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    Description

    Pirkle Jones (American, 1914-2009)
    Garberville, California, circa 1960
    Gelatin silver
    10-3/8 x 13-1/4 inches (26.4 x 33.7 cm)
    Photographer's San Francisco stamp, mount verso.
    Pirkle Jones and the California Roadside Council
    Pirkle Jones was born in Shreveport, Louisiana. He acquired a Kodak Brownie when he was 17 and exhibited at
    camera clubs in the 1930s. After serving in the army, Pirkle enrolled in the California School of Fine Arts in San
    Francisco, where he studied with Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Edward Weston, and Minor White. From 1947 to
    1953 he worked as an assistant to Adams and the two artists remained lifelong friends. He also met and married
    fellow photographer Ruth-Marion Baruch and the two artists documented social, political and environmental change in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    The California Roadside Council was founded in 1929 and incorporated in 1941. Its initial purpose was the
    beautification of California's roads and highways through lobbying for the removal of the proliferation of roadside
    billboards and signs that were seen as an eyesore. The Council later broadened its purpose to include the promotion of community action toward the preservation, creation and development of elements of beauty in California communities.

    Pirkle Jones was an active member of the council and served as a board member for Marin County. Beginning
    in the mid-1950s he began to document the golden state's "chaotic overabundance of signs." Thirteen of his
    photographs appeared in the Council's 1960 publication More Attractive Communities for California. Unlike
    Berenice Abbott's series Changing New York, which documented historical buildings and neighborhoods that were
    threatened with demolition, Jones documented what he and the Council wanted to be torn down. These photographs can be considered early examples of the New Topographics, a term coined in 1975 to describe a new group of photographers whose pictures showed unromanticized views of stark industrial landscapes, suburban sprawl, and the banality of everyday scenes.

    In 1965, the California senate passed the Highway Beautification Act to control outdoor advertising and encourage
    scenic roadside development. By 1996 the California Roadside Council had ceased operation.

    The photographs offered here were commissioned by John Harvey Carter, a prominent architect in Sacramento,
    who designed over 400 buildings in northern California. One of his life's goals was "to make the world beautiful."
    He was a board member of for Sacramento County and by 1973 was Vice President of the Council. Several of these
    photographs were used in the 1972 Council publication Signs in California. This is the first time this body of Pirkle
    Jones' work has appeared at auction.


    More information about Pirkle Jones, also known as Jones, Pirkle, Pirkle Jones.

    Condition Report*: Not framed. Overall good condition. Some scattered faint indentations, hairline scratches, and soft creases visible under raking light. A few minor chips to edges. Age discoloration to mount, not affecting the image. Bumping and peeling to edges and corners of mount, not affecting the image. Sheet is dry mounted to board measuring 12 by 15 inches.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. Heritage does not guarantee the condition of frames and shall not be liable for any damage/scratches to frames, glass/acrylic coverings, original boxes, display accessories, or art that has slipped in frames. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2021
    12th Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 339

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