Fine-Art Photography - John William Brown
42B Federal Street - Newburyport, Ma
In July of 2012, Ghlee Woodward of the Newburyport Daily News wrote an article entitled, Yankee Homecoming; Reflection of Port’s Pride. In it she describes how a New England artist by the name of Jack Frost came up with the original idea and vision for a Yankee Homecoming. In all the names I had heard associated with Yankee Homecoming, I never had heard of Jack Frost. After a little more research, my friend and I, Kat Couree, discovered that not only did he have the original idea and vision for Yankee Homecoming, but also designed and published the first official ‘program book’ in 1958 for the festival. After meeting this year’s chairperson Tammy Jennings in the spring of this year, and pitching the idea for the tribute, she felt it was a perfect fit for this year’s theme, ‘The Legends Through the Years’. In addition to tributes to all past chairpersons, what better tribute then to the artist who not only had the original vision, but also created the very first program book.
From there it didn’t take me long to track it down in the Newburyport Library archives. The idea was to photograph the original edition in the library, then replicate and incorporate it into this year’s program book. By photographing the original copy and sizing it up to fit the format of this years, I was able to incorporate all the original text the way it existed on the 1958 edition. Making slight alterations for this year’s date of 2013 and working with the original banner, the text and graphics were set in place
In a ‘symbolic’ dedication, the font used in the theme of this years cover is the same as the font used in WNBP’s radio station, ‘The Legends’. This dedication is to Bob Fuller, the creator of WNBP radio station in 1957, and Joe Mathers, who was then the manager of the radio station in 1958. Together with Jack Frost and George Cashman, the crusade for Yankee Homecoming festival began.
On the original program book cover by Jack Frost, as seen on this years dedication page, there is also a sketch of a Yankee minuteman and minute maid, with a map of New England in-between them. The idea at this point was to replicate the sketched characters by photographing contemporary models in costume and bring them alive in the 21st century. I then finished and encapsulated the design by incorporating an image of the H.M.S Bounty’s last voyage to Newburyport in August 2012, two months before it met its fate off the North Carolina coast due to Hurricane Sandy.
I believe its important to remember, embrace and to pay tribute to original visions when so many times the visions manifest themselves, but the artist behind them are often disregarded, forgotten or overshadowed by corporate sponsors and political motives by others over the years. The principals of such visions must be upheld and given due credit to the visionaries that created them in order to remember and embrace the principals in which they were created for in the first place.
I hope that this special tribute to Jack Frost and the creators of the first Yankee Homecoming in many ways serves as a reminder of these principals and sets an example to never forget, nor undermine the artist contributions to community, heritage and history, as well as their visions for the future.
Spirit of Newburyport