separated into the categories of traditional equestrian artists and those using horses as a departure point into altered states of being, such as German expressionistic Franz Marc.
Butler's art falls somewhere between those poles, delving into a fascination with horses, but also questioning and deconstruction that fascination. In images such as "Men on Two White Horses, " "Couple on White Horse" and "Festival of the Horses," the fragile visual style takes viewers away from the pageantry of the costumes and parades being depicted. The slightly abstract, stylized view shifts attention to a parallel reality that could be a horse's perspective. In "Stallion in Canyon de Chelley," the jittery horseback-photographer effect and distorted color palette - plus, the almost afterthought appearance of a horse - broaches the dream state. A large piece, "Passage Through the Land of Sleepy Hollow," is a sepia-toned, rough-and-agitated view, -moving into- the realm of myth and memory. Butler lives near Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., adding to the links among her art, horses and the stuff of legend.
Also included in the exhibition is a "Viewer Bank with 20 Pairs," a faux-antique system resembling a stereopticon of old. Viewers can peer into eyepieces on a series of even more dreamlike, nocturnal scenes with horses and nudes, often in motion, and thus blurred. A merging of nature, surrealism and horse, consciousness takes on a hypnotic, secretive character in the series.
That same uneasy but oddly intriguing merger is at the heart of this art. But, in the end, the most effective pieces have the same hard to define, disarming charm of any good art, whatever the medium or content. "Unpossessable" for example, is one of those magical images, simple images of white horses in motion. But it's blessed with an enchanted and unexpected spirit. It takes viewers somewhere, address unknown.
PHOTOGRAPHY FROM HORSEBACK, Lynn Butler
When: - Through Sept. 1 2007
Where: Patty Look Lewis Gallery 25 E. De la Guerra St.
Now to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday Information: 965-2525, pattylooklewis.com ARTS SCENE AUG. 24-30, 2007
From Here to the Horizon
American Landscape Prints
from Whistler to Celmins
This American print survey presents more than a century of panoramic vistas featuring the horizon - the great demarcation between earth and sky, world and universe. Sweeping landscape views have inspired a wonder for nature and the immensity of world, as well as, perhaps, a wish to reach new levels (or horizons) of attainment. This exhibition will explore how different graphic artists have represented the topography of places nearby and faraway, real or imagined, whether dramatic wilderness, coastal scenes, rural settings, or places on the periphery of inhabited communities.
J.A.M Whistler and Vija Celmins each depict a body of water in an evocative way, yet each artist's approach is different. For his etching of the Venice lagoon, Whistler made a few wispy lines to suggest expanses of water and sky. Celmins's lithograph of a section of the ocean's surface is almost photorealistic in detail, prompting simultaneous contemplation of the specific and the timeless, the finite and the infinite. This exhibition also includes early 20th century prints by John Taylor Arms, Gustave Baumann, Kerr Eby, Frances Gearhart, Chlide Hassam, Paul Landacre, Blance Lazzell, Grant Wood, and many others. Among the contemporary artist represented are John Beerman, Richard Bosman, Lynn Butler, April Gornik, Michael Mazur, Susan Shatter and Altoon Sultan, as well as other examples from the Zimmerli's Rutgers Archives for Printmaking Studios.
Goodbye Coney Island
An exhibition of more than fifty photographs from the Brooklyn Museum's holdings, Goodbye Coney Island? traces the evolution of this fabled part of New York over the past 125 years. Coney Island has undergone many transformations since it first became a popular resort in the nineteenth century, and in the near future a prospective redevelopment plan may yet again change this section of Brooklyn.
Goodbye Coney Island? presents images that depict the area's early life and its landmarks and attractions from the 1870s to the present, including the Oriental Hotel, Steeplechase, Luna Park, the beach and boardwalk, and the classic Thunderbolt rollercoaster. The exhibition will include photographs by Breading Way, George Bradford Brainerd, Stephen Salmieri, Garry Winogrand, Lynn Butler, and many others.
About a third of the photographs on view are contemporary prints of digitally scanned late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century glass-plate negatives from the Brooklyn Museum collection.
This exhibition is organized by Patrick Amsellem, Associate Curator of Photography, Brooklyn Museum.
The Tribeca Trib
Nature Photography with a Difference
For the past 25 years, photographer Lynn Butler has dedicated herself to the cause of environmental preservation. But unlike other nature-loving photographers, she does not content herself with simply recording the wild beauty of landscapes or exotic creatures. When Butler takes pictures it is most often at high speeds on horseback. It could also be from the open cockpit of a biplane or in a dangerous underwater dive. And these days most of her pictures of the endangered natural world - from the choral reefs of Australia to the wild horses of the Camargue in southern France to endangered lands in New York State State, are shot in 3 D. "When you view the 3D photos you have a feeling that you're really in the place," said Butler, whose pictures are on view through Feb. 25 at Soho Photo Gallery. "It's almost like magic." The real magic, however, is not in Butler's fancy technique but in her arresting sensibilities as an artist and steadfast dedication to important environmental causes. Soho Photo is at 15 White street, 212-226-8571
THE DIGITAL JOURNALIST - ...details
The New York Times
Night Moves of Mysterious Horses
BY Roberta Hershenson
Lynn Butler, a photographer, uses complex technology toward spiritual ends. Her Immediate concerns are endangered landscapes animals and cultures, attested by the fact that she was the photographer for. Imperiled Landscapes, Endangered Legends " (1997), She is also the photographer for the forthcoming book "Flames Against the Dark: Saving America's Sacred Sights," whose author is Frank Joseph.
At the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, where her show, "Night Moves," can be seen through Sept. 30, visitors wearing special glasses find a startling illusion – three-dimensional horses that seem to be rising from the floor. Ms. Butler said the horses "the first life sized phantograms ever produced using anaglyph printing to create a horizontal hologram like experience." She defines a phantogram as "a special kind of print that projects the 3 D image of an object out into the space in front of or on top of the printed surface." An anaglyph she said, is "an old form of 3 D, which does not come upward perpendicular from the floor."
Other photographs in the show can be seen in two dimensions, but become three dimensional with polarizing glasses. Ms. Butler, a former resident who lives upstate in Thompson Ridge, often takes photographs from atop her horse. She aims to capture, she said, “the mysterious darkness of the night" For information; (914) 963 4550
True fiction; A Retrospective
November 14th 2000
LE ICA Gallery
14 November – 10 January 2009
Opening reception: Thursday, 13 November, 6 to 8 PM
Lynn Butler’s images, which are unique visual descriptions of beauty, reflect her deep concerns for the protection of the landscapes that are her artistic canvases. In her words:
“I try to capture the sense of time passing. I hope that the photographs will be a reminder that we are on the edge of a century in which the fate of many life forms, including our own, will be determined and the decision of whether to save or relinquish landscapes such as these will be of increasing urgency. From the Camargue in France, to Sleepy Hollow in New York, then from the Maine coast to California, I searched the countryside by horseback to construct a plea to witness and conserve what is unique about the natural world. I photograph while in movement, mostly from horseback. I have worked in different geographies and societies. My work includes intimate urbanized spaces, to the wider and wilder parts of American Indian culture and country. I am motivated by concern for the environment brought about by human relationships to the land that then threaten those relationships.”
Butler, a distinguished member of the New York Stereoscopic Society, has had her three-dimensional (3-D) photography exhibited this year at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. The subject of these 3-D images taken from horseback was the wetlands of the Stewart State Forest, a 7,000-acre wildlife preserve in Orange County, New York. Of this important work, which has significantly contributed to the preservation and protection efforts of the Stewart Park and Reserve Coalition, the photographer has commented: “Stewart State Forest is one of those special places with delicate ecosystems that fortunately had concerned people fighting for its survival. I documented the beauty of the park in hopes of the environmentalists being made aware of the land and helping to keep the park safe.”
Lynn Butler was born in New York, studied violin at Juilliard and graduated from Hamilton College in 1974 as well as from the Certificate Program at the ICP in 1984. She has had more than 45 solo exhibitions including a one-person show at Leica Gallery in 1996 and her work has appeared in more than 100 group exhibitions throughout the world. Her photographs are in the permanent collections of such renowned institutions as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and the ICP, New York; Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris; the Musée de l’Élysée, Lausanne, Switzerland; the University of Texas, Austin; and the Portland Museum of Art, Maine. Butler’s work has appeared in such publications as LIFE, Geo, Aperture and The New York Times. Her published monographs include A Passage Through the Land of Sleepy Hollow (1988), Coney Island Kaleidoscope (1991), Toxic Circles (1993), Imperiled Landscapes – Endangered Legends (1997) and A Plant Once Uprooted (2002).
She photographs from horseback, motorcycles, planes, amusement rides, trains and anything else that is moving. Says Butler: “My photographs are taken with long exposures and extremely slow shutter speeds to capture the changing landscape…. Viewing life as it is today while referring to the past in a prevalent force in my subject matter.” The images in this retrospective exhibition, while highlighting both the diversity of her subject matter and the variety of her photographic techniques, are unified by a stylistic tone that leaves room to the imagination where the line between fantasy and reality is blurred. As the specific is avoided, the photographs have an impressionistic quality capturing both the past and the present. Barbara Shissler Nosanow, former Director of the Portland Museum of Art has commented on the work:
“Butler’s photographs… are filled with a feeling of movement, a loss of detail, and undulating color – photographs at once evocative and poetic. Lynn Butler… has created works which are essentially about time and place; textures, colors, and ambiguous forms; landscapes and her feeling concerning them… and we respond strongly, viscerally, to a disquietingly strange but powerful and wholly singular beauty.”
