A rare look at a literary recluse


BRATTLEBORO -- The world’s first public view of a rare J.D.Salinger photogravure by Michael McDermott will be in Brattleboro on Friday when Vermont Artisan Designs will host the first public showing and sale of the limited-edition photogravure.

"We’re pleased to work with Michael in the international debut of this rare print," said Greg Worden, owner of the Main Street gallery. "Michael’s photojournalist roots are here in Vermont, and it’s only fitting that these prints are first displayed in Vermont."

McDermott, now a successful director/ photographer, who lives in Portland, Ore., explained that the J.D.Salinger photogravure collection consists of 100 prints, six artist proofs, one Bon a Tirer or "mother print," and the prints’ copper plate is encased in acrylic.

Reported by the Brattleboro Reformer in 1979, "Photographer Michael McDermott of Brattleboro has scored a journalistic coup -- the first known picture of novelist-recluse J.D.Salinger since 1961." The then 20-year-old from Brattleboro was on assignment for Newsweek Magazine and accomplished what many other photographers had failed to do. McDermott captured the famous image of Salinger as he exited the Windsor post office. Even today only a handful of images of Salinger exist, and even fewer from his reclusive years.

The Shane Salerno documentary "Salinger" opens with McDermott re-enacting how, at 20 years old, the photographer captured Salinger on film for Newsweek -- a mission others had tried, but failed to accomplish.

Unique in its candid portrayal of Salinger, the photo shows the author in casual dress, holding his car keys. In addition to the movie, McDermott’s rare and historic photograph of J.D. Salinger is printed on page 99 in Salerno’s book, "Salinger," which was released by Simon & Schuster on Sept. 3.

For more information, visit www.vtart.com.


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