Baby D's Bagels
$20 Worth of Food and Drink for Only $10

January 2, 2013

Art: Bill Carner has left the building

Retiring ‘photo wrangler’ picks his favorites

Bill Carner had been at his job in the Photographic Archives for 34 years until his December retirement. That’s so impressive, it had to be italicized, since it’s almost unheard of in today’s work environment.

“I’ve had the best job in the world, or so I’m often told,” Carner says. “It’s certainly been the best job in the world for me. It fit me like a glove. I’ve been delighted and enlightened by what I’ve seen in the files and what I’ve learned …”

In celebration of his well-loved job, the self-titled “photo wrangler” put 40 of his personal favorites in an exhibition. Carner explains that a “curator should be invisible, but not this time. This is autobiographic, a very personal show.”

Photos in the show range in time from the 1874 Timothy O’Sullivan “Shoshone Falls” to the 2009 Steve Plattner “Window Framing the View from Meteor Crater.”

Dividing the space into walls of portraits, sensuality, “people who meant the most to me,” general favorites, and Kentucky, Carner had a lot of material to work with. Included are masters of photography, such as Alfred Stieglitz, celebrities (Graham Nash, Marilyn Monroe, Kurt Vonnegut) and Farm Security Administration images (FSA head Roy Stryker gifted his personal collection to the Photo Archives).

He’s not kidding when he says he has “eclectic tastes.” Just a few of his favorite photographers are Garry Winograd, Henri Cartier-Bresson (“simply the best in my book”) and Stern Bramson of Louisville’s Royal Photo Studio.

Of Bramson’s 1959 image “Stocking the Cooler, Little Sisters of the Poor Good Mother Home for the Aged,” Carner jokingly says it “never fails to have nuns in a photo. Plus, each of the three beers brewed in Louisville at that time are in the picture.”

He also likes photographs “from where I’m from,” meaning the Reading, Pa., area. The 1945 image “The Bar at the Shartlesville Hotel” by Sol Libsohn is a blast from the past for Carner. “This photo was made when the trucker (Libsohn) was riding with stopped to treat him to a big homestyle Pennsylvania Dutch meal … 10 years later, I was eating big Dutch Sunday dinners there with my parents; 15 years after that, I was drinking beer in country hotel bars like this with these guys or their sons.”

If Carner could walk out the door with a photograph, what would he take? He confesses he would like to own “The Wooden Bowl” by Maureen Lambray, photographed in 1993. “I’d seen Lambray’s book ‘The American Film Director’ back in 1977 just before I came to Louisville and loved it. Years later, the Photo Archives had the opportunity to acquire … this stunning photo.”

As of March, Carner will be living in Paris for three months. “My co-workers are worried about me leaving and taking the ‘institutional memory’ with me,” he says. “I’ve told them not to worry, I’ll have a 900 number if they have any questions.” 

Please continue this great

By zion1122
Please continue this great work and I look forward to more of your awesome blog posts. Best Embroidery Machine

Thanks for sharing this with

By cq80xhm
Thanks for sharing this with us. I am researching this topic for use in a future business I am thinking about starting http://www.yachtcharterkalamaki.org/

Hello! I’ve been following

By robert1122
Hello! I’ve been following your blog for a while now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Kingwood Texas! Just wanted to mention keep up the good work! how to get your ex back via text

Thank you for sharing

By robert1122
Thank you for sharing excellent informations. Your web-site is very cool. free starbucks gift cards

I read that Post and got it

By robert1122
I read that Post and got it fine and informative. Please share more like that... Melbourne blinds and shutters

Ashley of Manchester

By linaraymanchester
I needed to thanks for this nice article. I enjoyed each bit a part of it and that i are looking forward to the new updates.This is additionally a really sensible post that i actually enjoyed reading. click here http://www.ashleyofmanchester.co.uk

I simply couldn’t go away

By zane1122
I simply couldn’t go away your website before suggesting that I actually enjoyed the standard information an individual provide on your visitors? Is gonna be back frequently in order to inspect new posts. psn code

Very well written information

By FrancePachucki
Its like men and women aren't fascinated unless it’s one thing to accomplish with Lady gaga! Your own stuffs excellent. Always maintain it up! blog post

Bill Carner has been one of

By vicd84
Bill Carner has been one of the most prolific photographers of out time for me! I'm really sorry to hear this, but I think his legacy will keep living through all of us, his students! I remember listening him speak on http://hodges.edu/ at a conference he held at Hodges and that's when I realized that he has a different kind of view on the world then almost everyone else and that's what made him my idol!