The quality of the light, the beauty of the colors, the optical sensations all contribute to an added dimension in Butler’s photographs. They are, at once, both romantic and mysterious, both otherworldly and unique. As its curators, it gives us great pleasure to present Lynn Butler’s work and we hope that you find it, as did Barbara Head Millstein, the former Photography Curator of the Brooklyn Museum of Art, “thoroughly satisfying.”
The New York Times
In the darkroom with Lynn Butler
BY Dominick Lombardi
An abundance of new construction is all indisputable fact of life In Westchester. To some, It's a sign of prosperity and growth; to others, the development comes at a destructive price.
Lynn Butler takes the latter position and for 20 years, she has taken pictures of Westchester's changing landscape primarily from horse. In a recent Interview, she talked about her work.
Q. In 1988, you published your first book, "A Passage Through the Land of Sleepy Hollow, (Glover Press), As you explain it, the book, which includes your photographs and text, focuses on Westchester's dwindling supply of undeveloped land like farmlands and nature preserves flow did this idea come about?
A. I had been riding horses through Rockefeller Park Preserve in Pocantico Hills for some time when I noticed how the area around the park had begun to be developed. Then, when I saw my own shadow on the ground, atop my horse, I began to think about the Headless Horseman In Washington Irving's book, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow I began to imagine how my horse could have a fantastical spiritual connection to the horse of Ichabod Crane, as if Crane's horse, Knickerbocker could send his thoughts to me, through my horse. Then it all came together. I thought if I could show the area's natural beauty, people might pay more attention to the down side of so called land development.
Q. In a way, your horse is your coconspirator in this mission, flow did that relationship come about?
A. From the early 1980's to the time of his death in 1994, my horse, Job, literally affected the outcome of my photographs. Using a slow shutter speed, I took photographs as I rode him. His movements effectively changed the resulting photography by how, and flow fast, he moved. He even knew to hold still when I was loading and unloading the camera in fact, It got to a point where I no longer needed to use the reins.
Q. Why Photography? Why not Prose, music or painting?
A. Actually, I studied violin at Juilliard, but I was too shy to feel comfortable performing in public. The camera gave me a chance to observe something, allowing me to separate myself from the audience. I started out as a documentary photographer, working for magazines like Newsweek and Life.
Q. You mentioned your concern for the environment with respect to toxic dumping. Can you elaborate on that?
A. First of all, my father was a doctor, an oncologist. His cancer research made me thoroughly aware of the hazards of environmental Pollution It is difficult for me to overlook what we are doing to our planet and inevitably to ourselves. For in stance, what at first might appear as benign, such as one of our many golf courses, can actually be harmful without proper precautions with respect to drainage. Just the run off alone from the chemical pesticides used to maintain the grass can pollute our streams, rivers and our ground water.
Q. You also mentioned that the farmhouse you once lived in was situated at a hotly contested site for development. Is that still the case?
A. That 19th century farmhouse still stands in Briarcliff Manor. The property, which surrounds the land of the house, some 75 acres, abuts both the Chernick Bird Sanctuary and Swan Lake, which is part of the Rockefeller Park Preserve. That land has been slated for development by two successive developers. Currently, it is designated as wetlands, and the impact studies, so far, have prevented any development. Unfortunately, the current owner of, the property is determined to develop the land, which will disturb the wetlands and destroy the bird sanctuary
Q. What are you working on now?
A. My current project is a book called "Flames Against the Dark America's Endangered Sacred Sites." Frank Joseph has written the text, which will accompany my photographs. The book centers around the birth of a white buffalo calf In Wisconsin. The Lakota tribe believes this to be a sign from Mother Earth, signifying a time for all of the planet's different races to work together to restore," replenish and strengthen the earth.
Ms. Butler's photographs may be seen at the Leica Gallery, at 671 Broadway at Bond Street, in Manhattan. The number to call for information at the gallery is (212) 777 3051 Ms. Butler's second book, which in includes more images of Westchester is "Imperiled Landscapes, Endangered Legends" (Universe Publishing, 1997).
The New York Times
Photographer on horseback
BY Donna Cornachio
It is important not to show every detail," said Lynn Butler, "but to leave some room to imagination. So it is that, in Ms. Butler's Color photographs from horseback of the region around Sleepy Hollow in Tarrytown, you don't see the landscape so much as feel it: the ocher tinged breath of early morning. The napping rush of ascending geese in autumn twilight. The spirit of Washington Irving restively stirring above a mound of headstones.
Washington Irving is in fact, Ms. Butler's muse. She has devoted the better part of the last 10 years to retracing and reinterpreting Irving's journey of the Headless Horseman from the back of her quarterhorse horse, Job. The fields and trails she has covered about her centuries old blue farmhouse here.
Like the French Impressionist paintings that her photographs are often compared with. Ms. Butler's work is more than simply a series of pretty Pictures.
"My photographs are taken with long exposures at extremely slow shutter speed to capture the changing landscape," the 38 year old photographer said. “Part of the Sleepy Hollow area has been targeted for potential development. My message is of the urgency needed to preserve the history and environment of this place.'
Ms. Butler came up with the idea of taking photographs from horseback for a children's book she began in 1992, telling the legend Of Sleepy Hollow from her horse's point of View. The photographs she used to Illustrate the book. "A Passage Through the Land of Sleepy Hollow," were In black and white.
Symbols Between Horse and Rider
Her Idea for using color came later while working on a project at Coney Island ”an area" she said. "That was once so beautiful and now has changed so drastically.” The blurred pastel imbued Images were perfect for capturing the fleeting glimpse effect that the artist striving for.
Photographing the Sleepy Hollow series. Ms. Butler explained, required a symbiosis between horse and rider. Partnership, not possession, enabled me to obtain my images from horseback," she said. Job truly lived up to his biblical name, enduring the discomfort of strobe lights strapped to his bridle, his rider dangling off his saddle while snapping away, flashes popping In front of his eyes.
Somehow Job even knew to stop when Ms, Butler had to reload film. "What makes a really great horse is his heart. Job had so much patience with anything I wanted to do.
Ms. Butler spent years riding the trails at the Rockefeller State Pork Preserve in Pocantico Hills and the adjoining Chernick Bird Sanctuary in Mount Pleasant at early morning and early evening times, the photographer said. When "the color saturation was most Interesting."
During one sunset session horse and rider came upon a field of geese inside the sanctuary. "I thought this would make a great shot, if I could capture them taking off in mid-flight she said, "but I also knew that can really scare a horse."
Ms. Butler gently conferred with Job, then cantered into the field without reins so both hands would be free to shoot “He was wonderful." she said. "The geese took off and Job remained steady until the last one had flown away."
The resulting photograph "Geese at Sunset with its freeze frame effect, is notable from both an Artistic and environmental standpoint. According to Anne Swaim, a staff naturalist at the Chernik Bird Sanctuary, “due to the continual encroachment by developers on the wetlands surrounding the sanctuary, we have been spotting fewer mad fewer bird species over the years."
Ms. Butler's passion for horses preceded her photography. She learned to ride at a Connecticut boarding school and bought her first horse when she was at Hamilton College in Clinton. N.Y. It was there, in her senior year, that she took her first photography course, "It was just a hobby then," the said. After she graduated, Ms. Butler moved to Manhattan and enrolled In a certificate program at the International Center Of Photography.
Ten years ago, she sold what she thought would be her last horse. "But every time I passed the horses in Central Park, or even saw the Marlboro man poster, I realized I couldn't be without a horse of my own," she said.
Alter commuting from the city on weekends to ride in Briarcliff Manor. Ms. Butler settled here nine years ago. Job and Derby a thoroughbred race horse, are stabled beside her farmhouse and seemingly Peacefully co exist with the dozen or so show collies Ms. Butler breeds. Ms. Butler who is now a full time photographer has shown internationally. Her work has been compared with the paintings of both the Hudson River School and the Artists of Barbizon Like those Artists, wrote Henry J. Duffy, curator of Lyndhurst in Tarrytown, in a recent catalogue of Ms. Butler's work, “people are seen as a presence, not as a major subject. The emphasis is strongly on the land itself."
Artistic Journey of Discovery
It as the land that first brought Ms. Butler to Sleepy Hollow. The photographer who was fascinated by Washington Irving's tales as a child, said she was drawn to trace the past of the author and his alter ego. As she rode along in his footsteps, she couldn't help noticing the shadow she cast. "It reminded me of the Headless Horseman”, she said.
“I want people to feel the beauty and mystery of the landscape and wildlife in my photographs. To me the message of the Headless Horseman today is, save the beauty and history of this place before it's too late."
“The artist’s journey of discovery is unending. One striking photograph, "Looking for Washington Irving" was taken at night in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Tarrytown, where Irving is buried. By leaning out of the saddle and using a flashlight to highlight certain areas, Ms. butler captured Job's head somberly transfixed by rows of headstones, bathed in eerie blue green wash.
'I'm Still Looking'
Ms. butler his ridden to the Cemetery countless times, always in starch of her inspiration's grave. "I've never actually found it” she said. "For all I know It may be unmarked. But I'm still looking for it".
Ms. Butler's photographs of Sleepy Hollow and the Coney Island series are on view through March 21 at Nikon House, 629 Filth Avenue In Manhattan: (212) 586 3909 The gallery is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 9:30 A.M. to 5:30 PM Admission Is free.
