Item: Red Feather
Artist/Maker: Lynn Gray Fayman (1904-1968). A Kansas native, Fayman studied landscape architecture at Kansas State University as well as stage lighting and effects. He took up photography in the late 1920s and practiced landscape architecture in Chicago and Kansas City from 1932-1942. Fayman enrolled in Edward Kaminski’s photography course at The Art Center School in Los Angeles (now Art Center College of Design) in 1943 and subsequently went to work as a photographer for Ryan Aeronauticsl in San Diego.
A long-time La Jolla resident, Fayman became involved with the Art Center in La Jolla (now MCASD) and helped found the Allied Artists Council and its sub-group the Allied Craftsmen in 1946. Enthusiastically involved in the development of modern photographic art, Fayman made “light paintings” by arranging objects, reflective surfaces and lights to create colorful abstractions. He also embraced Eastman-Kodak’s 1949 Flexichrome process that allowed black and white negatives to be brushed with colored dyes resulting in a luminous combination of painting and photography. Fayman thought the best pictures were not taken, but created.
Fayman also documented much of the San Diego contemporary art scene in his photographs of local artists and their work. In the late 1950s he opened his photography studio in Bird Rock for weekend exhibitions by colleagues such as painter Fred Hocks and for regular film screenings. In the early 1960s he collaborated with Helen Palmer Geisel on children’s books and produced a reductive black and white series that eliminated detail to emphasize sculptural form.
Fayman’s legacy is perhaps most evident in the role that he and his second wife Danah played as patrons of contemporary art in San Diego. The Faymans were recognized collectors as well as “dedicated, dynamic” supporters of the Art Center in La Jolla/La Jolla Museum of Art. Lynn served on its board of trustees for twenty-four consecutive years (including three terms as president). In 1966 the museum saluted Fayman’s “tremendous contributions” by dedicating its “main gallery” to him. His achievements were celebrated by the La Jolla Museum of Art with The Photographic Art of Lynn Fayman, a posthumous retrospective held in early 1969.
Description: Modern archival pigment print from Fayman’s original1949 slide by the Museum of Photographic Art, San Diego. Numbered 5/200 from a special limited edition published by the museum to accompany the exhibition Lynn G. Fayman: A Colorful Life in 2014.
Dimensions: 6 x 8 in. (sight) matted to 11 x 14 in.
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