Category Archives: Diary

The Brandywine: 1997 – 1998

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Frolich Weymouth

 

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THE BRANDYWINE: 1997-1998
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In 1997, Tony Ward was assigned by Eliot Kaplan, then editor in chief of Philadelphia Magazine to create a series of photographs centered around the life and times of  George Alexis Weymouth, better known as Frolich Weymouth for a series of articles that were to be published between the years 1997 -1998 in Philadelphia’s regional publication. Mr. Weymouth was an American artist, whip or stager, philanthropist and conservationist who lived on a sprawling estate called Big Bend in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania.  Big Bend was just a short carriage ride to visit his long time friends; Andrew and Jamie Wyeth, who lived nearby on an equally impressive sprawling estate.  Mr. Weymouth grew accustomed to seeing Tony Ward at various events in the region, including the Devon Horse Show, Winterthur’s annual Point-to-Point steeplechase races and lavish private parties hosted by Mr. Weymouth at his historic homestead. The photographer was often invited by Mr. Weymouth himself to photograph and  mingle with many of his longtime friends. Jamie Wyeth’s wife Phyllis Wyeth also came to know of the photographers omnipresence in the region after she saw a portrait of her husband published in Philadelphia Magazine posing on a plastic horse with two female mannequins. 

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Jamie Wyeth

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On July 17, 1997 Phyllis Wyeth wrote the photographer a letter:

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Dear Tony,

Congratulations on your “One Fine Frolic” article in the May issue of Philadelphia magazine. You truly captured the “bare essence” of Frolic’s May doing’s. But I’m not writing you merely to shower you with compliments: that would be far too easy.  I am also writing to request the return of a favor of sorts.

   Your photo of my husband Jamie (riding the plastic horse) is marvelous, and stated simply, I’d very much like to have two 8 x 10 prints of it.  Not being the shy or retiring type, I’d be the first to remind you that it it weren’t for my picking you up along the road that day, you’d probably never have met Jamie, nor have had so juicy a story!  You might still be wandering around Chadds Ford, asking for directions!  Always keep in mind that it never r hurts to keep one’s contacts happy – with such an interesting cast of characters you just never know when a really special photo opportunity might crop up around here!

So I hope I haven’t made you feel TOO guilty (only enough to send me those copies of that photograph).  Hopefully another opportunity will soon arise for you to chronicle with your camera!

Sincerely,

Phyllis Wyeth

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Tony Ward at Big Bend. Chadd's Ford, Pennsylvania

Tony Ward at Big Bend. Chadd’s Ford, Pennsylvania

To access additional pictures from this series, click here:http://tonyward.com/early-work/the-brandywine/

 

Also posted in Art, Blog, Documentary, Environment, Glamour, Men, Photography, Popular Culture, Travel

Early Work: The College Years 1974 – 1980

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Portrait of Yousuf Karsh by Tony Ward. Copyright 1978

 

 

Early Work: The College Years 1974 – 1980

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Like many photographers during the mid-1970’s Tony Ward embraced the documentary tradition early on in his career and was very influenced by the images he saw in Life Magazine and other leading periodicals including TIME. He began to sharpen his photographic skills by photographing  people on the streets of Philadelphia, his hometown as well as people he encountered during his early travels through Canada, including a sitting with the legendary photographer, Yousuf Karsh.  He photographed Karsh at the Chateau Laurier Hotel where his studio was located in Ottawa, Canada. Karsh had a major impact on Tony Ward’s approach to portraiture and was one of the most famous portrait photographers in the world until his death at the age of 94 in 2002.  Karsh sent a letter of gratitude after receiving a print from the sitting with the young photographer on July 12, 1978.

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Yousuf Karsh Letter 1978

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This gallery represents some of Tony Ward’s earliest photographs produced during- the college years – where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Millersville University, Lancaster, Pennsylvania (1974-1977).  After graduating from Millersville University he immediately applied and was accepted to Graduate school at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York, where he received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Photography (1978-1979). During his college years Tony Ward also began to experiment with color photography and alternative silver processes as he learned how to manipulate traditional gelatin silver prints into one of kind works of Art. 

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To see more pictures from the Early Work by Tony Ward, click herehttp://tonyward.com/early-work/

 

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Light Table: Portrait of the Day

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Deean: Close Ups 1990’s

 

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Photography and Text by Tony Ward, Copyright 2018

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DEEAN: Close Up 1990’s

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During the 1990’s my studio was located a block away from South Street, one of the most famous streets in Philadelphia for attracting the avant-garde artists, photographers, musicians and stylists who frequented the trend setting strip. It runs East to West from the Delaware River to the Schuylkill River several blocks South of center city.  Because of my studios proximity to South street, I often met interesting characters to photograph for my portrait work. Deann was one of those distinctive characters that I grew attracted to as a subject. One day when I was walking between 6th and 7th streets on South in a neighborhood called Bella Vista,  I noticed she was working at a  body piercing shop just around the corner from my studio which was located at 704 South 6th..  When I discovered where she worked it  prompted me to introduce myself since we were practically neighbors.  During those days, I was intrigued by a  growing interest in the art of tattoo and body piercing as a subject for various series I was working on at the time.  South street was known for attracting all types of unusual subjects.  Deann was not only known for being stylish and having a distinctive look, she also was known for being a perfectionist at body piercing.  On a day that I felt particularly daring in the Summer of 1997,  I walked into her shop and made an appointment to have her pierce one of my ears. The first time I was inclined to have a piercing performed was in college in 1974, after I saw the movie Serpico.  It was a defining display of individuality in my early twenties when I saw the character that Al Pacino played (a police officer) adorn his left ear with a single gold earring. 