The New York Times
BY Roland Foster Miller
Most Westchester residents are familiar with Washington Irving and his "Legend of Sleepy Hollow." Well. here is a version that is a horse of a different color. It is. in fact. told from the viewpoint of a horse named Knickerbocker. "But let me tell you more of my story." Knick says. "The shadow of the headless horseman appears and fades, speckled like the sun through leaves. Tricking the eve and fooling the senses. Flicker and vanish. I see the shadow of the fabled horse and rider of long ago."
This a book of artful photographs mostly black and white. but with some color work and prose writing for children 10 and older. Lynn Hyman Butler photographed the book over a two year period using her own retired racehorse. , Job. Mrs. Butter is a freelance photographer who moved to Briarcliff five years ago with her husband, Ben, a marketing consultant.
Mrs. Butler wrote the book "because the Sleepy Hollow area the Rockefeller State Park and surrounding areas are undergoing a lot of development and a lot is going to be destroyed."
Mrs. Butler said children as young as 10 have enjoyed the book. "The photographs of the Headless Horseman and the horse look very real," she said. "I explain to the children that I'm the Headless Horseman." She said her greatest joy was that her horse "seemed to understand that I was doing something important; his trust was very strong." The next project for Mrs. Butler will be a book on Coney Island. she said, "another area that's going to change drastically."
Photographer showcased in Norton exhibit records haunting landscapes during horseback rides in the dark
By DEBORAH K. DIETSCH
Lynn Butler is best described as a contemporary version of the headless horseman. Like the ghostly rider made famous in Washington Irving's 1820 tale, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, the photographer wanders the area around Tarrytown N.Y, in the gloom of night. She shoots haunting landscapes in the Hudson River Valley while riding her horse. The fruit, of her nocturnal journeys are intensely colored prints that register movement in blurry lines and shadows. Some suggest the hazy Impressionism of Monet, while others convey a surrealistic edginess. Butler sees herself as an environmentalist who documents endangered landscapes. Indeed her fleeting glimpses of forests, fields and wooded paths, caught as if seen from a speeding car, suggest that swift changes are about to overtake these pastoral settings. Butler clearly enjoys manipulating the basic tools of photography - camera angles, film types and development times to create a sense of arrested movement. She exaggerates the grain and color of the film by using slow shutter speeds and shooting from horseback. The gaits are registered in varied "brushstrokes" trot is revealed in short, vertical strokes of rotor, a canter is recorded by longer, rounded lines, and a gallop is indicated by arcing curves. The difference is best portrayed in the jagged green sky of Seeing Jasper, shot driving a trot, and the bright, seeping foliage of Mohonk Fall, recorded while cantering- Butler also develops black and white film with color chemistry, called cross - processing, to heighten her color palette. The result is reflected in saturated images such as the midnight-blue Camargue Horses at Night. Most of the 54 photos in the exhibit were taken near Butler's farm in Orange County, N.Y, and in the vicinity of Tarrytown. They were not only shot from a horse, but frequently depict Butler's own quarterhorses in the landscape or at close range.
The most intriguing are large derails of heads and legs against an agitated background that conveys a sense of the animal running. The landscapes express a Romantic reverences for nature in the spirit of Hudson River School painters such as Asher Durand and Frederick Church. Some, such as The Hunt, a cluster of horses framed by a flickering pink sunset, recall the racecourses painted by Edgar Degas. Others capture the cowboy flavor of the Camargue in southeastern France with scenes of wild horses and townspeople dressed in native costumes Butler even pays homage to Van Gogh in depicting the sun flowers of Arles. Unfortunately her day and night versions of the blooming fields aren't hung next to each other for a comparative viewing. While evoking these 19th century precedents, the photos project an ethereal, unsettling quality through strident colors and fractured lines. They rarely settle into sentimentality. Particularly effecting are the abstract landscape Alberta's Path and the shadowy Horses in the Storm. The second part of the exhibit, "Nocturnal Moments," is devoted to nearly two dozen stereo prints, which are viewed through 3-D glasses. It shows how Butler takes advantage of recent technical advancements in stereoscopic vecotgraph imagery, which was developed for binocular vision testing.
Each photograph, taken with a camera with double tenses, consists of a pair of superimposed images; one represents the left-eye view and other the right-eye view. The two images are printed using inkjets and laminated to either side of reflective, aluminum-coated paper. When viewed through polarizing glasses the two are perceived as a single three-dimensional image. Through this technology Butler wants us to experience her vision of arrested movement in depth. Some other photos are exposed for over an hour, allowing the photographer to fill her frame with dreamy imagery a plane that looks like a shooting comet a glowing sequence of galloping white horses. Others offer a cubist perspective, such as the simultaneous frontal and profile views of a horse's head in Looking for Daybreak
Palm Beach Daily News
'Strokes of Light'
BY Jan Sjostrom
Lynn Butler was taking photographs from the back of her horse, trying to freeze images with fast shutter speeds and fast film. But the afternoon light was fading, and the results she got were not what she expected. The images were blurry. Other photographers; might have been dismayed. Butler embraced the mistake. She went out and did it again.
"Depending on the horse's gait, I got the effect of brush strokes of light," she said. "I realized that if I could learn to control that, beautiful and amazing things could be done with the camera."
In time, Butler developed methods to use the effects to her advantage.
With long exposure times and and slow shutter speeds, she created painterly photographs that emulate the look of brush strokes. She experimented with film and photographic processes, and achieved striking effects with color.
The Norton Museum of Art has organized a show of Butler's unusual photographs titled Imperiled Landscapes, Endangered Legends: Photographs by Lynn Hyman Butler. The show is on view at the museum through Sunday, June 20.
The show's title refers to the artist’s concern for vanishing cultures and environments.
The show includes images of a sanctuary near Butler's home that was threatened by development; the Camargue region in France's wild west, which is endangered by plans to build a bridge to speed tourists from Marseilles to Provence; and Indian lands on the coast of California, where a proposed dam threatens to parch Indian lands.
Butler feels close links with the land and with horses and dogs, the recurrent subjects of her works.
In fact, she was on horseback when she connected the themes. "The speed at which I went through the land made me think that this is the speed at which it's going to be destroyed if we don't pay attention," she said.
Butler's ties with the Norton date back several years. Her parents, George and Barbara Hyman, who are divorced, live in Palm Beach. Butler, who lives in Thompson Ridge, about 70 miles north of New York City, has visited the Norton many times. The museum has followed her career and owns three of her photographs. Snapping pictures while riding a horse is hardly a typical way to work. Neither is shooting three dimensional photographs, which Butler also does.
As a child, Butler loved to play with Viewmasters, the toy viewers that display three-dimensional scenes. "Why don't people photograph this way?" she asked herself. "It gives you the feeling of being there more than any other photograph."
To see Butler's three-dimensional pictures, patrons must look through special glasses, which the Norton provides in the gallery, or peer through viewers. Butler's three dimensional work is on the cutting edge. She uses new computerized processes. The Norton is the first venue to show the images. Butler shoots the pictures with a rare two lensed camera. The camera imprints separate images for the left and right eyes. The glasses or viewers unite the images, making the photograph look three-dimensional.
All this technology is just a means to an end. Butler's end is the creation of ghostly nocturnal images of horses, shooting stars, nude women and collies cloned in light. Working in three dimensions is a labor intensive process. A single picture can take as long as an hour and a half to shoot. Butler photographs at night in pitch-blackness. She illuminates only the portions of the scene she wants to appear. Exposure times range from 20 minutes to an hour and a half. The technique produces repeated imagery as objects move. The evanescent effects she gets resonate with her convictions about the fragility of the world she photographs.
Butler is continuing her work with disappearing landscapes. In May, she will travel to New Mexico to resume a series on American Indian sacred sites.
She has shot them before, the old fashioned way. This time, she will bring along her new toys and catch them in three dimensional glory.
For information, call the Norton at 832 5196.
Hudson River Museum
Hudson River Museum Press Release
By Hudson River Museum
I am sending a press release about the Hudson River Museum show with a few examples of the prints in the show. They are in the form of a 3 D vectograph, StereoJet print, seen in two dimensions, but with polarizing glasses they become 3 dimensional.
Also included are 2 life size horses, "Laughing" and "Walking", which are the first life-size phantograms ever produced using anaglyph printing to create a horizontal hologram like experience. Anaglyph is an old form of 3 D but does not come upward perpendicular from the floor. The viewer puts on red/blue glasses, and in a space where there is nothing, the horses appear.
The vectograph was invented by Edwin Land of Polaroid in 1942, to use for strategic bombing in Japan during World War 11, but the method to make these was to expensive for public use. Edwin Land's assistant Jay Scarpetti of the Rowland Institute for Science in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has been working to produce the material in an ink jet technology form which is used for medical presentations for doctors sending 3 D cameras into the body, then StereoJet’s are printed and projected for education. Also Mr. Scarpetti has produced stereo jets to show the surface of the moon for NASA and the deck of the Titanic for National Geographic for the ultimate viewing experience.
My shows are the first shows of this technology.
I had one show of some images at the Norton Museum of Art in Palm Beach, Florida, and I'm enclosing some press articles about the medium for you to know about the process as well as several pages from the book accompanying the show at the Brooklyn Museum of Art about Digital technology in the art world.
