Art Dubinsky, or Arthur Dubinsky, has left a thin, bright trail of photographs on the web and in various archives. As I approach publication of a biography of Ava Helen Pauling (OSU Press, forthcoming Spring 2013), I seek him, his family, or his heirs in order to gain permission to use two photographs he took of Linus and Ava Helen Pauling: one of their hosting a pancake breakfast for WILPF, a peace group, and the other of the couple at their ranch in Big Sur, California. I am going to show both photographs below, as well as one or two more for which I likewise have NO permission, in hopes that somebody sees this frantic post and offers me additional information about this wonderful, elusive photographer.
Here is a portrait photograph of Dubinsky himself.
This was taken by Clint Wade and is part of the Claremont Colleges Photo Archive. Dubinsky was Pitzer College’s first official photographer, among his other roles.
Dubinsky’s connection with Pitzer allowed him at least once to showcase his work there. Here is a small capture of an exhibit in Scott Hall at Pitzer.
You can’t see much detail, but I am guessing that a significant part of this exhibit was prints from his collaboration with the great Steve Allen on a book about migrant workers called The Ground is My Table (1966). (See, for example, the portrait photo on the back wall.) Those of us who remember Steve Allen may not always recall his social activism and humanitarianism, of which this book was only a tiny piece. Steve Allen, Art Dubinsky, and the Paulings shared that passion for social justice as well as a devotion to humanism as a working philosophy. Dubinsky’s photographs for the migrant worker project recall the work of government sponsored photographers almost thirty years before (to which I referred in an earlier blog entry). See below for a bit more about Pitzer.
There is another small collection of photos on the web attributed to Dubinsky — snapshots, really, of a day in Washington Square in New York City in the early 1950s. Here we see Woody Guthrie and Rambling Jack Elliott. These photos are reproduced from an entry in the blog Dangerous Minds.
Here they are:
So, the plot thickens. These photos are all credited to Art Dubinsky. But on the official Woody Guthrie site, there is another photo taken clearly the same day, from a similar angle, credited to Robert Wersan. Robert, are you out there? Can you clarify? I’ve offered the link because the site has done a very effective job at keeping me from pirating the image itself!
The young woman on the right side of the third photo (behind Woody’s cigarette, she says) is self-identified as Marcia Stehr. She writes that judging by this image of her, the shots were taken earlier than 1954: like 1950 or ’51. She was a fan of these guys and remembers being there.
Amazingly, as I was drafting this, I found another shout-out about Dubinsky in the form of a comment on Martin Colyer’s blog entry on this same set of photographs from Stacy Elliott, archivist at Pitzer College. She too has been looking for more information on Dubinsky. Follow that link too, if you will, to share with Stacy your insights and connections. She wrote in November 2012 that they had been planning an exhibit of Dubinsky’s photos. Since the exhibit information did not pop up on Google, I am thinking and hoping that it has not yet been mounted, because I REALLY want to see it.
Here are the photos I seek permission to reproduce in the biography:
Is this entry a jumble or what? I love mysteries, but I’d like this one solved. Where are the rest of Dubinsky’s photographs? Who owns their copyright? How can we get a handle on his biography? I strongly agree with archivist Stacy Elliott that his story should be told.