So as a way to revisit the nostalgia of the past, and after the successful procedure to pierce my ear was completed,  I mustered up the courage to ask Deean to model for me. I wanted to include her in a series entitled, Close Ups.  She wanted to think about it. On the surface she appeared to be a bit reserved, timid and shy in contrast to her outwardly dramatic appearance.  A short period of time passed and then a magical moment of happenstance occurred.  On a night while I was out at a nightclub photographing subjects for another project, low and behold there was Deean seated at the bar having a beverage wearing a sharp shirt and tie with a conservative pin-stripped sports jacket.  I spotted a simple wall near where she was sitting and then proceeded to turn on my flash as I asked her to turn and look straight ahead so as to feature her distinctive profile.  She eventually agreed.

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To access additional work from Tony Ward’s Close Ups 1990’s, click herehttp://tonyward.com/early-work/close-ups-1990s/

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To access additional diary entries by Tony Ward, click herehttp://tonyward.com/2018/09/beach-report-last-days-of-summer/

 

 

Also posted in Accessories, Art, Blog, Documentary, Fashion, History, Photography, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Women

Diary: A Fashion Shoot at the Jersey Shore

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Holly: Wearing a Black Latex Dress

 

 

Photography and Text by Tony Ward, Copyright 2018

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Diary: A Trip to the Jersey Shore

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Holly and I had worked together many times before leading up to this shoot at the Jersey shore.  I first met her at Delilah’s Den, a well established gentlemen’s club on Delaware Avenue in Philadelphia.  Back then she was a shot girl and one evening she came over to me while I was seated at a table next to the main dance stage when she asked if I wanted a shot? I said no but I would like to have your number. I explained that I was a contract photographer for Penthouse and was at the club that evening scouting for new models. She reached for a napkin on her server tray and jotted down her contact information.  That marked the beginning of 1o year run between a photographer and young woman that would quickly become his  muse.  At 21 years of age Holly began to appear in countless Penthouse pictorials, Playboy and she even crossed over briefly into fashion layouts for mainstream publications based in New York.  This particular photo was created in the parking lot of a seedy Atlantic City motel where we set the stage for a series of fashion fetish photos featuring Holly as a fetishistic bon vivant.

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To see additional pictures of Holly , become a member, click herehttp://tonywarderotica.com/category/membership-account/

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To access additional Diary entries, click herehttp://tonywarderotica.com/3728-2/

 

Also posted in Accessories, Art, Blog, Cameras, Documentary, Erotica, Fashion, Glamour, History, Models, Nudes, Photography, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Women

Diary: Why I bought a 38

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38 Holstered. Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2018. Model: Sandy Ward

 

Photography and Text by Tony Ward, Copyright 2018
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38 HOLSTERED

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Back in the early 90’s, my wife and I were visiting friends at a party in Vineland, New Jersey, about an hours drive from our studio in center city Philadelphia when my cell phone rang.  It was a neighbor in our building on 6th street informing me that our apartment had been broken into and police were called to investigate.  I was shocked at first never before was I violated in such a personal way. Sandy (my wife at the time) and I immediately drove home speeding up 42 North towards the Walt Whitman Bridge. By the time of our arrival home the building was silent, no police in sight,  just a vague description from a neighbor that they saw a man with a tape player in his hand hastily walking down the fire escape and out the back door of the building.

When I entered the apartment from the garage, the rear door exiting to the fire escape was closed but not locked. There was no clear sign of a break in. Not a scratch on the door or a crowbar left behind. It raised serious questions as to who could have entered the loft without breaking in? A few things were missing; change that I left on the burrow of my bedroom, my fathers antique watch that he gave me when I was in college, the new tape player that I just bought was missing.  All of the wires connecting it to the rest of the stereo equipment was strewn about. My mind started to imagine and search for who the perpetrator could be? Was it one of my employee’s some of whom did have a key?

The next day I drove up to my father’s house in Elkins Park and asked him to go with me to a gun shop that I knew was straight up 611 just before you get to the Willow Grove mall. We parked out in front of the nondescript place, walked in and began pacing up and down the cases looking for the best way to comfort my fear of the break in. Thoughts of Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry came to mind.  I also recalled when I used to go out in the back woods with my roommate in college to practice shooting at tin cans with his 44 Magnum until one day he cracked the barrel by overpacking the bullets. The store’s salesman convinced me I didn’t need anything that large. The 38 Rossi was an adequate means of protecting my home in the event of another break in when I was home or worse home with my wife and children. I became a regular at the shooting range and eventually learned how to pack my own hollow point bullets.

Fortunately, I have never had to use it other than to enjoy the cheap thrill of being able to hit a target from a certain distance. Nowadays folks go out and buy an AR15 for similar reasons. Somehow I think that is a bit over kill.

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To access additional diary entries by Tony Ward, click herehttp://tonywarderotica.com/diary-portrait-of-a-jersey-girl/

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About The Author: Tony Ward is a fine art photographer, author, blogger, publisher and Adjunct Professor of Photography at the University of Pennsylvania. 

Portrait of Tony Ward by Ed Simmons, Copyright 2018

Portrait of Tony Ward by Ed Simmons, Copyright 2018

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