Giclee Printing Artists News
Retouching on a 1918 World War I Mole and Thomas Photograph 
Friday, April 17, 2009, 07:19 PM
Living Liberty Bell by Mole and Thomas

We were recently asked to scan, restore and enlarge a couple of images by the photographers Arthur Mole and John Thomas. I have been a big fan of their work for a number of years and own a few of my own. Their images are famous for being political symbols created by lining up thousands of people into perspective - correct familiar icons. During World War I Mole and Thomas created a living flag furling in the wind, the Statue of Liberty and even a portrait of Woodrow Wilson. One of their more well know images is of the Liberty Bell.

Working with the Chicago Historical Society a number of years ago I created a definitive list of the work of these amazing photographers. We were able to identify 23 different images from WW I (not counting the numerous variations in printing reproduction and sizes). In addition the photographers created five religious themed works before the war and two more after. Thomas died not long after the war. His role in the collaboration had been to orchestrate the posing—obviously no easy task; Mole was the photographer. During the second World War Mole made three more group photographs, all much smaller in scale and all at Great Lakes Naval Station in Zion Illinois. He also served as unofficial base photographer, but most of those images were not credited.

In all the years I have studied their work I never really noticed, until I started zooming in close on the scans, that the negatives were retouched. Using near opaque paint on the large 11X14 negative Mole removed people who were not lined up correctly, shadows that broke up the clean lines of the troops, and most obviously in this example, removed people and something (equipment, junk, or ??) from the background.

I still am often amazed what a high resolution scan can reveal in a photograph. One can only imagine what an inventive photographer like Arthur Mole could have done with todays technology. But then again much of the appeal of Mole's work is that he did these amazing works with nothing more than a big view camera and a collaborator who could herd 25,000 people into the shape of the Liberty Bell.

Detail Showing Retouching of the Film Negative

Click on images to see larger versions.

Congratulations to 2009 Minnesota Trout and Salmon Stamp Artist Tim Turenne 
Saturday, April 11, 2009, 11:27 PM
Tim Turenne won this years Minnesota Trout stamp with a wonderful image of a chinook salmon from the waters of Lake Superior's north shore. Tim is in good company, many of Minnesota's most well known wildlife artists have competed for this hotly contested and coveted stamp since its inception 25 years ago.

We have helped Tim create limited edition Giclee prints of the winning design. The lusciously colored and richly detailed 7X9 images are printed on 10X12 heavyweight archival Museo paper using archival Ultrachrome K3 inks.

For information on purchasing one of these fine specimans contact Tim at: Copyright Tim Turrene 2009, all rights reserved.

You can also ask him about other images we have scanned and printed for him that are available as archival Giclee prints.

For more information on our Giclee printing visit us our Web site at

Dan Wiemer Big Print at Red Wing Fairview Hospital 
Monday, December 8, 2008, 11:00 PM
Once again we did an enlargement of one of Red WIng artist Dan Wiemer's watercolor paintings. The Red Wing Fairview Hospital has added a new addition and the entry has one of Dan's works behind the check-in desk. We enlarged it to 30X70 and it looks spectacular.

If you are fortunate enough (or unfortunate enough as the case may be) to find yourself in the new surgical unit of the hospital you can't miss it.

Or if you are in a more festive mood, Dan's 30X40 enlargement of his Poppy painting, that we printed a few years ago is in the front window of The Norton's restaurant in downtown Red Wing. Ask for the window seat and you can enjoy a great work of art in one of the best restaurants in the Upper Midwest.

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Congratulations Marni Tobin - Uptown Art Fair Commemorative Print Artist 
Monday, July 21, 2008, 10:55 PM
The Uptown Art Fair is one of the oldest and most respected art shows and summer events in Minneapolis. Because it is such an important fair, the juried show draws artists from all across the country. We print for a couple of artists who show, or have shown at the Uptown, but artist Marni Tobin went one better. She not only got into the fair again this year, but she is the featured artist!

Marni and the Uptown are a perfect match. The Uptown neighborhood is known for its hip night life and exciting social scene. Likewise Marni's art depicts urban settings and urbanites in cafe's and bars in vivid colors and wonderful expressionistic detail.  Seeing her work I am transported back to my urban Minneapolis years hanging out at Hennepin and Lake and imagine myself listening to jazz at a pub with a tequila sunrise in my hand.  

Stop by Booth 316 at the Uptown Art Fair and see her work, including two new prints we recently made for her of street scenes from Italy. We were thrilled to help Marni again this year; with our newest printer we were able to match Marni's vivid color pallet perfectly. 

And when you are around the town (in this case Dinkytown) you may even see her image on a bus shelter. Cell phone photo by David Husom

Marni's site:

An interview with Marni in Minnesota Monthly:
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Before The Tear Down - Minneapolis in 1960 on exhibit at the Mill CIty Museum 
Friday, July 18, 2008, 03:22 PM
I am just old enough to remember downtown Minneapolis before it became a series of less than successful experiments in urban renewal: The old Donaldson's store between 6th and 7th on Nicollet, the Art Deco Forum restaurant on 7th Street, the Marigold Ballroom just south of downtown, the Washington Avenue Gateway District, the Nicollet Ave Woolworth's and Kresege's dime stores, and the Union Depot station.

(Downtown Minneapolis skyline showing the Foshay Tower, about 1960).

Copyright Minnesota Historical Society. All rights reserved.

I must confess I do not recall ever being inside the poster child of Minneapolis' nearsighted city planing: the Metropolitan Building. But I do recall Maynard G. Krebs in The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis regularly going downtown to see the Metropolitan Building being knocked down by a big ball. (The creator of the show was former Minneapolis resident Max Shulman. The show allegedly took place in Minneapolis, but it was never mentioned other than the Metropolitan reference). Where the masterpiece once sat is still just a parking lot.

In 1960 the Minneapolis Star (now the Star Tribune) sent a couple of photographers out with both 4X5 cameras and a panoramic camera to document the city before it was forever changed. They also documented some of the new construction including the first modern building in the Upper Midwest, the 1st National Bank. The photos sat unpublished in the paper's library and they were eventually given to the Minnesota Historical Society. The Mill City Museum asked us to scan and print 20 images from the collection for an exhibit that is currently up at the downtown Minneapolis museum. We printed the 4X5 shots at 16X20 and panoramas at 11X30. It is a must see for anyone who remembers, or wants to know what Minneapolis looked like - before the tear down.

Before the Tear Down - Mill City Museum. The show ends August 31st 2008.

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