As part of our series of artist talks from Tours of Duty, we are pleased to present an evening with William Betcher discussing his series
Join us Tuesday November 24th at 7pm Eastern online in the Griffin Zoom Room for a conversation about Bill’s creativity and very path to creating the series included in our exhibition Tours of Duty.
The event is FREE for Griffin Members, and $12 for Non Members. Not a member? Join us for great programming and events like this and support the Griffin.
War Games is composed of macro photographs of as found, damaged, vintage toy soldiers from the 1930’s through 1960’s. Why were these broken toys not thrown away? Because they were important to the children who played with them, and because they have stories to tell.
Consider the boys and the men they became as implicitly present in these portraits of British, American, and German soldiers. And I invite you to reflect on war trauma and on how play mirrors and prepares for adult experience. Both long ago, and now.
The portraits take the form of one-of-a-kind, 4”x5” wet collodion tintypes that I place in 19th century brass matte cases, and 36”x24” dye sublimated aluminum prints. I also create action images and dioramas, often “dragging the shutter.”
My purpose is not to glorify but to evoke through metaphor. As the Civil War soldier and jurist, Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., said on Memorial Day, 1897, “The army of the dead sweep before us, wearing their wounds like stars.”
About Willam Betcher
William Betcher’s photographs have been exhibited in juried shows at Danforth Art, including the New England Photography Biennial, and at the Catamount Arts Center. His work has been featured in shows at the University of New England, the Mass Audubon Habitat Center, the Heart of Biddeford Gallery, Massachusetts General Hospital, and in the Norris Cotton Cancer Center at the Dartmouth Hitchcock Hospital, as well as in Solstice Magazine. His book, Anthem, For a Warm Little Pond, was included in Photobook 2016 at the Griffin Museum. He is the author of four other non-fiction books. He received a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Boston University, an M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and an MFA in fiction writing from the Vermont Center of Fine Arts. Currently, he is the photography editor for Solstice, a Magazine of Diverse Voices, and he is a psychiatrist in private practice in Needham, MA.