Portraits of Francesca Woodman as a young artist.


Francesca in her studio, 1976 – 1978
A portfolio by Douglas D. Prince, 2012

I recently attended an event in honor of The Adams Center for Photographic Research and Study at The New Hampshire Institute of Art with fellow Boston-based photoweenie Jason Landry. At the event, the audience had the opportunity to view Douglas Prince’s recently published portfolio, Francesca in her studio, 1976 – 1978. The portfolio prints are indeed historically important, but they are much more than that. The photographs lovingly capture the young artist in her (appropriately messy) studio. There is Francesca with her cat, Francesca holding a wilted flower, and Francesca reclining in a very tattered armchair. The portfolio presents a unique collection of slightly flirtatious, beautifully captured black and white portraits of a young artist at a definitive time in her development.

From Douglas’s website:
While I was teaching at RISD, 1976-1979, I made “environmental portraits” of people I knew in Providence, including students. I was interested in photographing Francesca because her “lifestyle” was such an integrated part of her art-making. Her clothing and living situation incorporated the richness of Victorian textures coupled with the ever-present evidence of decay. This was a genuine projection of her persona and not some “style” or device put together as photographic prop.

Today there is obviously a strong following of Francesca and her work. I think her photography continues to resonate with viewers today because of the directness and accessibility of her vision. She projects a haunting melancholy along with a playful, often sensual, acceptance of being captured by the entropy of living. Her casual camera and printing technique reinforce this view of her environment.

Print information from the portfolio text:
These photographs of Francesca Woodman were taken between 1976 and 1978 at her studio in Providence, Rhode Island.
I used Kodak, Plus-X, in a Hasselblad SuperWide that I developed in Kodak, divided D-23.
The original negatives have been scanned and printed by myself on Canson Infinity paper, Plantine Fiber Rag, with an Epson 7900.
This portfolio of twelve prints has been produced in 2012 as an edition of twelve with three artist’s proofs. The typeface used for the text is Baskerville, 12pt.
Each print is signed and numbered en verso.

The facts:
Francesca in her studio, 1976 – 1978
A portfolio by Douglas D. Prince, 2012
Edition of twelve with three artist’s proofs
Images are printed, full-frame, 9”x 9”on 11”x 14” Canson Plantine Fiber Rag paper.
Additional information can be found on Douglas Prince’s website here.

All photographs © Douglas Prince
Photograph above left and below  Francesca In Her Studio, 02, 1976

Francesca In Her Studio, 05, 1976

Francesca In Her Studio, 12, 1976