Be Here Now: “Disfarmer” @ MASS MoCA, 5/8-9/10

May 5th, 2010, 12:06 pm by Greg


Puppetry ain’t just for kids anymore.

“Disfarmer” – a puppet production being presented at MASS MoCA in North Adams on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon – tells the true life story of American portrait photographer Mike Disfarmer (1884-1959), who operated a photography studio in Heber Springs, Arkansas.

For years, locals and tourists lined up to have their picture made. Disfarmer used glass plate photography long after it was obsolete; when thousands of these glass plates were discovered in the 1970s, his photographs were acknowledged as a stunning achievement for their exquisite artistry, their profound empathy for their subjects and their invaluable documentation of a way of life that has all but vanished.

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