L.A.’s Forgotten Avenue of the Athletes

Thirty-Two Grimy Bronze Plaques Are All That Remain of a Grand Vision to Create a Walk of Fame for Sports

Walking along Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles the other day I stumbled across an old acquaintance. On a small bronze plaque embedded into the sidewalk was the name Jimmy McLarnin, alongside a set of boxing gloves. In his prime, in the 1920s and 1930s, McLarnin was one of the baddest welterweights to climb into the ring. A two-time world champ, he fought at a time when the best Irish boxers were routinely pitted against the top Italian and Jewish pugs. His handlers, always eager to build up the gate …

Exposure

            After Ansel Adams’ “Moonrise Over Hernandez, New Mexico 1941″

Stood by the edge of the mountain, the day coming fully
to crows. Stood and the …

A Punk Rock Tour Across Europe Gave Me Hope for Philly’s Revival

Photographing My Hometown’s Urban Neglect Captures the Hidden Potential in a City’s Ruins

Growing up in Philadelphia, I played and photographed in the ruins of buildings—some noble, even ones designated as important national historic landmarks. I wasn’t really cognizant of their importance in …

Why I Don’t Blame Cincinnati for Putting Art on Trial

Mapplethorpe’s Work Can Promote Tolerance and Understanding, But Not in the Way You Think

I grew up in a suburb of Cincinnati where even the rebellions were quaint. We drank wine coolers, drove before we got our licenses because an unusually cool senior was …

The Photography Collector Who Legitimized an Art Form

Robert Mapplethorpe’s Partner Samuel J. Wagstaff Amassed a Trove of Images That Changed Fine Art Photography Forever

If Robert Mapplethorpe popularized photography as a fine art form, his longtime partner Samuel J. Wagstaff Jr. gave it legitimacy. The former curator of the Wadsworth Athenaeum and the Detroit …