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If you're an artist, you won't want to let another one of your masterpieces go to a new home before you have arranged to have a high resolution, perfectly color-matched digital file produced for the day when you may wish to create a limited edition print. We can handle that, too, on a variety of substrates including fine art papers, canvas, artists’ birch wood panels and aluminum. Our services are available to estates wishing to preserve and document family art and heirlooms. Our broad publishing background allows us to preserve family histories in beautifully printed and bound books as well.
At Frank Barnett Photography, we have decades of experience in both film and high resolution digital photography. We're the experts with the know-how to bring your faded and damaged heirloom photographs back to life.
In a marriage of fine art and technology, Frank Barnett and Martha Solomon transform photography into painterly art that is evocative of watercolor, oil, pastel and pencil renderings. In recognition of their collaborative working style, Frank and Martha sign these works of art with the name Solomon Barnett.
We approached the Oregon Historical Society Museum with the idea of an exhibit sharing the history of the All American Toy Company, founded in Salem, Oregon in 1947. Sitting on the conference table of Museum Director Helen Louise's office was the 210 page coffee table book we had recently photographed, written and published. Also with us were a few stunning examples of the trucks made by All American Toy Company – a Shell fuel tanker and trailer, a Meier & Frank Co. box van, and the company's bright yellow classic Timber Toter. We walked out with an opening date for our exhibit. That was in the spring of 2017.
We worked with Patrick Russell, President of All American Toy Company 1992-2015, whose collection of beautiful scale model trucks and much loved toys makes up our curated exhibit. The knowledgeable staff of the Oregon Historical Society Museum recommended PVS Graphics in Portland to supply the wall and pedestal vinyl wraps and the laser cut graphics that we designed. The results were beyond our expectations.
Martha contacted the editor of the Oregon Historical Quarterly in the hope that they would be interested in publishing an oral history of the All American Toy Company, as she had collected hours of interviews with original employees of the company and toy collectors around the country. Not only was her manuscript accepted, it is accompanied by Frank's photographs, including the front and back covers of this scholarly journal that has been published continuously since 1900. The release of the Fall 2019 issue coincided with the opening of the exhibit.
From Kerry Tymchuk, Executive Director of the Oregon Historical Society, whose enthusiasm for our exhibit was contagious, to Franc Gigante, Exhibit Production Manager who, with Evan Kierstead, built and painted the exhibit pedestals and risers for the artifacts, everyone at OHS was there when we needed them. Franc and Evan enabled us to install our exhibit days ahead of schedule by being on hand to solve every display challenge we encountered. Lori Erickson, Curator of Exhibitions and Special Projects, reviewed every word on our text panels and labels, and previewed the two videos we produced for the exhibit. Nicole Yasuhara, the Museum's Collections Manager, kept track of the large number of exhibit artifacts that helped us tell the story of a true Oregon original founded more than 70 years ago. Rachel Randles, Communications & Marketing Manager, promoted the exhibit on OHS's website with a stunning slide show, and Erin Brasell, Assistant Editor of the Oregon Historical Quarterly, edited Martha's article and selected Frank's photographs for publication. Thank you, Museum Director Helen Louise, for allowing us to share the history of the All American Toy Company with visitors to the Oregon Historical Society Museum. And finally, thank you Patrick and Janet Russell for your generosity in the loan of all of the artifacts for this exhibit.
Barnett & Solomon’s 2019-2020 installation at the Oregon Historical Society Museum fulfilled a vision that Frank Barnett first had nearly twenty years ago when he first discovered Patrick Russell’s fabulous collection of toy and model trucks. Trained as a cultural anthropologist, he recognized these scale model trucks as valuable cultural artifacts, capable of illuminating Oregon’s history and place in time.
The Timber Toter, All American’s first toy truck, was released in 1947 when clear-cutting was still common, and seven billion board feet of lumber were milled in Oregon. Early All American dump trucks reflected the flurry of housing construction for returning GIs following passage of the GI Bill in 1944. The Interstate Highway System, authorized in 1956, and other major infrastructure projects made use of heavy haulers and dump trucks. Agricultural industries such as ranching and grass seed growing were also represented by All American toy trucks. These durable toys were all inspired by the real trucks that transformed Oregon during the second half of the 20th century.
This exciting exhibit was Martha Solomon’s second curatorial project for the OHS Museum. In 2009, she co-curated a survey of stereoscopic photography that included artifacts from 19th century cameras and stereo views, to a movie set from LAIKA’s 3D film, Coraline, released just a month prior to the exhibit opening.
This installation was the culmination of a 210-page coffee table book project that began in 2016. For seven months Frank, working out of a makeshift photo studio in the All American Toy Company’s former warehouse, made hundreds of photographs while Martha interviewed employees of the original founder, now in their early 90s, as well as collectors from across the country. The Fall 2019 issue of the Oregon Historical Quarterly featured a 30-page article by Martha Solomon, An Oral History of the All American Toy Company, illustrated with photographs by Frank Barnett as well as many vintage images, available in the OHS Museum gift shop, or at the OHS website, while supplies last. Barnett & Solomon also has a limited supply of this issue.
As book publishing became an important part of our creative activities, we established a separate entity, Barnett & Solomon, which first appeared on the colophon page of our book, The All American Toy Co. – All American Toys for All American Boys, which led to an exhibit at the Oregon Historical Society Museum in 2019. In 2020 the book was awarded a Silver Medal in Popular Culture by the Independent Publishers Awards.
Photography In My Bones – Half a Century of Images by Frank Barnett, was the 2017 recipient of the Independent Publishers Silver Medal Award in Photography. The book is available here as a PDF and may be used as a catalog for ordering Frank’s images archivally matted to 16 x 20 inches. Any single image in the book can be purchased as an archival pigment ink print. Prices range from $400 to $550 including domestic shipping. Custom framing is also available. Please contact the gallery at (503) 880-1300 with your image(s) selection for exact prices.
Barnett & Solomon provide curated installations for individuals, corporations, and museums, an activity that both Frank and Martha had done for decades prior to forming their present-day collaboration.
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