Westchester County Weekly
The stuff that dreams are made of
BY Elisa Flynn
Night Moves, an exhibit of photographs by Lynn Butler, evokes a nighttime world, a place where tile viewer becomes witness to a dialogue between (he human and animal world. The mysterious figures who move through the nocturnal landscape perform rituals and dances that we watch in slow motion. Motion is the uniting factor of all of these photographic vignettes, which depict what could he described as fairy tale, for adults.
Lynn Butler's 3 D images are created with photographic technology invented during World War II. There are several types of 3 D images in this exhibit, most of the photos are StereoJet's which are created with a camera fitted with two lenses that takes a unique view for the left and right eye. Each view is then superimposed by ink jet printing them on either side of a multilayered transparent sheet.
Her Current exhibition at the Hudson River Museum is viewed with a pair of polarized glasses that look similar to those cardboard and plastic glasses you get to view a 3 D comic book. Only with these call you get the real feel and look of these photos. Every work here captures time and movement.
All of Butler's photos are taken outdoors and depict the countryside site she fears is most endangered. She uses her own horses and dogs in many of the photos as actors in these nature based fantasies. A few of the photographs are daytime scenes, such as "Smoke Swimming" which shows her brown horse swimming in a lake as her dog looks on from the foreground. The photo has incredible depth and the color is intense and saturated, making it look like one of those religious 3 D postcards.
Most of Butler's photos are set at night, however, with exposures as long as two hours, a technique that gives trails to anything with movement. In "Circling Stars," white lines make arcs in the blue green sky. This image even looks beautiful when viewed flat, without the glasses, but in 3 D it is almost blinding, as the stars seem to be flying through the air. The intensity of the depth and movement these works have is pretty incredible. 'There is a hallucinogenic quality in works like "Looking For Daybreak," which shows two Cows, heads moving across one another, transparent and blurring into each other. The long exposure in "Open Gulf” shows a horse moving around the edge of a lake unreadable as a flat Image but very much alive in 3D.
At this point in the exhibition the world of reality gives way to a mysterious nocturnal paradise. Figures mix with animals in works like "Nocturnal Meeting" where the viewers looks deeply into the grove in the Forest at a woman surrounded by horses She is gently reaching up to touch one, and the dialogue between human and animal is natural and gentle. These pictures make one think of old fairy tales -- there are no elves or flying crones but there is the forbidden feeling of surreptitiously observing an unknown world where no one is clothed and animals are treated with respect and kindness. In "Dancing Around the Teepee a blur of women dance around the skeleton of a teepee. Dramatic lighting like a burst of fire illuminates the line of these anonymous figures, who are really all the same person. This dramatic lighting, also used in "Nocturnal Direction", and Nocturnal Parade," recalls Gregory Crewdson's photographs, but Butler’s works are more meditative and more shrouded in, secrecy than Crewdson’s alien abduction fantasies.
A series using a raw wooden arbor centers around an unknown form of worship, "Sacred Fountain depicts two women in Japanese robes seated on a stone fountain with water spouting egrets on either side of them. Small details like tile drops of water frozen in mid-arc are such incredible uses of this 3 D technique that you can be stopped in your tracks by them. "Sacred Arbor" spies on a woman looking lost in thought at the same fountain; Butler has the scene framed by an arbor.
The lighting adds an otherworldly dimension that makes
what should be simple movements and actions
seem mysterious and beautiful
Fantasy comes strongly to the fore in much of Butler’s work, like eerie illustrations in children's books. "Nocturnal Reverence 1" shows a frenzied group of semi-naked women who look like they’re wearing tutus: they’re running, dancing and reaching to the sky in front of a children's swing set. They are, of course, all the same person, but the multiple exposure technique makes it look like a group. These women are pagans, dancing in ecstasy with glowing white bodies against the deep black flight sky.
Even the animals are shrouded in mystery. "Collies in the Night" Captures the journey of this dog along a hillside. He stands and looks, then dashes onward, and the long exposure documents his path with trails that twist and wind along the entire depth of the hill, from the front to the middle of the photograph. Beyond the documentation of his joyous movement are the black outline of trees against a glowing dusk sky beyond. Every one of these photographs celebrates the natural world. The lighting adds in otherworldly dimension that makes what should be simple movements and actions seem mysterious and beautiful.
The other types of work included in this exhibition are three series of stereo slides that you, must look through a set of viewers for both eyes that are mounted the wall, and two large phantograms. The stereo slides are from Butler's "Nocturnal Moments, Waking Dreams" series. The three dreams represented follow the story of a girl named Lilly and her horse, and start out quite child-like. There is no narration aside from the first page of each dream story; It is up to the viewer to fill it in. The final dream, where Lilly grows up, and travels to find a new horse, is the most interesting, and uses several of the photographs that are shown in the main section of the show. These are a bit corny, but because the rest of the show is strong it s easy to forgive Butler this. The presentation is not as beautiful as the rest of the exhibition; in book form these would be more interesting and inviting.
The two extremely large phantograms are printed to project a 3-D image onto the space outside of the picture plane with red and blue edges. 'They look just like 3 D comic books, and each of the two photos of horses have distorted perspective, and compared to the StereoJet's are far less serious works.
It seems as though Butler wanted to display her full range of abilities with this exhibition, but it isn't really necessary to pull out all file stops. 'The StereoJet's are so good and have so much narrative content- that the other two types of work aren't necessary here. But artist to watch and she is someone who will definitely give the current crop of photographers like the aforementioned Crewdson a run for their money.
The Palm Beach Post
"The world according horse riders, of folks in funny glasses"
BY Gary Schwan
Tarrytown is a funny name for a Commuter suburb famous for people in motion. There was the legendary Headless Horseman who galloped through the pages of Washington Irving. And there's Lynn Butler, who shoots photographs from horseback while trotting (through the countryside around Tarrytown, north of New York City. Needless to say her color photographs are not still lifes.
Butler’s "Legend of Sleepy Hollow" landscapes, named after the Irving tale, are part of an exhibition of her photographs at the Norton Museum of Art through The 20. She also has work at Irving Galleries in Palm Beach. Butler got the idea for the Tarrytown series while riding one afternoon. "I was galloping with my horse, and my shadow on the ground looked like the headless Horseman." she recalled.
When riding, she always fell in intimacy with endangered environments. She decided to combine the unusual view with overtones of one of America's great legends. Panning in rhythm with the motion of the horse, she used long shutter times to create the sense of a fleeting, 'disappearing" landscape.
The gorgeous streaks and starbursts of color recall impressionist and post impressionist paintings. Just don't tell her they "look under developed. What bothers me is when someone says a photo is out of focus."
In fact, Butler is a bit of a fanatic about technical issues. Her "manipulations" of image and color don't take place during printing in the dark room.
They are produced during the act of shooting. “What the right film, exposure and light can achieve is amazing."
But getting those amazing results can sometimes be dangerous. She had heart surgery after a horse was startled on a bridge, sending Butler's equipment crashing against her chest.
"It was my fault" she said, "A car backfired, and if I had my reins in my hand, and wasn't leaning on the horse's rurnp, I wouldn’t have been hurt.
The Norton exhibition also features Butler's photographs of the Camargue region of southern France, famed for its wild horses. And in a separate gallery are her. StereoJet works portraying landscapes and a dream sequence. When viewed through 3 D glasses supplied by the museum these slightly blurry photos become crisply three-dimensional. They have the look of miniature theaters, or the "boxes" full of objects made by the artist Joseph Cornell.
StereoJet’s are a form of vecto graphs, which were developed by the military for use in defining bombing targets during World War II. But she was also inspired by a "toy" from childhood – the Viewmaster, which produced 3 D images of American monuments such as Niagara Falls and the Grand Canyon. "Like a theater stage, the StereoJet’s capture an image in space that a 2 D film can't she said. 'The stereo images show the changes the natural world undergoes the movement that takes place."
Butler, 44 was born in New York City, where she once studied he violin at the famed Juilliard School of Music. Although skilled at the instrument, "I never enjoyed performing in public," she said. She was always interested in photography, but didn't begin to study it seriously until her senior year at Hamilton College in upstate New York.
Butler now lives in the Hudson River Valley, not far from Tarrytown. She has a Palm Beach connection, however. Her father, Dr. George Hyman is an oncologist associated with Good Samaritan Hospital and she'’ a visitor to the island.
Butler has come up with a catch phrase to sum up her approach to photography. The Frenchman Henri Cariter-Bressen talked about the “Decisive Moment,” when the photographer’s hand and eye come together to capture “a rhythm in the world of real things.”
Butler calls her art “The Indefinite Moment.” But she’s got rhythm, and her concern for the land is definitely real.
Norton Museum of Art
Imperiled Landscapes Endangered Legends - Photography by Lynn Butler
BY Norton Museum of Art
Lynn Butler has pioneered a new and highly personal method of shooting hypnotic color photographs from horseback. A slow shutter speed and the motion of the horse combine to create Images of arrested motion that are truly impressionistic, a feeling that she heightens by manipulating color so that it becomes particularly intense. Utilizing unconventional films filters and radical processing procedures, Butler manipulates the final look of her distinctive Photographs. Butler photographs the countryside and cultures she fears are endangered, with an eye honed by her love of horses and the places and landscape they inhabit.
