This section is from the "Studio Light And The Aristo Eagle - A Magazine Of Information For The Profession 1909" book, by Aristo Motto. Also see Amazon: Studio Light And The Aristo Eagle - A Magazine Of Information For The Profession 1909.
I was walking down Sixth avenue a few months ago, and in a window that was much in need of soap and hot water, I saw this sign, "Genuine Oil Paintings, $1.98." Curiosity led me within, and (excuse the paraphrase), my exclamation was,"Oh, Art, how many crimes have been committed in thy name!! "
Purple cows (or perhaps they were sheep) feeding on genuine blue grass, pink streams of water and figure studies that looked like they had been copied from a kindergarten slate - but all genuine oils at $1.98.
Straightway I thought I would go and write to the Eagle, you were the Eagle then, and lecture the boys about its being their work and not their material that counts. These pictures were probably as advertised, "genuine oil." So is the paint on your house. But it isn't the paint, it's the man who spreads it that counts. It isn't the brush, it's the man who swings it. To get down to photography - no, up to photography - it isn't a question of platinum or silver, it's a question of the man who works them.
Well, I was going to write you a nice long letter with the above as an introduction, and was going to tell you to be honest (because it pays) and to be honest because of the satisfaction to yourself. I was going to tell you not to try to fool people - not to advertise silver prints as platinum prints, because when you use the right silver paper and work it right, no fancy names are necessary. You don't want the people in your town to talk about silver prints or platinum prints. If your name happens to be Smith, you want them to talk about "Smith's" prints. Well, to tell you the truth, I either was too busy or too lazy, I just don't remember which, so I didn't write my dissertation on honesty, and now I have decided not to write it at all. This is why. A manufacturer has gone it stronger than any photographer ever did. Listen to this advertisement - it's in most of the March photographic magazines. "Real Sepia Platinum Prints are made only on Silver Paper." (For the word silver substitute the name of a silver developing out paper.) Now what do you think of that? Next we will see: Genuine diamonds are now made only of glass; real sealskin coats are not sealskin unless made of cotton plush. Here's a suggestion for a heading for an advertisement:
Beware Of The Genuine.
ALL of Our Goods Are Guaranteed to be Imitations.
If Somebody Else Makes It We Will Try To.
No. I'm discouraged. I can't write that letter to the fraternity about calling things by their right names, yet I do notice this. The men in photography who have made the big and lasting successes are the ones who do call things by their right names - and, so also,with men in other lines of business.
Genuine oil paintings have sold for $1.98. Charcoal sketches, lead pencil drawings, pen and ink drawings have sold for thousands of dollars. It's neither the oil, nor the lead, nor the silver, nor the platinum, it's the MAN. Let the man do good work, and then let it be known as his work. There's where the honor and the profit he.
This magazine reserves the right and privilege of contradicting itself. The stuff, good or bad, is not all written by the same man. The company that publishes this little book has in its employ a lot of experienced men, who don't always agree. One, for instance, swears by 1). O. P., and another at it. If we tried to smooth out every little inconsistency that appears in the manuscript submitted, Studio Light would, indeed, prove dull reading. Every contributor with every pen dip would be thinking,
"Will this get by the blue pencil?" instead of thinking, "Am I making my point clear?"
In the interests of hot-stuff, Ave propose to let the Aristo man, the D. O. P. man and the Platinum man each crow his loudest. We shall not force any one of them to crow at a certain pitch, in order to make a crescendo in favor of any particular product. As to the respective merits of different kinds of products, we are often out of key. As to the quality of Eastman products, however, we are in harmony. On this point we can crow in key and at concert pitch.
The splendid group of the officials of the P. A. of A. which Ave use as a frontispiece is from the studio of J. E. Mock of Rochester, N. Y.
The remainder of the illustrations are from Aristo Platino prints made by Bauer & Coffey of Kansas City, Mo. The illustration on our cover for March was from the same studio and elicited much favorable comment, and Ave are pleased to afford our readers further examples of their most artistic work.
The Bauer & Coffey Studio have made a specialty of Platino, as they find it splendidly adapted to their high-class custom.
From An Aristo Platin'o Print By Bauer & Coffey Kansas City, Mo.