The Ways and Days of Ray: Ramon J. Muxter, Gonzo Photographer

Ramon Jon Muxter (1945-2007) was a fixture in the Twin Cities art scene, a gonzo street photographer working primarily during the 1960s-80s. He essayed people at the edges of life, frequenting bars and strip clubs.  His main bodies of work were Self-Portraits, Nudes, and his “Barscapes.”

This softcover book (9 x 12 inches, 110 pages) features about 60 pictures by Muxter, most of them full-page plates, along with posters, records, and calendars that reproduced his work.  The essay, by former curator Christian A. Peterson, covers Muxter’s colorful life and creative photographic output.  Ralph Gibson, a colleague and fellow photographer, provides commentary, and each book is accompanied by a greeting card, with an image by Muxter, from a set he issued around 2000.

Printed and published by Smart Set (Minneapolis), the book is available only from the author for $25 postpaid.  Anyone who picks up a copy in person may choose two additional greeting cards.

 


Creative Continuum — The Pictorial Photographers of America 1916-1950

“A Definitive Volume”

This 150-page book fully examines the Pictorial Photographers of America, the most important organization of creative camera workers of their time.  It covers their beginnings in 1916, under the guiding light of Clarence H. White, and their activities until 1950, when the movement of pictorial photography dissolved.  The PPA published handsome annuals, presented frequent photographic “salons,” and held regular instructional meetings at its New York headquarters.

Creative Continuum features nearly 60 full-page illustrations, printed in their full tones, by the accomplished photographers Paul L. Anderson, Edward R. Dickson, Laura Gilpin, Gertrude Käsebier, William E. Macnaughtan (above cover image), Ira W. Martin, D. J. Ruzicka, Margaret Watkins, and many others.  The book also presents 50 detailed biographies of leading PPA members, some of whom are profiled nowhere else.  It is a significant contribution to the history of photography and a visual delight for readers of all interests.

This well-designed, hardcover publication was printed in a limited edition of 150 copies, and is priced at $75, plus $5 shipping.  It is available only from the author, Christian A. Peterson.  Contact him at petersonachristian@gmail.com, or send a check to 4241 Elliot Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55407.

 


New Edition of Labor Temple Book

This second edition features an altered cover, text corrections, and an additional photograph of the Temple.

The book examines in detail a series of dance concerts at the Minneapolis Labor Temple in 1969 and 1970. They featured such bands as the Grateful Dead, the Byrds, Jeff Beck Group, and Savoy Brown, often with local musicians opening. Essential to these concerts were the colorful posters designed by the budding local artist Juryj Ostroushko. Often hand-lettered and intentionally difficult to read, they both advertised the shows and became collectible art.

Cosmic Trip captures the excitement and mayhem of Minneapolis’ hippie period. The text describes the Labor Temple as a venue and magnet for members of the sixties counterculture. Black-and-white photographs of concerts and full-color reproductions of the posters reveal this vital chapter in the long and rich history of rock music in the Twin Cities, 50 years after these groundbreaking extravaganzas.

The book covers all 44 concerts in its 110 pages. Copies available from the author are signed by Ostroushko, at $35 each, postpaid.