PHOTOGRAPH

magazine

Volume 1 No 1 Summer 1976  

New York , Summer.1976. Edited by Will Faller. 275x355mm approx.

The publication is 28 pages in unbound ‘newspaper’ format (but a better quality paper than newsprint) and describes its own launch as:

‘an ambitious publication. Its primary focus is on the image: what it means, and how it has become an integral part of our social and artistic world.’  

Contents include:

  • Naked Weegee by Gretchen Berg
  • A Photographer talks with a Photo Restorer
  • Robert D’Alessandro on Teaching and Individualism
  • A Passionate Collector (Sam Wagstaff)by Vicki Goldberg
  • An Observation Revisited by Robert Zimmerman
  • On Receiving a Grant by Robert Borosso
  • Gallery review: Eggleston at MOMA
  • Book Review: Vagabond by Gaylord Oscar Herron
  • Centre Section on Shows and Workshops

The magazine is perhaps best known as the source of the mysterious ‘Robert Zimmerman’ piece, the title of which ‘An Observation Revisited’, has popped up from time to time over the years on the various websites devoted to Bob Dylan, as a ‘ rumoured poem‘ . 

The piece is a response to the experience of viewing an exhibition of photographs by Nina Alexander and Herta Hilschner-Wittgenstein who documented a sick woman dying and then dead. (the exhibition of the portraits is publicised elsewhere in the magazine, in its gallery listings) 

The author of the piece is described thus:  Robert Zimmerman is a one-time kid from the mid-west. A poet and sometime musician, who has taken a sabbatical from his instruments and is writing in the seclusion of the woods.’ 

My own limited investigations have come up only with the fact that one person who was involved with the magazine at the time believes the piece was possibly not written by Dylan. Personally, I cannot see why anyone would bother attributing it to him if its not his work- it’s not as if it’s a parody or amusing in any respect. The subject matter is decidedly unamusing. It does seem plausible to me that Mr D may well have wanted to help out some artistic photography friends planning a low budget magazine by supplying them a piece for their launch issue. 

The page with the poem has some yellowing – see the photos -  possibly due to the publication being at some stage being framed.

In 37 years I have never seen another copy come up for sale, nor even seen the Zimmerman piece quoted, only the rumours of its existence.  

Has a tiny 1cm nick to the front page – see photos - otherwise in excellent condition.