Vignettes: Chapters From a Life
By Vivian Cherry
From the Publisher:
VIGNETTES is a collection of chapters from the life of Vivian Cherry who integrates two art forms - memoir and photography. Ms. Cherry is a quintessential New Yorker born of immigrant parents.
At the age of 5 she started dancing school. Then in the late 1930's as a young classically trained dancer, wanting independence, wandered off to Coney Island, a Brooklyn neighborhood that was truly the playground of New York and danced in a sideshow there. Soon after that she danced in the midtown nightclubs in Manhattan, and then made it to the footlights of Broadway.
Following her heart, she married young and lived through social, historical and politically interesting times. She segued into becoming a photographer during the war years of the early 1940's at a time when women photographers were rare, and broadening her horizons by traveling on assignments and even managed to get work in England and Czechoslovakia. Cherry saw many friends impacted by the harsh policies of McCarthyism and being blacklisted in which a dear friend of hers committed suicide. She personally had a real awareness and its impact on those around her, including many friends she made along the way. She experienced the horrors of illegal abortion in those early years of struggling to make her way in the world of New York.
Ms. Cherry had her views on political systems shaped by her personal experiences. She was a feminist before the idea was a household word.
Ms. Cherry has a natural affinity for people. She is a determined and patient observer and has spent years going where New Yorkers gather to photograph them. She has chosen to attend protest marches, parades and simply pounded the pavement in search for her own expression through photography. Not so long ago She discovered the world of people who relish tattoos and piercings and immersed herself in the process of discovering and photographing them as she chose to pursue the opportunities to do so.
In reading this book one gets to travel through some carefully selected times and experiences in Cherry's life. In a candid, fascinating and fun read one learns about a woman of character, persistence, presence and courage. Her creative drive, determination, and capabilities are clearly illustrated through her life's experiences and choices. She exposes to us some of the memorable moments that helped shape who she is today. In writing her memoirs Vivian Cherry has yet again taken on a new creative venture in selecting to write these chapters. She has had a life of many vocations.
As with her other creative endeavors she has applied herself to the goal of achieving a high level of accomplishment and placed her time and energy into perfecting her goal -not easily satisfied, yet her effort paid off. At 91 years old is sharing who she is and some of the most noteworthy times that shaped her life and creative energies. We follow her through significant periods in history, both in breadth and depth, and get one woman's unique perspective and enthusiasm. These are some of the significant periods of self-development and self-discovery for her. We are voyeurs in her life and cannot help but be drawn into who she was and who she is now. In transcribing these Vignettes she has done us a service and made it possible for us to transcend place, time and our own day to day lives to take a journey of exploration into interesting and fascinating eras, places and situations.
The third of her books to be published, Vignettes is a fun and an interesting follow up to her two purely photographic publications of Helluva Town and Vivian Cherry's New York.
Item Number: B8922
$38.00 | Members $34.20
Images: Color and B&W ills. Throughout
SC 7.9 x 9.8 in.