The exhibition is installed in two adjacent galleries and includes, her Legend of Sleepy Hollow series created in Tarrytown New York, the location of that legend; the wild horses of the Camargue in southeastern France, Native Americans; and the Amish. The first gallery is installed with Butler's color saturated Cibachrome prints, the second gallery contains an installation of stereo images that utilize the newest cutting edge photographic technology to produce a series of mesmerizing 3 D images When viewed with special glasses provided in the exhibition, the dramatic images instantly appear to be three dimensional, the landscapes inhabited by ghostly horses and ethereal figures suddenly seem otherworldly. The Norton Museum is pleased to be the first venue to display these stereoscopic vecotgraphs.
Lynn Butler has been exhibiting her work nationally and internationally for nearly two decades; her work has recently been included in the prestigious touring exhibition Metamorphoses: Photography in the Electronic Age organized by Aperture. In addition, Butler's work is included in numerous public collections.
Lynn Butler wishes to extend her thanks and appreciation to the Rowland Institute for Science in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for their work in producing tile StereoJet prints for Nocturnal Moments the 3 D component of the exhibition, In addition, the artist also wishes to extend her thanks to Ms. Mildred Otten and the Albert Otten Foundation of Living Arts for their continued support.
The Norton Museum of Art would like to thank Lynn Butler for her unique and inspired vision, as well as her help in organizing the numerous aspects of this exhibition. The museum would also like to thank and acknowledge the dedicated work of Norton staff members Bill Withers, Preparator: Pam Parry, Registrar; and Kelli Woodham Mairn, Assistant Registrar.
The exhibition is organized by the Norton Museum of Art.
The Houston Post
BY SUSAN CHADWICK
A FOTOFEST SHOW tucked out of the way which offers something refreshingly different is an exhibition of color photographs by New Yorker Lynn Butler.
Butler has an unusual technique. She uses Polaroid color film and a regular camera but she moves the camera as she takes her pictures, often allowing the camera to take on the movement of the environment. The result is highly impressionistic photographs that look painted, or like paintings. Hard as it is to believe, Butler does not alter the negatives or prints in any way. Everything happens in the camera.
The exhibition on view at the Pavilion on Post Oak Boulevard includes Butler's work from two series: photographs of Coney Island in New York from a series titled "Coney Island and Kaleidoscope" and another taken on horseback while riding through Sleepy Hollow, New York, the land of Washington Irving and site of his famous story about Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman.
The striking and beautifully Colored Photographs of Coney Island, one of the world's Most famous amusement parks were taken as Some Of the older rides and buildings in the Park were about 10 be demolished. Butler's photographs, however, are neither overtly pretty nor sentimental. They focus On the merging Of fantasy and harsh reality), at the Park. Often allowing the frightening murals, which decorate the walls and entrances to the rides to merge with the figures of visitors in front. These figures include punks, a midget and a variety of social outcasts and ordinary people.
Other photographs were taken while riding the roller coaster or the merry go round and the resulting image reflects the rhythmic movement one experiences in these rides. One can almost hear sounds from these streaks and clouds of color.
Overall the Photographs capture the chaos and mixture of fear and delight, intense color, humor, and movement of the amusement park, with considerable social observation tossed into this mixture.
The Sleepy Hollow series is just as moody but far more quiet and contemplative. The peacefulness of these woods, lakes and meadows has a strong undercurrent of something dark and haunting, just as one would expect the legendary Sleepy Hollow to have while riding through it.
One of the most memorable of these woodlands Photographs is a shot of the shadow of photographer and her horse. So darkly present is the shadow, that the silhouette appears to be the horse and rider themselves, with the rocks and trees on which it lies taking on the role of background.
Another Photograph must have been taken while galloping through the pale meadows and golden trees, for the lovely brushlike strokes of color on the print have a kind of circular, whirlpool Motion.
Other photographs capture the 19th century atmosphere nature area: three Collies before a stone wall, a group of wild geese and an overall reverence for the past.
A book of Butler's photographs from the Coney Island series is on sale inside Saks Firth Avenue.
Coral Springs Museum of Art
Photography & Sculpture
By CORAL SPRINGS MUSEUM OF ART
Sacred sites are a place of singular numinous power generated by focused spiritual forces. They are concentrated points of psychic or soul energy put there by cosmic and natural forces of earth and sky, or caused by the interaction of human awareness and the eternal vitalities of nature which still resonate at the site, long after the person has departed Some places belong to ancient civilizations, while others echo with the spiritual vibrations of more historical, even contemporary human actions. Some other Centers are pure manifestation of the Soul of Nature, the Great Spirit. These places are often vulnerable; the purpose is to show these places belong to everyone. The awakening of 'mankind will not be possible without the personal mystical experiences provided by the hallowed corners of the planet. The fundamental responsibility is to protect and only by purging of the human spirit when touched by the Divine, our link with spiritual reality, which is missing from modern civilization.
I photograph while in movement, mostly from horseback. I have worked in very different geographies and societies. My work includes intimate urbanized spaces, to the wider and wilder parts of American Indian culture and country. I am motivated by concern for the environment brought about by human relationships to the land that then threatened those relationships.
"We must fight to take care of Mother Earth to respect Mother Earth and creation, to honor all life and to support that honor. It is through life that there is survival."
Working with slow shutter speed and different movements, then with Polaroid’s, knowing sharpness, shadow detail + highlights, allows my eye to see the lighting, exposure, composition and focus. What the camera is capable of is amazing. There is a creative freedom instant film can give. Then by image transferring, results can be viewed immediately. This immediacy in conjunction with the condition of the exposure create explanation and learning by recall of more details.
Each simple technique such as alternating processing time and temperature can produce evocative color with creativity. Imagination and a unique situation of making the photographs, image transferring on art paper, rice paper, silks, or linen, can yield a unique image. By not adjusting for reciprocity, shooting Black & White film at different ASA's then listed on film package, processing in color chemistry for different times colors move well beyond the range expected by manufacturers.
Using unconventional films, filters, and working with the image in the camera, utilizing different movements and lighting conditions, as shooting from a moving horse, roller skates, bicycle, amusement rides, then confirming color and image, informed judgment are made. Exposing using extreme temperatures, and under and over exposing are used to increase contrast of flattened images and create an artistic effect. Being freed from conventional ways of using a camera can be a way to original vision.
The stereo Prints displayed here made by the StereoJet TM process. Each print consists of a pair of oppositely polarized images, one representing the left eye view and the other representing the right eye view. When you view the print through polarizing 3 D glasses, each of your eyes will see only the appropriate image. Just as in natural binocular vision, your brain will process the visual Information so that you will perceive the image pair as a single image in depth.
The original images are paired stereoscopic photographs. I used a 1950's Revere stereo camera and an RBT stereo camera, as well as two Leica cameras electronically wired together. My light sources were the sun, the moon, electronic flash, floodlights, and Christmas lights. I used Kodak 200 and 400 ISO films. With the patience of my assistant and friends who were willing to brave the northern cold weather and the temperament of sometimes-frisky horses, I created the photographs for the Nocturnal Moments exhibition.
Each stereo pair of photographs was scanned and converted to a digital image pair. The two digital images were imported into Adobe Photoshop and registered stereoscopically. An inkjet printer was used to print the pair back to back onto opposite surfaces of a single transparent StereoJet sheet. The printer utilizes StereoJet inks, which are specially formulated with dyes that form polarizing images within layers of the StereoJet sheet. Laminating the printed sheet to a reflective aluminum coated backing converted the composite to a reflection print.
The StereoJet process provides a significant advance in stereoscopic display technology. The new system is the result of a research conducted at the Rowland Institute for Science in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The staff of the Institute's Stereo Imaging Research Group very kindly worked with me to produce the prints for Nocturnal Moments, the 3 D portion of my show.
The Marlboro Review
Imperiled Landscapes Endangered Legends
BY Ann Cefola
In her poem, "Horse," Louise Gluck asks, "What is the animal/if not passage out of this life?" In Imperiled Landscapes Endangered Legends, "the animal" provides entree into this collection of poems and photographs. This glossy book pairs poems by 20th century poets such as Joy Harjo and Galway Kinnell alongside Lynn Butler's astonishing landscape photography.
Butler's photos record her horseback rides through endangered landscapes such as New York's lower Hudson Valley, Esselen in California and Camargue, France. Using an open shutter and slow speed', she photographs from horseback As a result, recognizable landscapes splinter and swirl almost as if in brush strokes.
This painterly quality, seen in "The Barn," evokes artists such as Wolf Kahn or in "Blue Alley Canter," Thomas Hart Benton's exaggerated landscapes. "Esselen Rider" looks like a mottled turn of the century photo. Butler's unusual development techniques, such as heating or freezing negatives, create this stylistic variety.
Images are then informed by the poems' visceral energy. In "The Horse," James Wright says, "earth contains/The horse as reminder of wild/Arenas we avoid." Unlike typical coffee table books, this one is unafraid to face "wild arenas" such as birth in Maxine Kumin's "Praise Be," death in Vallejo's "Black Riders," and brute terror in Henry Taylor's "Barbed Wire."
Especially poignant is "Horse Latitudes" by Suzanne Cleary:
... everyone knew the load would have to be lightened, the horses chosen.
The smaller ones, which would bring the least money, were led to the rail, moonlight on their flanks, their teeth, their watery eyes. The smallest ones carried the moonlight down to where they swam, following the ship for some distance.
"Horse Latitudes" then considers the emotional distance between a man and a woman in lovemaking In all the poems, horses become
metaphors for all that is mysterious, painful or, as Gwendolyn
Brooks notes, "sane." In Ted Hughes' "The Horses," they represent
an elusive beauty, "steaming and glistening under the flow of light."
