Photographic legacy

Posted: Wednesday, May 02, 2001

I very much appreciated the excellent story by Ann Chandonnet (Empire, April 29) about the late Vincent Isturis. I grew up with his children and my first memories of Mr. Isturis were when he would take the annual class photographs at St. Ann's Parochial School.

I am familiar with the photo resources of the Alaska Historical Library, and have explored the photo archives of the Anchorage Museum of History and Art and many other collections of Alaskan photography. Without doubt, Isturis ranks as one of the most gifted of Alaska's photographers. His hand-tinted photographs are among the best I've seen and his portrait photographs are outstanding examples of the craft.

The period of Juneau's history that Mr. Isturis recorded so well, the 1930s through the 1960s, is largely absent from publicly accessible photo archives. Perhaps the rarest of Juneau photographs are during the war years, and those by Mr. Isturis are among the few I've seen.

The photographic legacy of Mr. Isturis deserves to be properly preserved and archived. I encourage our state and local museum administrators to seek whatever funding would be necessary to properly compensate his family if they could be interested in contributing this priceless collection for public benefit.

Peter Metcalfe


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