One on One With Marion Warren
You’ve not seen anything until you’ve seen the original prints as he made them with his own hands.
by Sandra Martin
You know Marion Warren’s photos. The Bay Bridge, caught as a new single span under a rising full moon. Oystermen black and white, working their trade, and the boats that brought them to their living. A boating party of fishermen and women, shirtless and in swim suits, showing off their catch. The back streets of cities and million-dollar yachts. Farmers as worn by the land as it is worn by them.
You’ve seen them in books and newspapers, on note cards, posters and walls. Throughout Chesapeake Country, you’ve seen them everywhere, for Warren, 85, of Annapolis, has been almost as good a marketer as photographer. He’s so freely allowed reprints that we see our world through his eyes, and he is our signature photographer.
You’ve not seen anything yet.
Not until you’ve seen, with your own eyes, the original prints as he made them with his own hands.
Now’s your chance to do just that.
All it takes is a trip to 14 State Circle, where Warren’s personal archive of silver gelatin prints awaits your eyes. And your hands, once you slip on white cotton gloves to leaf through boxes full of his hand-made images that preserved five decades of American history on photo paper.
“We have the largest collection of his prints and last remaining available for sale,” says Katherine Burke of Annapolis Publishing, who Warren has asked to host the collection.
Warren uses the verb make to describe his work; he does not take a picture, he makes a picture.
See what he’s made with your own eyes and touch it with your own hands and you understand what he means. You feel the transmission of history as electricity passing from its moment to Warren’s eye, through his camera and from his darkroom into you. You’ll know a new definition of living history after seeing Warren’s images for yourself.
“These prints come from his home,” says Burke, in awe. “They were printed with his hands, in his dark room, as he has always done it, himself.”
You’ll see some 300 big prints in four sizes: 11 by 14, 14 by 17, 16 by 20 and 20 by 24. They span dozens of images, and many are more special because they bear the marks of time. All are available for purchase.
“Please put white gloves on and see what he’s got,” says Burke. Then she asks you to share your appreciation with Warren, who is recuperating from illness (via email@example.com). “It means so much to him,” Burke says. “It’s the best medicine for him.”
Open seven days a week thru December, at 14 State Circle, Annapolis. Call for times: 410-280-1414.