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Now & Then Paul Dorpat

Posing On The Parkway

In the "now" photograph Howard Giske, the Museum of History & Industry's curator of photography, poses "in the balance" between two Vespas driven to the historical site by Nicky Ducommun and Brad Stone, left and right. Putting Giske in the "now" was my idea. Adding the fuel-efficient scooters was his.

Both views were posed on the public parkway in front of the lavish Lake Washington waterfront home that Seattle clothing scion Jules Redelsheimer built for his family in 1910. (It is directly across East Denny Blaine Place from Denny Blaine Park.) Eight years later, in 1918, The Seattle Times editorial photographers, the Webster Stevens firm, posed an electric car in the Redelsheimers' original elegant driveway. Now it is a reminder that the current interest in battery-driven cars is a long-awaited revival.

Curator Giske included this photograph among the 100 subjects (photographs, paintings, maps, lithos, postcards) in his standing exhibit at the museum because it fits his theme, "Nature in the Balance." His is a show of Northwest classics, although many of them may be new to those who visit the museum before this exhibit closes Sept. 9. Among the paintings featured are works by Kenneth Callahan, Richard Bennett, Emily Inez Denny and Guy Anderson. To quote Museum of History & Industry literature, the exhibit is about "the complex relationship between people and nature in Washington State during the past 150 years." Among the photographers adding variations on this theme are historical ones, like Asahel Curtis and Anders Wilse, and contemporary ones like Fred Milkie Jr.

"Washington Then and Now," the new book by Paul Dorpat and Jean Sherrard, can be purchased through www.washingtonthenandnow.com ($45) or through Tartu Publications at P.O. Box 85208, Seattle, WA 98145.

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