Jim Dow American and National League Stadiums
Jim Dow American and National League Baseball Stadiums
Jim Dow’s panoramic photographs of our country’s baseball stadiums, on view at the University of Maine Museum of Art in Bangor from April 2 through June 19, 2004, invite close inspection of miniscule, but precise, details of their architectural personalities. Dow describes his interest in photography as “centering on its capacity for exact description. “ “…I use photography to try to record the manifestations of human ingenuity and spirit still remaining in our country’s everyday landscape.” He began this project in 1980 with Veteran’s Stadium in Philadelphia and has since documented more than two hundred major and minor league parks in the United States and Canada.
Dow captures his images with an 8” x 10” Deardorff, a vintage wooden camera that has a black hood covering the accordion-like bellows attached to the lens and uses large format film. Positioning his camera at the optimal vantage point for seeing the stadium, he pivots with every 30 – 40 minute exposure to record the next frame in the panoramic sequence. The time lapse between beginning and end allows for a variety of shifts in light, weather, and people placement, yet produces a continuous image. Because of this, Dow meticulously prints his roughly 10” x 30” images, carefully adjusting the color relationships while trying to get the most out of both the highlights and the shadows.
Jim Dow is a full-time teacher at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and has been a member of the Visual and Critical Studies faculty at Tufts University since 1973. His work is displayed in major collections including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Canadian Centre for Architecture, the J. Paul Getty Museum, the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, the Library of Congress, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Victoria and Albert Museum.