Interlochen, Michigan. Swimming Dock
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On the surface, Arthur Siegel seems to capture the archetypal camp experience, the simple thrill of dangling feet at the end of a dock, sharing stories with friends. Once we dove a little deeper, we found ourselves backstroking in lush detail. The children in this shot weren't crafting lanyards and sand candles. Established in 1927, the National High School Orchestra Camp was instituted in Interlochen, Michigan as a prestigious destination for music education. Thousands of local residents converged upon the camp every summer to observe high school students play as a professional orchestra under the stars. And guess what? The camp still thrives today.
Now, thanks to Siegel and his surrealist leanings, we get to engage in a little harmless voyeurism. Watch campers from the summer of '42 perform in a spontaneous summertime performance of another kind. The photographer plays with us by creating a certain tension: the uniformed girls draw us in while the canopy of branches and the dock that angles into the center of the frame put us firmly at a distance.
Arthur Siegel | See All Editions
Born in Detroit, Arthur Siegel (1913-1978) was an American photographer known for both experimental and documentary work as well as his dedication to photographic education. Beginning his career as a photojournalist at the New York Times in the late 1930s, Siegel went on to work for the Farm Security Administration and was recruited by the US Office of War Information during World War II. In 1946, he was invited by surrealist photographer Lazlo Moholy-Nagy to teach at the Institute of Design, a Bauhaus school in Chicago. Siegel continued to educate on and off at the school, spending the last decade of his life there, teaching with Aaron Siskind. He was published in Life, The New York Times, and Fortune. Siegel worked on his craft tirelessly, experimenting with darkroom and lighting techniques, as well as various cameras.
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