Imperiled Landscapes is a call to reconnect with our wild arenas. Through carefully selected poetry, readers are encouraged to canter into familiar mysteries. Matched with the varied palettes of Butler's photos, the text feels more like a journey than the good read it is.
Photoshow Highlights Prehistoric Sacred Sights
BY Frank Joseph
Last December an exhibit of special interest to Ancient American readers opened at the Coral Springs Museum of Art, in Florida. Entitled 'Photography and Sculpture," It features collection of new prints showing some of our Country's less well known but fascinating sacred sites. Also show cased are the native peoples who venerate and preserve them.
Photographs by Lynn H. Butler include images of ancient earthworks, rock art and Native Americans. Outstanding are her shots of Aztalan's Pyramid of the Sun. and the secret petroglyphs of Black River Falls (both in Wisconsin), together with the Saint Paul mounds, in Minnesota.
Butler's photos of the Esselen, California’s most numerically insignificant tribe capture the remnants of a people fighting to preserve their sacred sites against the Indifferent powers of corporate development. Residing In the Big Sur area the outside Monterey, the Esselen still worship at Hand Rock, where the walls of a holy cave are emblazoned with the ghostly palm prints of visitors 10.000 or more years ago.
Impressed by the special character of these places, Butler wanted less to archaeologically document them, than reveal their hallowed essence. Her exhibited photographs are selections from a book being readied for publication, entitled, Flames against the Dark, Preserving Americas Sacred Sites. It will be unlike any other release of its kind, but not only for the undeserved obscurity of the prehistoric locations she covered.
Butler's photography captures something their spiritual power, the lingering magic of their milieu. She achieved this by under and over exposing film, using filters and slow shuttle speeds, then transferring the Images to rice paper, silk or linen. The process imparts a sense of movement and dynamic energy, resulting in photographs more resembling color rich and deeply hued canvas paintings.
Although readers will have to wait until later this year before Flames against the Dark is available in bookstores, they can catch a glimpse of Lynn Butler's unique work at the "Photography and Sculpture" exhibit. It runs through February 13 at the Coral Springs Museum of Art, in the Coral Springs Centre, 2855 Coral Springs Dr.. Coral Springs, Florida. Admission $3.00, Wednesdays free. Open Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10:00 am until 5:00 pm.; Sundays, noon until 5:00 p.m. Free parking.
Coney Island of the mind
By Pete Kolonia
The beach was wide and windswept, and a light dusting of day old frozen snow crunched underfoot not exactly the season for photographing Brooklyns monument to summertime, Coney Island. But that's exactly what Lynn Butler was doing one day last fall.
So powerful is the lure of Coney Island for her, Butler regularly braves bad weather, good weather (and the resulting crowds), boom boxes, muggings, and worse, to experience it. What is it that attracts her so powerfully to this place? It's the seemingly conflicting desire to record the resort's past romance and present I despair on single pieces of film. The amazing thing is, she often succeeds. The proof exists in her fascinating new book, Coney Island Kaleidoscope, released by Beautiful America, hardcover, Wilsonville, OR $19.95, softcover, $19.95). Containing more than 70 highly impressionistic images, the book explores the strange blend of heady amusement park thrills, beach resort gaiety, urban decay, and threatening physical danger that is Coney Island today. Throughout waltz the ghosts of that glorious bygone era when Coney Island was the mecca of American leisure.
To capture both past and present, Butler relies on a series of photographic techniques that, she says, "blur the line between fantasy and reality." At their best, these creative devices lift her images from the specific here and now to a timeless plane where sensory elements are transformed into dreamlike impressions.
First, she's very careful about what she shows in a picture. "I don’t want the viewer to get caught up in details," she says. '"I try to avoid registering specific faces, clothing styles, and things like advertising or litter on film." By forgoing contemporary references, Butler lets "the past seep into my photos." Another interesting technique is the way she handles one of her favorite films: Polaroid's Polachrome instant slide film. She likes it for the hand tinted, pastel quality it possesses, especially when the film is pushed. She also praises its slight magenta color shift, its soft, grainy look, and the impressionistic quality of its images.
Another Polachrome plus: ready access to the images. Butler often processes the film on site with a portable, crank driven processor, and immediately she knows whether she's successfully captured subject or not. If not, she tries other techniques: a warming filter over the lens, moving the camera during exposure (a particular favorite of hers), or experimenting with the emulsion by heating or freezing the film before processing. Butler likes Polachrome because it easily reticulates when heated.
Because Butler is so strongly attracted to Polachrome, she's learned to work within its limitations. One worth mentioning is the film's delicate emulsion: It's notoriously vulnerable to scratching. For this reason, Butler handles the film with extreme care.
For more information about how this Coney Island of the Mind was created, the captions should help. Her technical tips are interesting, of course, but Butler's fascination with the place was the ultimate driving force behind this compelling project and book. And that fascination didn't come from a bag of photographic tricks. As with all great photography, it came from the artist's heart.
Technovisions: The Virginia Film Festival
BY Rebecca L'abbe
Nocturnal Moments/Waking Dreams A Stereoscopic Art and 3 D Photography Exhibition Dream's Light Gallery Presents Works by Lynn Hyman Butler and Boris Starosta
In conjunction with the 12th Annual Virginia Film Festival, TechnoVisions, Charlottesville's Dream's Light Gallery will present an exhibition of recent works by Lynn Hyman Butler, of New York, and Boris Starosta, a local artist, designer of this year's Virginia Film Festival poster/brochure. The exhibition, entitled Nocturnal Moments/Waking Dreams, is comprised of stereoscopic images In several 3 D print formats by these innovative artists. The opening will be held October 1, from 6: P.M. to 9:00 P.M. The show will run through October 31, 1999 at Dream's Light Gallery, located at 106 5th Street, in Charlottesville, Virginia.
In Nocturnal Moments, Lynn Butler presents her dreamlike 3 D photography using cutting edge full color StereoJet prints, viewed with polarized glasses. Her sterographs of horses and nudes in the nighttime forest setting reveal her love of the animals and of the places and landscapes they inhabit. Butler's three-dimensional work is a rarity in the art world as the StereoJet technology she employs is still in development at the Rowland Institute for Science. The prints are similar to so called Vectographs, first developed in 1940 by Edwin Land for use in examining aerial stereographs during the war effort. The Stereo3ets bring the improvement of full color 3 D images and the promise of wide availability in the future, as they are printed using mostly off the shelf inkjet technology. Currently, this technology is available to only a few artists in the stereoscopic genre.
First exhibited earlier this year at the Norton Museum In Palm Beach, Florida, the Nocturnal Moments series of Butler's StereoJet 3 D prints present a ghostly, nearly holographic view into the artist's passion for the environment. The works feature nighttime landscapes light painting of nudes, horses and Collies, sometimes with multiple exposures or exposures while in motion. These works communicate the fragile, exotic environment around Thompson Ridge, where she resides, about 70 miles north of New York City.
Butler has exhibited her prints worldwide, garnering numerous awards and grants over the past 18 years as a renowned art photographer. Her images are part of the prestigious Aperture traveling exhibition Metamorphoses: Photography in the Electronic Age.
In Waking Dreams, Boris Starosta shows recent works in color anaglyphic prints: three dimensional computer generated fantasy landscapes, stereo photographic nudes, portraits and 3 D abstractions. His exhibit will also include two StereoJet prints from an earlier work.
The anaglyph process reveals three dimensionality In specially prepared images when the viewer looks at the print through glasses with red and blue lenses. The process is commonly seen in comic books and as an advertising gimmick. Starosta defeats the historical burden of marginality that anaglyphs carry by hiding within his prints the very thing that makes them anaglyphs: the color fringing along the edges in reds and blues which is caused by parallax/depth within the image.
In some Images, the fringing Is obscured by the fact that the objects of depth are blurred. The red/blue edges become part of the blur and are effectively obscured camouflaged. In other images, the fringing becomes part of the composition: the abstraction of floating, discorporeal objects. In space is only supported by the separation of colors through parallax. Thus, the fringing appears as a deliberate part of the "flat" composition.
Working as a freelance Illustrator in Charlottesville since 1991, Boris Starosta has been an active 3 D photographer for the past two years. In that time, he has won recognition in several International exhibitions of stereo photography.
The show runs from October 1st through October 31st, 1999. Located adjacent to the Charlottesville Downtown Mail, Dream's Light Gallery is one of Charlottesville's most innovative art spaces.
This event is being held as part of the expanded program of TechnoVisions, the 12th Annual Virginia Film Festival, held annually in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The Green Bay News-Chronicle
N.Y. artist puts environment into 3-D focus
By Kristie Moss
While perched on a horse, Lynn Butler captures images with her camera that look more like they were graciously brushed on by strokes of paint. An artist in all senses of the word, initially a mistake made by a wrong shutter speed and slow light was the origin of her work.
Few photographers can say the outcome of their images depends in the footfall of a horse. This, however, along with a slow shutter speed enables Butler to manipulate color to formulate images with an impressionistic flow to them.
The National Stereoscopic Association, an organization that promotes three dimensional photographs is presenting Butler's latest series. “Legends of Sleepy Hollow.” Saturday and Sunday at the Regency Conference Center. The exhibit is coming from the Norton Museum of Art in Palm Beach, FL, on its way to the Denver Museum of Art. The association is hosting a trade show this weekend at the Regency.
Inspirations for Butler's "Sleepy Hollow” series were the Tarrytown, NY, area – the source of the Sleepy Hollow legend – the wild horses of the Camargue in southeastern France, Native Americans and the Amish.
