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Genre, Art - Whitman 900x550

“In 2007 I saw Binh Danh’s leafprints of Khmer Rouge victims and Vietnam War scenes and began writing poems in response to them.

I contacted Binh, asked questions, received a generous response, and a collaboration began. At my urging he began reading Walt Whitman (What is the grass?…the beautiful uncut hair of graves…) and, in turn, he instructed me in the art of chlorophyll printing. Later, when he came to Virginia for residencies at Hollins University and Washington & Lee University, we were able to work together in person.

My interest in Whitman and Binh’s in early photographic techniques converged at the U.S. Civil War, and we’ve driven together to battlefield sites in Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, taking photographs, doing research, collecting leaves from “witness trees.” Along the way, we hatched the idea of a joint exhibition. He concentrated on daguerreotype and cyanotype photography and generously taught me his chlorophyll print process and assigned to me the project of making leafprints of Whitman portraits and the Civil War photos in the remarkable Liljenquist Family Collection at the Library of Congress.

Out of this work has emerged a joint word and image exhibition, War Memoranda: Photography, Walt Whitman, and Renewal, which appeared at the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, Virginia in 2015 and will travel next to the Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, New York in Fall 2016.”

Chlorophyll print by Robert Schultz and Binh Danh

War Memoranda

War Memoranda, a word and image exhibition featuring original photography, poetry, leafprints, and artist’s books by Binh Danh and Robert Schultz, draws upon the war poems and prose of Walt Whitman and upon the Liljenquist Collection of Civil War portraits held in the Library of Congress.  The exhibition ran February-May 2015 at the Taubman Museum…
The Amulet broadside

Amulet Broadside

The collaboration between visual artist Binh Danh and poet Robert Schultz became visible in 2009 when The Virginia Quarterly Review published a gallery of six images and the poems they inspired, and five poems and corresponding images appeared in Subtropics.  That spring The Northwest Review published the sestina “Camouflage” and featured Binh Danh’s leafprint “Battlefield…
Face to Face artist book cover

Face to Face

In Walt Whitman’s poetry and prose moments of face-to-face encounter recur. The poet seems to look up from the page to address us directly or he records a moment of intimate encounter with a contemporary. Such moments can be found in the earliest poetry—in “Faces” and “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry”—and are especially frequent in the poems…
  • 2015