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“Wood on Glass” lumber industry photos of William T. Clarke

May 24, 2016 4:31 PM | Sara Frank (Administrator)

ECCOTA is honored to be one of the first galleries in the area with the privilege of displaying this historic collection of photographs by William T. Clarke.

“Wood on Glass” consists of an exhibit of photographs by little known and long forgotten itinerant photographer William T. Clarke (1859-1930), a Rochester, NY native who chronicled the lumber industry and its dramatic impact on north central Pennsylvania during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Clarke’s evocative legacy is showcased in “Wood on Glass” with custom prints made from glass plate negatives, now housed at the Pennsylvania State Archives and in private hands.

Clarke’s images graphically illustrate the epic transformation of the Commonwealth’s forests and ways of life between ca. 1890 and 1917 in Potter, McKean and Clinton Counties.

Produced in-house by The State Museum, the “Wood on Glass” exhibit was co-created by Archivist Linda Ries along with photo historians Ronald E. Ostman and Harry Littell who served as Scholars-in-Residence at the State Archives in 2005 to document Clarke’s photography. Since discovering a cache of Clarke’s original glass plate negatives in upstate New York, Ostman and Littell – whose work on Clarke has been featured in the Smithsonian Magazine and Pennsylvania Heritage Magazine– have collaborated to draw attention to the photographer’s collections and are authoring a book to interpret the photographer’s vast visual legacy.

The exhibit will be on display from May 27 - June 24 in the ECCOTA Gallery. Visit the opening reception Friday, May 27 from 6-9PM for a special presentation from the Lumber Heritage Region including original photographs, 1901 camera on display and a demonstration of the glass plate negative process.

Opening Reception: May 27, 6PM-9PM in the ECCOTA Gallery, 237 Main Street, Ridgway

Show will run: May 27 – June 24


ECCOTA receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency

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Exterior of the Elk County Council on the Arts Sales  Gallery.
Sales Gallery
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237 Main St.
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The Elk County Council on the Arts is dedicated to promoting the cultural enrichment of the residents of Elk County by expanding the opportunity for public participation in the arts. The Council’s goal is to enhance the lives of county residents and the various local arts by offering experiences in the arts, providing educational opportunity and advice, and by supporting performers, musicians, artists, artisans and writers.

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