Arthur Griffin and Matt Tavares
April 5 – May 27, 2012
Tavares gives a members talk on There Goes Ted Williams on April 12, 6:15 PM, before the public opening. He also gives a gallery talk on April 22 at 3 PM.
The Griffin Museum presents a photographic celebration of the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park – and the 20th anniversary of the museum, where Boston baseball has been very much a part of its history — with several exhibits.
There Goes Ted Williams, with photographs by museum founder Arthur Griffin and illustrations by Matt Tavares, is in the Atelier and Griffin galleries April 5 through May 27. Opening receptions are April 12, 7-8:30 p.m. It is held in conjunction with Fenway Park, featuring the work of more than a dozen photographers, in the Main Gallery.
Griffin, founder of the museum in 1992, had a more than 60-year career as a photojournalist. He was the exclusive photographer for the new Boston Globe Rotogravure Magazine and the New England photojournalist for Life and Time magazines.
He also took some of the most famous images of Ted Williams.
“The images represent not only baseball history, but also photographic history,” said Paula Tognarelli, executive director of the Griffin Museum. “It’s a great story; one the public enjoys hearing every time we exhibit these photographs.”
In 1939, Eastman Kodak had just created a new color film that it was eager to test. The company contacted Griffin, who happened to be working on a story for the Boston Globe about soon-to-be-named Rookie of the Year, Ted Williams. Griffin headed to Fenway Park with his usual 35mm black and white Contax camera, but he also had his 4″x 5″ view camera and Kodak’s new color film.
At this point in his career, Williams had not soured on the press and for two hours he eagerly posed for Griffin. With use of color photography in the Globe still a few years away, Griffin worked mainly with his black-and-white camera but experimented (for himself and Kodak) with the color film. The color film was slow and not good for action shots. But Williams, exhibiting his batting stance and swing, was so engaging that Griffin was determined to capture him on film.
Since the Globe wanted only black and white photos, Griffin put aside the color films of Williams and forgot about them for half a century. By the time color photography was being used in the press, Williams’ amiability had diminished and he had no time to pose for news photographers. Griffin’s photos represent the first color shots ever taken of Williams and comprise one of the largest collections of images of Williams early in his career.
Tavares is the author and illustrator of a picture-book biography of the baseball great, There Goes Ted Williams.
It tells the story of Williams from his days as a young kid playing ball in North Park to his unmatched .406 season in 1941 to his stints as a fighter pilot in World War II and Korea.
“In this engrossing biography, Matt Tavares makes Ted Williams’ life story accessible to a whole new generation of fans who are sure to admire the hard work, sacrifice, and triumph of the greatest hitter who ever lived,” says Horn Book Magazine. “Tavares’s present-tense narrative lends drama and immediacy… and the watercolor, gouache, and pencil illustrations depict Williams as large as a double-page spread can hold. ”
Publisher’s Weekly adds, “With smooth, sweeping lines and naturalistic details, Tavares’s mixed-media artwork conveys Williams’s joyful devotion to his sport.”