Butler photographs the countryside and cultures she fears are endangered from her perspective on horseback
"My work is about saving the environment, said Butler who live, in the Hudson River Valley not far front Tarrytown, during phone interview.
At the exhibit, visitors will se hypnotic images through special glasses. The exhibit will contain an installation of stereo images that uses photographic technology to produce a series of 3-D images.
The photographs will appear as three-dimensional: her personal imagery of surreal ghostly horses and exquisite figures will I seem to gallop toward the viewer, while
Cascading over the landscape.
The technology vectograph prints, is presented for the first time since it was created in 1940 by Edwin H. Land. It is now printed with new inkjet technology by his
Assistant Jay Scarpetti, a scientist at the Rowland Institute for Science.
One part of Butler’s exhibit is 21 “StereoJet” works portraying surreal landscapes. StereoJet’s are a form of vectographs, which were developed by the military in World War II for use in bombing raids. Another part of the exhibit is two “phantograms”. Viewed through the special glasses, the somewhat blurred photos become three—dimensional.
A phantogram is a 3 D picture that, with the glasses, appears to rise out of the floor. It’s like seeing a sculpture that is not really there – almost like a hologram.” Butler said.
The Bar Harbor Times
An Artist in Motion
By Letitia Baldwin
MOUNT DESERT It's dusk. A lush green meadow filled with daisies, Indian paint brushes and other wild flowers unfolds on one side. Towering spruces shot through with soft pink and yellow aftemoon light race by on the other.
Hundreds of people experience that stream of subtle colors and images every summer when biking, running, or riding horseback along the carriage road surrounding Little Long Pond in Seal Harbor. It's also the sensation Lynn Butler captures in one of a series of color photographs shot from horseback and a horsedrawn carriage along the carriage roads winding through Acadia National Park. She is a professional photographer who documents fragile landscapes around the world. Her work has been featured in Down East, Life, The New York Times, Sports Illustraited and Popular Photography.
Her series, called The Carriage Roads, is currently on display at the Northeast Harbor Library through Sept. 6. It is an outreach exhibit of the Portland Museum of Art.
Library hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Dozens of Mount Desert summer and year round residents contributed funds to bring the show here,
Many of Butler's pictures don't look like photos at all Some resemble oil paintings, while others could be pastels or watercolors. In them she achieves a blurred, silken quality through a variety of techniques. First, she shot them in motion from horseback or a horse drawn carriage. She uses a slow camera speed, with exposures of 1/15th of a second, or long shutter times, with slow Cibachrome slide film. Sometimes she heats or freezes film before it is developed.
"It's important not to show every detail, but to leave some room to the imagination," says Butler, whose work reflects her philosophy.
One photo is of a white horse rolling on its back in a lush green field. The picture has a silky texture that makes it look as though it is raining. Another is of a pair of Hefflinger ponies. Their flying white manes and the splashes of water on the carriage path ahead make a composition.
A nimble woman with hazel eyes and long curly brown hair, Butler greew up in New York City. Animals and photography have figured in her life from a young age. She has ridden horses since childhood. In her late teens she began raising and selling pure bred collies. The delivery of puppies enabled her to travel all over the globe.
A Nikon camera always went with her.
While pursuing a degree in art and psychology at Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., Butler says teacher Nat Boxer encouraged her to focus on photography. He had seen her pictures taken on dog deliveries to Brazil, Japan, Ecuador, and other countries. After graduating from Hamilton, she enrolled in a certificate program at the International Center of Photography. After completing that program, she did commercial and journalistic work.
Wherever Butler has lived, her collies and quarterhorse "Job" always have gone with her. In her latest home in the western part of New York's Westchester County, she discovered the trails Washington Irving made famous in his Legend of Sleepy Hollow. She also became aware that the unique landscape was being threatened by development. The Pocantico River had been dammed up, wetlands drained, and a bird sanctuary endangered.
Butler began photographing the area during her daytime and nocturnal rides along the trails in 1982.
"As I was riding, I would notice my shadow late at night. It reminded me of the headless horseman," relates Butler. "With Job, my trust and relationship became so strong I could tie off the reins and use both hands."
Butler also shot the trails from a horsedrawn carriage loaned to her by Mount Desert summer resident Peggy Rockefeller. In the course of the project she leamed of the carriage roads built by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. on MDI. But she didn't actually do the series until after photographing Coney Island, the wild horses and black bulls found in France's southeastern region of the Camargue also shot in motion and other projects.
The Portland Museum of Art featured the Coney Island Kaleidoscope series last At the time, the museum's director, Barbara Shissler Nosanow, approached Butler about documenting Acadia's carriage roads that were being restored. The photographer was already at work on a project in Maine profiling Sunday River resort's handicapped skiing program - and accepted.
Shooting from a horse drawn carriage or quarterhorse named Hughie, Butler explored the carriage roads last summer and fall. Her longtime 82 year old patron, Mildred Otten, accompanied her on many of the carriage rides.
Like her photos, Butler is perpetually in motion. She already has embarked on another project. She is back on horseback in California, photographing the Esselin Indians, whose burial grounds have been flooded by development.
Photographer Lynn Butler has documented Acadia's carriage roads, France's Camargue horses, and other subjects, from horseback around the globe.
The Jane Vohrees Zimmerli Art Museum
The 1991 Rutgers Archives for Printmaking Studios Portfolio Project Zimmerli
BY The Jane Vohrees Zimmerli Art Museum
Five new print editions by artists Melissa Miller, Rupert Garcia, Lynn Hyman Butler, and Stephen Talasnik have been selected by the Zimmerli Art Museum for its annual Portfolio program. The Portfolio subscription, which has been offered annually to the public since 1983, consists of wide ranging projects submitted by member presses in the Archives and includes prints by artists such as William Wiley, April Gornik, John Beerman, Francesc Torres, David Shapiro, Mary Frank, Steve Gianakos Deborah Oropallo, Miriam Schapiro, Lois Lane, Terry Allen, Squeak Cornwath and Joseph Goldyne. The Rutgers Archives for Printmaking Studios, which was founded at the Zimmerli Art Museum in 1982 as a repository for the work of seventeen East and West Coast printmaking studios, is a dynamic resource which documents artistic and technical trends In contemporary printmaking. Each year, the subscription program helps to support the work of member presses and to support the exhibition, publication, and maintenance of Archives collections at the Zimmerli Art Museum.
Photographer LYNN HYMAN BUTLER, on the other hand, will work with Grin Graphics on a highly experimental screenprint project. Butler's impressionistic photographs have been exhibited widely in both Europe and the United States, and series of her photographs have been published in three major books. The effect of perpetual movement captured in Butler's work alludes to the continuous change in society and the world. Concern for the future is a motivating force in all of her work. The two images which Butler will create for the Portfolio are based on photographs in her Sleepy Hollow series, images photographed in the Rockefeller State Park and the Chernak Audubon Sanctuary which reflect the pollution associated with development which is currently endangering 'the habitat of Sleepy Hollow.
Photography from Horseback on Views in NYC to March 23rd
FDR show Art News
NEW YORK CITY The F.D.R. Gallery is exhibiting "Imperiled Landscapes, Endangered Legends; Photography from Horseback," by Lynn Butler through March 23.
Lynn Butler has had over 30 solo exhibitions of her work, including the International Center of Photography (Education Gallery), New York; Musee de l'Elysee, Lausanne, Switzerland; Nikon House, New York; Portland Museum of Art, Portland, ME. Three collections of her photography have been published. "A, Passage Through the Kaleidoscope" (Beautiful America Publishing, 1991), and "Toxic Circles" (Rutgers University Press, 1993). Ms. Butler photographs from horseback, motorcycles, planes, snowmobiles, trains, and anything else that is moving. Her cibachrome photographs are taken with long exposures and processed unconventionally to create the aura of an impressionistic painting. Her subjects are caught in a world of motion and energy and transformed into painterly images.
Lynn Butler's exhibition includes images of the Esselen Indian Community in the wilderness of Big Sur, CA; the Camargue region in France; the Maine Coast; Mardi Gras in New Orleans, LA.
Butler's concerns of environmental pollution and heritage eradication permeate much of her work, and nowhere more than in her images of the Esselen Tribal Community. This Indian tribe has lived in Big Sur for 10,000 years. Yet, today they are trying to save what at is left of the essence of their cultural existence their sacred land, and rivers from commercial progress.
Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, 11 am to 5pm, Saturday, noon to 5, p.m., and by appointment.
Life Magazine ...Poetry In Motion
Knowing the rules well enough to break them is many an artist's goal. And yet holding the camera still might seem so basic a principle that few photographers would choose to ignore it. Not Lynn Butler, who for the last nine years has been taking pictures on horseback, also while skiing, skating, boating, walking; while zooming along on motoreycles, snowmobiles, even roller coaster, trains; while leaning out of the cockpits of planes, and the baskets of hot-air balloons
"I like movement", she says simply.
Maine Sunday Telegram
BY Greg Gadberry
Acadia NATIONAL PARK Lynn Butler peers through the lens of her bulky, black Nikon camera. No good.
She sticks her head and shoulders out of the open-topped, horse-drawn carriage that plods up the trail. Still no good. Butler scrunches down in the driver’s box, level with the reins, looking for some elusive angle, some trick of light. The driver peers down at her, smiling. What is this woman doing?
