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J.D.Salinger prints make public debut

PRESS RELEASE: BRATTLEBORO, VT (12/5/2013)- The world’s first public view of a rare J.D.Salinger photogravure by Michael McDermott will be in Brattleboro Vermont on Dec. 6th when Vermont Artisan Designs will host the first public showing and sale of the limited edition photogravure. The J.D. Salinger image will premiere during the monthly first Friday Gallery Walk in Brattleboro.

“We’re pleased to work with Michael in the international debut of this rare print,” said Greg Worden, owner of the Main Street gallery. “Michael’s photojournalist roots are here in Vermont and it’s only fitting that these prints are first displayed in Vermont”. McDermott, now a successful Director/DP photographer, who lives in Portland, Oregon explained that the J.D.Salinger photogravure collection consist of one hundred prints, six artist proofs, one Bon a Tirer or “mother print” and the prints copper plate is encased in acrylic.

Reported by the Brattleboro Reformer in 1979, “Photographer Michael McDermott of Brattleboro has scored a journalistic coup – the first known picture of novelist-recluse J.D.Salinger since 1961.” The then 20-year-old from Brattleboro was on assignment for Newsweek Magazine and accomplished what many other photographers had failed to do. McDermott captured the famous image of Salinger as he exited the Windsor, VT, post office. Even today only a handful of images of Salinger exist and even fewer from his reclusive years.

The Shane Salerno documentary “SALINGER” opens with McDermott re-enacting how, at 20 years old, the photographer captured Salinger on film for Newsweek—a mission others had tried, but failed to accomplish. “The release of the documentary “SALINGER” inspired me to make this historic photograph available to the public”, said McDermott. “The print is a tribute to a literary genius,” said McDermott. “It provides Salinger’s fans, present and especially future, a brief and candid glimpse of the talented, brilliant man.” Unique in its candid portrayal of Salinger, the photo shows the author in casual dress, holding his car keys. In addition to the movie, McDermott’s rare and historic photograph of J.D. Salinger is printed on page 99 in Salerno’s book, Salinger, which was released by Simon & Schuster on September 3, 2013.

 The 15-by-19.375-inch reproductions were created using photogravure, the richest and most permanent method for printing photographs. John Goodman, the artist credited with keeping the photogravure process alive, created the prints. “I chose this method not only for its quality and beauty, but also because it translates an image created by light into an image drawn by layers of ink,” said McDermott. “It also resembles the printing process used for books and magazines, reflecting the literary importance of the photograph.”

To ensure proper provenance the prints are numbered, signed by the artist, and accompanied by a letterpress printed certificate of authenticity as well as the story of how McDermott shot it. The print and documents are presented in a handcrafted box folio.

Photogravure uses a copper plate created from a negative to transfer ink to paper. The copper plate used to produce the Salinger prints has been permanently encased in acrylic, guaranteeing that it can never be used to produce more prints.

Vermont Artisan Designs is located at 106 Main St. in Brattleboro. It is open seven days a week and features fine art and quality American craftsmanship. Online at www.vtart.com, e-mail to vtart@sover.net or call (802) 257-7044 for more information.