Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Tangent: Portrait photos taken in the Research Archives

A piece in today's Wall Street Journal begins with University of Chicago President Robert Zimmer's college admission application essay. Amusing enough, and fodder for plenty of snarky comments from those so inclined. But me? What do I notice? Well, this:


The connection, and the reason for this entry in the OI History blog, is that the portrait photograph is taken in the Research Archives. They do this a lot, well, occasionally, maybe a couple of times a year. Some dignitary or other needs to have a portrait taken, and this room is chosen, presumably because it is an attractive and scholarly setting. Usually these things took half a day or so of the photographer setting up lights, posing the victim, re-setting, re-posing, shoot a few dozen images, break it all down and leave. They used to like to rearrange the furniture, but now that the tables are hard wired to the floor, that's a little harder to do. In the meantime the students cool their heels outside the locked doors, or go to Regenstein.

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