DMH Spotlight - My Walk Through History Back

Many thanks to friends and associates who have asked to read the memoirs.

Here is a summary, more by special request...


"Your photos are beautiful and represent such a powerful and passionate time in American history. I believe these photos will last and many years from now they will be looked at and studied just as Mathew Brady's classic and haunting Civil war photos are today." Please feel free to use this phrase and the one I gave to you the other day ['Thank you for being a part of history.'] as a blurb in your important new book! Best Wishes! Ron Kovic." Thank YOU, Ron! (See below for an expanded list of chapters for that book...)

   

Photo by Steven S. Borns at la Luz Mines annual report shoot.

Photographing at Malcolm Forbes' Balleroy

Thanks also to two other wonderful photographer friends:

    

Julian Carl Levy (by photographer unknown) and his test strip , LA          Stephen Sprague (by Linda Mowbray)


1) Where did I come from? The Germans and the Kikes

In which Edith, child of the Polish immigrants to the Lower East Side, meets Carl, who had everything. She put her hair up when she was 12 and went to work in the factories, her father was a tailor, (some of) her brothers were gangsters and her mother scrubbed floors for a diabetic sister, but she nabbed a Harvard man. He was a wealthy dreamer, a Communist, and, after their marriage, a combatant in the European Theater, World War 2. He wrote letters home every day. After the War, they started Lucky Stride Shoes in Maysville, Kentucky.

   

•Edith, photographed by Gabor Eder before her marriage and in business in the 1950's

.

• The summer gazebo at 690, Dad’s gracious childhood home

2) Cincinnati-Rome-Cincinnati

In a sense, I was an orphan. My mother went back to work when I was five days old.

Life is tough for the child of a career woman in the 1940’s.

Nurse Laird. The black nanny who “passed.” My French governesses and German Fraülein who taught me to goosestep.

.   

French became my lifeline to Mademoiselle, to Agathe Durbano who saved my life.

(Above, in Nice, when I would go back to see her, and a photo from 1967.)

Summers in Edgartown, European vacations. We give up our house and move to Rome and back.

 

In Paris, dressed by mom, and playing chess with dad in Santa Margherita.

3) The Lycee and Radcliffe

Free at Last! No more Mademoiselle! New York City! A terrible school that turns wonderful. Six years of Latin and four years of Greek for this prix d’excellence winner and president of her class four years in a row.

Age 17:  First dates, first camera, first college year.

   

                                 1965                                  1966                                      1967

Photo at right by Charles Hagen, as is this note and its cover, tacked on the bulletin board at the Crimson :

 

4) Harvard Crimson years

I find my place at college at last. I do my “sex assignment,” (required of all candidates)

pass the “comp” (competition for editor).

 

One of two recruiting ads for the Crimson featuring DMH, here with James Glassman

Brush with social column celebrity: “The Girl in the Green Mini” flap.

First feminist insights, in class and out.  Mixed academic experience: winner of Ferguson History Prize for 2nd best Sophomore Essay, and almost failing out.

First writings: Jerry Rubin and Antioch. This feature article probably was edited by Salahuddin Imam,

from a Saudi family who moved to Bangladesh,

last seen by DMH circa 1980, who went every year on the haj, had become a guerilla fighter and has since disappeared.

  

The Way it ‘Spozed to Be – on the banks of the Charles. (left)

President Pusey, left, listens to student presenting arguments for divesting in South Africa.

From right, front row: Professors Martin Peretz, Stanley Hoffman, Eric Ericson

Above image Copyright © Timothy Carlson, generously sent to "Dear Diana the Huntress of Intriguing Imagery."

It shows the Harvard Crimson newsroom circa 1968. Left to right: John Short, James Fallows, President,

DMH, Photo Editor, and William R. Galeota, Managing editor.  Email Diana Mara Henry.

5) Fresh out of College: NBC and Newhouse

First job. summer before senior year:

Publicity Assistant on "If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium."

After graduation, researched the medical segment of “From Here to the Seventies,” NBC News documentary for the turn of the decade. Life is tough for coeds fresh out of college in 1969. The only advancement for women at NBC was for those who slept their way up or went to Vietnam.

General Assignment reporting for the Staten Island Advance, under the guidance of Peter Reich. I buy my first car, a SAAB. Report on an anti-war protest in DC under a pen name imposed by the paper. Staff photographer threatens to break my camera. I discover the Alice Austen House, which I later helped save.

6) I begin my career: The Al Gore campaign and more anti-war

Late summer, 1970: All Gore Sr. is fighting to win reelection, Nixon’s #1 target for defeat. I leave the paper, drive down to Memphis, volunteer and receive a warm Southern welcome. I also learn a lot about ward politics. After the defeat, visit Arkansas and the Faulkner home in Mississippi. I begin my freelance career in NYC.

.

7) The great year 1972:

McGovern, Abzug, Holtzman; Democratic National Convention, Miami Beach

I set out for New Hampshire to photograph the McGovern campaign. Then take my darkroom down to Miami Beach, get signed up to photograph for prangster Dick Tuck’s Reliable Source.

 

Someone who taught me something. As always, able to amuse himself: Julian Wasser and pal, in Miami Beach.

Got into the Convention for the last night on purloined passes.

