About Eric Myrvaagnes




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Eric Myrvaagnes
Me, 2006
I took my first photos with a box brownie in high school. I got serious about photography in college, where I almost survived an intensive photojournalism course for would-be photo board candidates for the Harvard Crimson. This non-credit course taught me the rudiments of darkroom work and lots of other aspects of photojournalism, but when the time needed to complete the weekly assignments approached forty hours, I reluctantly quit in order to spend a little time on my official studies. At Harvard I was also introduced to "fine art" photography through a friend and mountaineer, Chris Goetze, who helped me refine my seeing and my printing and through whom I became acquainted with the work of Ansel Adams, Minor White, and Edward Weston.


Minor White
Minor White in 1966

When Minor White came to Boston to teach at M.I.T. in the 1960s, I met him and ended up taking two workshops with him and one with Paul Caponigro. During those years I had photos in small group shows at M.I.T. and in larger, curated exhibits at the DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts, and at M.I.T. ("Light7" and "Being Without Clothes"), both of which were catalogued in issues of Aperture magazine.


Hugo Levitational
"Hugo, Levitational" in the exhibit
"Being Without Clothes"
     
Mirror
"Mirror" in the exhibit
"Light7"

A few years ago I took another excellent workshop with photographers Karin Rosenthal and Fran Forman,

Over the years I have worked with 35mm cameras (Kodak Retina IIIC, eight or more models of Pentax SLRs, and more recently Canon film SLRs and DSLRs: 10D, 5D, and 5DII), medium format cameras (Pentax 67 II and Mamiya 6), 4x5" view cameras (Calumet and Zone V), and one 8x10" view camera (maker unknown). Recently I added a mirrorless Sony RX10 and a Canon S110 pocket camera to my collection. For about forty years I processed my own black-and-white film and made all of my prints in my own darkroom on a Beseler 4x5" enlarger. For color, I sent Kodachrome film to Kodak for processing into slides. In 2004 I got my first digital camera (a Canon 10D) so that I wouldn't have to worry about airport x-ray machines ruining film on a trip to the Canadian Rockies. After learning what I needed to know about Photoshop, I sold off all of my film cameras and succumbed to the lure of Digital Photography.

My photographs have appeared in numerous exhibits, including solo shows at
        New England School of Art and Design (Boston, MA);
        Newton Free Library (Newton, MA);
        Needham Free Library (Needham, MA);
        Suffolk University (Boston, MA);
        University of New Hampshire (Durham, NH);
        Brookline Arts Center (Brookline, MA).
        and Cary Library (Lexington, MA).


In 2012 three members of Minor White's 1966 Workshop East, Elaine Fisher, David Wunsch and I, mounted a "reunion" exhibit in the Belmont, Massachusetts, town Art Gallery.

My photographs are in the permanent collections of M.I.T., the Brockton Museum, the Addison Gallery of American Art, and in many private collections.


I have taught photography at Project, Inc., in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and at Suffolk University.
I retired a few years ago from my 'day job': For 35 years I was a professor of mathematics and computer science at Suffolk University.
These days my major non-photographic activity is playing flute in the Shir Madness Klezmer Band of Newton, Massachusetts (ShirMadness.org).


My photos have been published in Aperture (U.S.A.), Camera (Switzerland), Creative Camera (U.K.), Venture (U.S.A.), and Black and White Magazine (U.S.A.)

Myrvaagnes Farm

The ancestral Myrvaagnes farmhouse, in Myrvaagneset,
on an island off the west coast of Norway.
My ancestor Jacob raised twelve children in this 2.5-room house.

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