Description

    1912 Grand Opening of Fenway Park Panoramic Photograph. There has always been a special place in our hearts for the panoramic photograph. These weird and wonderful images offer a window to the past unlike any other relic possibly could, nearly always transporting us to moments of considerable import. The first quarter of the twentieth century was the golden age of the panorama, but it was a tricky and expensive process only merited by special occasion. And this occasion quite clearly met that qualification.

    Noted Boston lensman Arthur Glines worked the camera this day as it panned across the white uniforms of the Boston Red Sox, and on to the road greys of the team that would come to be their greatest rival, the New York Highlanders, in their final season before an official transitioning to the Yankees moniker that stands to this day. Bold text at center reports the occasion:

    "Opening Day American League, Fenway Park, April 20 - 1912, Boston vs. New York."

    For those unfamiliar with the panoramic photography process of this era, the effect of a long, straight line of subjects was achieved by arranging all in a large semicircle at a standard radius from the camera, which slowly rotated with an open shutter while a long negative was fed through the case. This process manifested one visual oddity, and allowed the potential for another that we see here.

    The rotating camera makes it appear as if the players are standing in a straight line as it distorts the background of the image so that the freshly-painted Fenway grandstands bend backwards at the ends, offering a warped perspective that would make Salvador Dali proud. And once the camera had swept past certain subjects on one end of the frame, they had the ability to sprint around behind the camera and duck into place on the other end, appearing twice in the same panoramic shot. You'll spot two Red Sox amidst the Highlander line-up who took advantage of this possibility. It would appear that these jokesters are the Sox' two biggest stars: Tris Speaker and "Smoky Joe" Wood. The former leans upon the shoulder of fellow legend "Prince Hal" Chase representing the visitors.

    Our condition report directs attention to water damage at the far right end, and a heavy crease one third of the distance from the left. A few small spots of emulsion loss appear, and the image is stuck to the glass of the original frame in places, but the piece presents very well in its entirety, and condition flaws must be seen in the context of the extraordinary relevance and historical importance. Image measures approximately 47x6", excluding the frame.


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    Auction Dates
    July, 2015
    30th-31st Thursday-Friday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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