Worked for Jim Smith's Brooklyn Today as staff photographer:

8) Teaching and learning:

The ICP and the Convent of the Sacred Heart; Germain and the Lycée

My first photography class as a pretext for adultery at my old school, the Lycée Français de New York.  Some more low-down teaching and learning: in the basement at the Convent of the Sacred Heart, as Photography Department Chair for six years, and in the subways to learn color printing at the Germain School of Photography.

There at the beginning; volunteer at the International Center of Photography even before it opens, then from assistant registrar to teacher of black and white and Cibachrome printing

and originator/director of its Community Workshop Program.

  

Diana Mara Henry with Ernst Haas at his master class, the ICP, and another photographer met there.

(Micha Bar-Am, Topps Chewing Gum card © 1975 Mike Mandel)

9) An even greater year: 1977 and the Women’s Movement

After photographing Ms. Lillian and election night in Plains, GA, the Democratic Convention in NYC and the attending demonstrations for the ERA, all in 1976,

Bella Abzug, Chair of the President’s Commission on International Women’s Year, (IWY) hires me to be the official photographer of the NY State Women’s Meeting and the First National Women’s Conference, Houston.

• Coretta Scott King

• Three first Ladies and Bella

• My most published photograph of the entry into Houston with Betty Friedan, Billie Jean King, Susan B. Anthony, Bella Abzug and the three torch bearers for the last mile of relay from Seneca Falls.

Gloria Steinem and Baby ERA at the White House

Jane Fonda at the Women Office Workers’ Convention touting Nine to Five.

10) 1980’s Go-Go years: Malcolm Forbes & company

From a contact made the summer before college, on the Croisette in Cannes on the French Riviera, a series of friendships leads to my becoming Malcom Forbes personal and family photographer, photographing his balloon meets and guests at his Château de Balleroy, Normandy, his Christmas card, his pet charities: The Victorian Society and the Hayden Planetarium, his children Robert and Moira’s weddings. Bread and butter work those years also photographing other parties around NYC for the Thomas Watson daughters, Metropolitan Museum openings and Mt. Sinai Hospital.

A foray outside NYC: listening to chamber music at the Max Palevsky mansion

Isamu Noguchi and Brooke Astor at the Metropolitan Museum

 

Jane Fonda with Tom Hayden, Diane Von Furstenberg with André Leon Talley, 1984.

   

Malcolm Forbes' Chateau de Balleroy and himself on a Harley

Lillian Hellman laughing and smoking, continuously.

Shirley MacLaine enjoying rehearsal for her TV special with the Ballets Trockadero de Montecarlo

11) Noblesse Oblige Meets the Enfant Terrible: Fun beginnings to a maddening marriage

Inspired by my achievement in helping to create the Alice Austen House Museum, the first house Museum dedicated to a photographer in the US, and my Vice-Presidency there, and my exhibit at the Brattleboro Museum,

I register at NYU for the MA in Arts Administration. I receive an Individual Artist’s grant from the NY State Council on the Arts to photograph One-Room Schools Of Ulster County (200 schools documented; 75 photographed; twenty exhibited, paired with vintage photographs, in three upstate-galleries)

 

an Artist-in-Residence grant from the NY Foundation for the Arts; and an artist-in-Residence stint for Learning to Read through the Arts with an exhibit at the Guggenheim Museum. But I meet the charismatic starving artist Noel Mapstead, of “Totem” exhibit fame, and, after many adventures on the Lower East Side gallery scene, for reasons that are still somewhat clouded in mystery, marry him at the English Union and Westbury Hotel.

12) The California Years: 1988-1998

Our daughter Barbara Edith Plantagenet Mapstead is born at St. Vincent’s Hospital on 6/02/87 and we move back to Noel’s hometown of Carmel, CA after a stint in Benton Hot Springs, at the foot of the White Mountains, during which I served as a docent at Bodie, the historic ghost mining town.(Barbara asleep on lower right.)

 

In Carmel, we live near the beach

and within earshot of the cheering throngs at the Pebble Beach golf tournaments. I teach photography in Carrmel, creating the “Into the Darkroom” series of workshops that runs for 15 sessions. Exhibits include “Libel” and “Vanishing Jews of Alsace.”

I segue into teaching French at the Monterey Institute of International Studies and the Defense Language Institute at the Presidio of Monterey. After three desperate custody battles, my daughter has contracted

diabetes and other life-threatening illnesses as a result of the shock and trauma of miscarriages of justice and the inadequacies of the “helping professions.” We are finally free to leave in 1998 for the East Coast.

My daughter is 21

While daughter and I cope with life after divorce, I obtain my MA in translation at Brandeis. We move to Austin and back. I begin creating a variety of websites for my photography,

Carl Henry's World War II letters home from the European front, research on

the Natzweiler-Struthof concentration camp, André Scheinmann a Jewish Spy in World War II,

and the campaign to have my photographs of the women leaders of the 1970’s used on US postage stamps. Public speaking engagements multiply, including at the French Library and Cultural Center in Boston, Harvard Hillel, an exhibit and roundtable at the Organization of American Historians’ Centennial Conference in Minneapolis, 2007, and St Joseph's University Annual Conference of Scholars on the Holocaust, 2010. 

It seems I am full-tilt into My Life in Photography once again.

Portrait of Ken Burns and Paul Barnes for the cover of Editor’s Guild Magazine: 2009

Read Barbara Mapstead's amazing illustrated poetry here

Copyright © Diana Mara Henry/dianamarahenry.com              Email us now!

All images Diana Mara Henry. All rights reserved. Terms of Use