"You know where I'd really like to be”, says Butler, glancing over at the driver. “Up there.” She points to the blond backs of the Heflingers, the two Austrian Mountain horses pulling the wagon. The driver laughs and shakes his head.
Butler is in Acadia National Park photographing for a book on the park and its carriage trails. The 38-year-old New Yorker shoots landscapes and cultures in transition – parklands threatened by pollution or overuse, French cowboy towns, old amusement rides. Coney Island, the decaying amusement park is featured in a Butler show now at the Portland Museum of Art.
Butler looks disappointed when the driver rejects her leap to the horses. She has done many unique – some may say crazy – things to get photographs. Jumping atop draft horses would be pretty tame for her. She shrugs back into her seat, puts the camera back to her eye, aims at the horses and starts firing.
For more than a decade Butler has been riding horses and merry-go-rounds, dodging Coney Island muggers and French bulls, all to get photographs that aren’t entirely in focus. They’re not supposed to be.
Her works capture motion and emotion in bursts and barrages of color and tone, not in exact, ell-focused images.
Fans compare her photographs to impressionist paintings Detractors including some photographers – call them gimmicks.
They have become increasingly popular. Her work has been shown at the International Center for Photography and the Nikon House in New York and at galleries in France and Switzerland. Publications as diverse as the New York Times and Popular Photography praise her. In October her work will be featured in Life Magazine the magazine that once was the paragon of American photography.
On this day Butler looks like just another tourist in Acadia.Yet her appearance contains clues to her profession and passion. Three heavy Nikons plus lenses and film are stashed in bulging waistbelts she wears. A horse head ring is on one finger. A horsehead medallion hangs around her neck.
Butler works steadily measuring light shooting pictures of rock bridges, stands of trees. The beeping of Butler's electronic camera fights for attention with the jangling of the horse harnesses.
She memorizes locations, she says so she can return to capture the light in different ways at different times of day. This fall she'll return to shoot the same trails under autumn leaves.
"I am just amazed by her ability to see things,” says Mildred Otten from her seat in the back of Butler's carriage. Otten is a longtime patron and friend of Butler's. "When we are driving she'll say, ”Oh, did you see that?" And I’ll say, “No, I didn't see anything.” And she’ll say "Can we please go back and look again?"
Butler has been seeing the world through artist's eyes since childhood in New York City. She learned about painting from her art collecting parents. She studied violin at the prestigious Juilliard School of music.
Eventually she gave up the violin she hated playing in front of crowds she gays shyly to study visual art at Kirkland College in New York.
Photography a passion
She loves animals as much as art. She raises pure bred collies and took them to Japan and South America for sale. She has ridden horses since childhood.
During her many travels, she packed a camera. But it wasn't until her senior year in college that photography became a prevailing passion. It began with a single course which led to a master's degree, from the International Center for Photography.
After college, she took commercial photography including portraits of homes.
“It was tough," she says, remembering the photo shoots during which she tried to calm and position skittish racehorses. “The owners would always say things like, “Wouldn't it be nice if the tail went this way and the car goes that way?”
Riding her own horse an old jumper named Job served as a tonic In the early 1980s she moved from New York City to Tarrytown, near the riding trails of the Rockefeller State Park Preserve.
She loved the preserve but feared for it. By the early 1980s growth and pollution threatened. She decided to chronicle the park – and it’s problems in a children's book. The photos would be taken from the back of Job.
Butler wanted to capture the speed and motion of the horse in the trees and fields. Many photographers would have used high shutter speeds so moving objects would be in focus. Butler did the opposite. Her cameras were set for slow speeds, causing the landscape to blur and bend as Job trotted by them. 1
The result was "A Passage through the Land of Sleepy Hollow” a 1982 book of photographs, Her slow shutter experiments produced eerie and dark photos. In the pictures leaves rush by the camera like dozens of dark birds.
Butler was hooked by the horse-back photos." I wired flashes up to head and hung mono pods from his saddle” she says of long suffering Job, the horse.
In living color
She moved to color film. The results were even more startling. The movement of the horse or simply of her hands on the slow speed cameras produced off kilter pictures with bright colors the feeling of movement and surrealistic subjects. Is that a tree? Is that a sparrow or a swan? It is often impossible to tell.
"I just experiment,” she says – “They don't teach you how to do this sort of thing.”
A chance to photograph a horse a wooden merry go round horse – took her to Coney Island. That visit led to "Coney Island Kaleidoscope" a book released last year. The book featured surreal photographs of swirling Ferris wheels, weird costumes, and ghostly abandoned hotels. Her photos began to gain national exposure.
"At first I thought they were atrocious," says Lindsay Silverman a photographer and manager of the Nikon House gallery in New York Butler's work was shown at Nikon House this spring.
"But what do I know. The response from the general public was overwhelmingly positive. Almost all of the people asked how she did it, what sort of film did she use?"
Butler's biggest fans, he said seemed to be fans of painting, not of traditional realistic, photography.
"I look at her as a painter who uses a camera to move, color and who creates images that are impressionistic says David Lyman a photographer and owner of the Maine Photographic Workshops. "She has an extremely good eye for color and for blending color. She is more painterly than strictly photographic."
The carriage tops a rise. Below, the hills tumble away. Beyond them, the sea. Butler puts down her camera for a moment and relaxes. This, she admits, is much more subdued than most of her assignments.
Photographing Coney Island was scary and depressing. "My first photograph there was of some guy breaking into a restaurant," she says.
In southern France, she photographed horses bred to herd bulls. During the shooting, she dropped a roll of film and climbed down from her home to get it. "All of a sudden, I looked up and these bulls were charging me! Then the horse decided he didn't want me to get back on." She managed to clamber aboard before the bulls arrived.
Back In the United States, she was bucked by a frightened horse while shooting. She landed on her cameras so hard that one of her heart valves was torn loose. Open-heart surgery was needed to repair it.
The carriage jangles to a halt in the stable yard. Butler is done for the day a day that began with hours riding thoroughbreds and followed by more hours on a carriage.
Butler in tired, dusty, ready for dinner. She plops wearily from the carriage. Then, a whinny. A handsome Percheron draft horse looks out at her from its stall.
Butler, horse lover to the end, brightens. She sidles over, smiling at the horse. The horse poses. Butler lifts her camera to her eye. Click.
A Passage Through the Land of Sleepy Hollow (introduction)
BY Robert Blake & Charles Steinback
After beginning Lynn Butler's A Passage Through the Land of Sleepy Hollow, one is immediately struck with the realization that one's reading is not limited to the written word. While each image may be well worth a thousand words, the integration and relevance of the photograph to the story becomes essential. The collaboration between these two distinct elements - elements, that are often difficult to fuse seems inseparable. The visual image is used in consort with the story-bringing to life a beautiful, charming and haunting tale of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The tale of the "headless horseman" has been retold in many versions, by numerous storytellers and presented in many forms. With this book Ms. Butler continues the tradition of the tale. A fanciful tale described with beautiful prose and stunning photographs.
Charles Stainback Director International Center of Photography /Midtown
There are places where dreams still flourish. Where legends are believed as truth. Such a place is Tarrytown. A historic and peaceful village on the Eastern shore of the Hudson River in the state of New York.
Tarrytown began as a Dutch settlement, named by the wives of those farmers who tarried in the local taverns on market day. It is one of those magical parts of the world where the atmosphere is steeped with the intermingling of history and fantasy. Here, as in days long ago, fact is fancy and all creatures, man and beast, believe in tales of evil spirits, ghosts and goblins. It was here that Washington Irving wrote The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, a story set in this dreamy land whose citizens glory in the far-fetched.
As the legend goes, a headless horseman rides throughout the land in search of his head, lost to a cannonball in the Revolutionary War. A gentleman named Ichabod Crane was said to have met this horseman on a dark and windy October night. Ichabod, the village schoolmaster and local expert on witchcraft, was also the rather superstitious choirmaster of the Old Dutch Church. (He was often heard singing psalms loudly to himself to calm the fright he always felt at night when he returned home from an evening of socializing with some local family). He was a popular guest for his vivid storytelling in the cozy farm houses along the Hudson. Ichabod spent many winter evenings by the fire with some of the "Old Dutch wives" sharing tales and ghoststories of haunted places and especially of the headless horseman.
Ichabod fell in love with a beautiful and wealthy young woman, Katrina Van Tassel. The daughter of a local and prosperous farmer, a marriage to her would seem to provide a life of unbelievable luxury. In fact, her wealth and the dreams of splendor it conjured up were equally if not more appealing to him than the woman herself. As she must have known, he did not love her, and she fell in love with another. Ichabod met his fate on the night that Katrina rejected him. He departed from her home, quietly furious into the dark night; his imagination brimming full of the tales of ghosts and mysterious happenings. It was on this ride that he was pursued by a Hessian trooper, who carried his head and finally threw it full force at Ichabod, knocking him to the ground...
Though Irving made it clear that Ichabod's encounter was in fact with his jealous and mischievous rival, what happens afterwards, the legend provides ... And though the evidence of the pumpkin, (mistaken for the head of the horseman) and the saddle of the old schoolmaster, Ichabod, were found on the ground the following day, the fair folk of the Hudson Valley are entranced by magic and fantastic adventure. While Ichabod may not have actually encountered the ghost rider, many believe that to this day the horseman still roams the land.
All who dwell there breathe this magical atmosphere and have their own stories to tell, their truths to share about this historic and beautiful place. Here follows then, one horses tale of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow...